What is anti-social behaviour (ASB)?
ASB is conduct that causes harassment, nuisance or distress to another person.
It includes a wide range of unacceptable behaviour that affects the quality of life for those in the community.
What is and isn’t ASB?
|Is this an ASB?
Threatening or violent behaviour
|This should be reported to the police on 999, then to us (link below) along with the police reference number.
Drug use or dealing
|In the first instance this should be reported to the police on the links below, then to us (link below) along with the police reference number.
Domestic abuse / arguing neighbours
|If you believe a neighbour may be experiencing domestic abuse, contact the police and/or the social services safeguarding team for your area If the situation is ongoing, causing you a nuisance and you have reported the matter to the police or social services, then please report this to us (link below).
If you are experiencing domestic abuse then you can speak directly with support services which are listed below.
|No – but can become an ASB
|Not all shouting is ASB – some families will raise voices when telling off children or communicating with one another around the home. Try talking to them first or self-referring to the mediation service for your area, as listed below.
If the situation is ongoing and causing you a nuisance then please report it to us (link below).
|No – but can become an ASB
|Try talking to the adult responsible for the child first to discuss the issue or make use of the mediation service for your area.
While this is not ASB, if the play is causing damage, is dangerous or if you are at all worried about the safety of a child, please contact the police and/or the social services safeguarding team for your area. If the situation is ongoing, causing you a nuisance and you have reported the matter to the police or social services, then please report this to us (link below).
Loud music, noise or DIY
|No – but can become an ASB
|Try talking to them first and if the noise continues, report this to us (link below).
|No – but can become an ASB
|Occasion events such as birthday parties and BBQ’s are not deemed to be ASB unless they cause an unreasonable disturbance.
General living sounds
|This includes noise from walking around, doors opening and loud conversations. Most people don’t realise they are causing a problem, so try talking to them first before reporting this to us (link below) and there may be some things we can do to help resolve this issue.
|Try speaking to your neighbour first, then consider mediation before reporting the problem to us (link below).
|These differences can occur for all sorts of reasons, and can include cultural differences, unusual food smells and work commitments. Try speaking to your neighbour first, then consider mediation before reporting the problem to us (link below).
|While this is not ASB, if you are at all worried about the safety of a child, please contact the police and/or the social services safeguarding team for your area, see information below. If the situation is ongoing, causing you a nuisance and you have reported the matter to the police or social services, then please report this to us (link below).
Reporting to us
We’re committed to promoting a safe, peaceful environment where everyone can enjoy their home and neighbourhood. Where necessary, we’ll work with all relevant agencies to achieve this.
The best way to report a case of ASB to us is through the MyRaven customer portal. You can also contact us in the usual way.
Once reported, you’ll be able to track progress and upload any updated supporting documents, as well as view all of your open and closed ASB cases.
What happens when you report ASB to us
We deal with all reports promptly and sensitively, but they can take some time to handle. We’ll discuss your issues with you in confidence and won’t reveal your identify to your neighbour or anybody else, unless you agree to this. We will agree an action plan with you which takes into account your circumstances and the nature of the problem. This plan will include:
- Actions for you – such as writing down the dates and times when problems happen, keeping in contact with us, letting us know how the problems are affecting you and telling us if anyone else is being affected
- Actions for us – such as speaking to the person causing the problem, talking to other agencies (such as the police) and keeping in regular contact with you
- Agreed timescales for reporting back to each other.
We will use a wide range of methods to gather sufficient evidence to justify taking action. This may include asking you to make use of noise recording equipment/CCTV. We may also ask for you to download The Noise App.
We do require you to keep us up to date with information and if you fail to do this within two weeks, we may consider the matter has been resolved and close the case.
In more serious cases and as a last resort, we may need to take court action. For us to do this we will need good supporting evidence to put before the court, which is why we need you to keep good records of what is happening and when. We’ll give you an incident log sheet so you can record evidence and explain how to complete them. You can download a copy of the incident log sheet template. When completed this can be uploaded to the reported case on the MyRaven customer portal.
How issues may be resolved first
Whilst we may need to pursue enforcement action, there are a few things that can be tried first to resolve the issue.
Step 1: Try talking
Talk through your problem first with a friend or relative as this can sometimes help make it clearer in your mind. Before you approach your neighbour to discuss the issue, think about what you want to say and what you want to achieve. Be clear about the problem. Try and explain how you feel and how it’s affecting you.
Most people do not realise they are causing a problem, so you may find they are reasonable if you talk to them about it. Try to remain calm as you are more likely to get a positive response this way.
Be willing to listen if your neighbour says they have a problem about your behaviour and be prepared to negotiate. You may find you can resolve your differences together. Avoid interrupting when they’re talking. Try to reach an understanding with your neighbour that suits you both.
If you’re not comfortable doing this, you can make use of the “Dear Neighbour Card”.
Make sure you keep a note of any discussions you have with your neighbours, including the dates and times they take place, and any agreements made, as this information may be needed at a later date.
If you would like to speak with someone independent, we work closely with Mediation Surrey who provide support coaching to those experiencing ASB. See their website for more information and to access a self-referral form.
Step 2: Mediation
After listening to each other’s views, if you are still unable to reach an agreement, mediation might help both parties.
Mediation is an informal, confidential and independent service available to help neighbours sort out their differences and reach an agreement. Mediators are experienced in dealing with a range of disputes such as noise, rubbish, fence boundaries and parking spaces.
Mediators can help you and your neighbours understand each other’s point of view and reach a solution. If mediation is appropriate, we will discuss it further with you and give you more information.
We’ve put together two leaflets relating to neighbourhood noise, which we hope are useful:
How do we decide on what action to take
We look at the following when considering next steps:
- The type of behaviour
- The severity and frequency of incidents
- The available evidence
- The effect of the behaviour on you
- Who else is being affected
- Whether the people whose behaviour is causing problems have been given an opportunity to change it (depending on its severity) and whether it has improved
- Any disabilities known to us of those being affected and the alleged perpetrators
- What other interventions have been considered or tried so far.
What legal action can be taken?
If all other courses of action have failed and the ASB continues, we will consider legal action. The main types of legal action we can use are:
- An Injunction – this means asking the court for an order to force the person causing the nuisance to stop
- A Court Undertaking – this is an agreement the person causing the nuisance makes with the court to stop the ASB. If the problem continues we can go back to court to ask for a more severe or restrictive order
- A Suspend Possession Order – this means asking the court for an order to evict the person causing the ASB (or allowing the behaviour to happen in their home), but suspending this order on agreed terms. If the terms are broken and the ASB continues, we can apply for a full possession order for eviction.
We will only apply to court to evict a tenant as a last resort and only for extreme ASB which continues over a period of time.
The ASB case review (formally known as the community trigger) gives victims of ongoing, persistent ASB reported to any of the main responsible agencies (such as the council, police, housing provider) the right to request a multi-agency case review. The criteria to raise an ASB case review is defined by the local authority.
You can apply if:
- Three or more complaints have been made to us in the previous six months
- The ASB is persisting
- There is harm or potential harm caused by the ASB
- There is an inadequate response to the ASB by us.
To activate a ASB case review, you’ll need to contact your local council, letting them know either:
- The three times you have reported this issue already, or
- The names of four other people who have also reported the issue.
Information on each local authority’s ASB case review can be found below:
Crawley ASB case review Epsom and Ewell ASB case review Horsham ASB case review Mid Sussex ASB case review Mole Valley ASB case review Reigate and Banstead ASB case reviewSutton ASB case review Tandridge ASB case review