What is anti-social behaviour (ASB)?

The statutory definition of anti-social behaviour as set out in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is behaviour that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people not in the same household as the perpetrator.

Anti-social behaviour is a broad term used to describe the day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder that make many people's lives a misery. ASB can include criminal damage, graffiti and vandalism, verbal abuse, harassment/intimidation, noise nuisance, vehicle-related nuisance and assault.

Such a wide range of behaviours means that responsibility for dealing with ASB is shared between a number of agencies, particularly the police, councils and social landlords.

When it happens, we and other agencies will do everything we can to stop it quickly.

Further help and information

The police deal with:

  • Damage to property and graffiti
  • Rowdy drunken behaviour
  • Setting fires
  • Inconsiderate use of vehicles

If you are being affected by any of the anti-social behaviour above and feel there is an immediate risk then you should call 999 straight away.

If this is a continual issue and there is no immediate risk, please call 101, report it online or visit your local police station.

Wiltshire Police - particularly our 27 Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) - work hard alongside Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, which are the lead agencies in our area responsible for dealing with ASB, to tackle these issues.

NPTs work with communities to deal with concerns raised, including issues about ASB, with residents and local agencies. You can find out more about Wiltshire Police NPTs by viewing Your neighbourhood police

Your local council deals with:

  • Noisy neighbours
  • Littering, including drugnrelated litter
  • Vehicles abandoned on the road

Report it

Your council's website will provide further advice on anti-social behaviour.

You can find out more about ASB, including guidance on what is ASB, tools and powers available to deal with ASB and report ASB online, via the council websites:

Wiltshire Council - anti-social behaviour

Swindon Borough Council - anti-social behaviour

Vulnerable victims and witnesses

It is important that we recognise when a victim or witness of ASB or crime may be vulnerable so we can work with them and our partners to reduce the potential risk of harm. When anyone contacts Wiltshire Police to report crime or ASB, as well as noting all the details of the incident, our call takers will ask a series of questions to determine whether the reporting person may be vulnerable.

We will ask:

  • Whether the incident was aimed at you personally
  • Whether you have reported similar incidents before and to whom
  • What impact the incident has had on you
  • Whether you have any disability or special circumstance that we      should know about in order to get appropriate services to you

These questions may seem a little strange when all you want to do is report the incident. Asking these questions will not delay our response to your call, but it does help us to identify vulnerable people and helps us to protect them.