Are you experiencing anti-social behaviour in the area you live but are not sure whether to report it?
Anti-social behaviour is classed as actions that lack consideration for others or harm their wellbeing by causing harassment, alarm or distress. This can include damage to property, graffiti, rowdy drunken behaviour and inconsiderate use of vehicles – all of which are dealt with by the police.
Other issues, including noise such as loud music and barking dogs, littering and vehicles abandoned in the road, are dealt with by local authorities.
However, in many cases different agencies will work together to tackle ongoing issues and some of our recent success stories have involved such partnership working.
Loud music: A £2,000 fine was handed to one man who repeatedly played loud music despite the fact he lived in a block of flats. This issue had been reported to the local authority and one evening, when the noise was particularly loud, police officers attended and banged on the door but got no answer. Following another ignored attempt to get him to turn the music down, a Community Protection Notice was sought. This states that if the music did not stop, the perpetrator would be committing a criminal offence. However, this was later breached a number of times. A warrant was sought from magistrates who gave officers the right to enter the property and seize the sound system. He was also reported for breaching the notice, for which he was fined £2,000.
Street drinkers: The problem of street drinkers in Weston-super-Mare town centre was tackled by the creation of a dispersal zone. Those who ignored the zone or orders to move out of the area were arrested and subsequently fined by magistrates. Since it expired in January, there has been no need to reintroduce the dispersal zone.
Drug dealing and stolen property: A closure order was used in Taunton to put an end to anti-social behaviour at one property which was used for drug dealing and handling of stolen property. Members of the Halcon One Team, which is made up of police and council representatives, gathered enough evidence to secure the order. The tenant has since ended her tenancy.
During July and August, calls to the police about ASB increase by more than a quarter compared with the rest of the year. Below are a few tips on how you can help to tackle and prevent ASB:
For more advice and support relating to ASB visit the website of charity ASB Help. You can also take part in its interactive Act Now! guide to find out how best to deal with an issue you are experiencing.