The term anti-social behaviour covers a wide range of unacceptable activities that have a negative impact on the community, often leaving victims feeling helpless and reducing their quality of life. Terms such as nuisance, disorder and harassment are commonly used to describe this type of behaviour.
Anti-social behaviour is defined as ‘behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’.
Some examples of anti-social behaviour could include -
- Nuisance associated with the selling of drugs or drug or substance misuse.
- Acts of harassment.
- Racist behaviour, racist language or racist graffiti.
- Acts or threats of discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, ethnic origin, illness or disability.
- Using or threatening to use violence.
- Writing or displaying graffiti or literature that is threatening, abusive or insulting.
- Sending communication that is threatening, abusive, racist or insulting.
Before you report your neighbour to the council, it may be beneficial for you to approach them directly and explain to them the nature of your concerns. They may not realise that they are causing you a problem. You may also want to contact either the Citizens Advice Bureau on 0870 1264050, for advice about your rights, or the Milton Keynes Community Mediation Service on 01908 200828 who may be able to help by mediating between you and your neighbour.
However, how you may choose to deal directly with your next door neighbour who is playing their music too loudly after midnight is likely to be very different to how you should tackle the problem of a gang of individuals displaying rowdy behaviour in the street.
The council will not disclose the details of complainants, however it is recognised that those who the complaint is being made about often realise who the complainant is during the course of the investigations. If the investigations result in legal action, you may be required to give evidence as a witness in court and therefore your identity would be revealed at this stage.
Property purchase information
Please be aware, if you make a complaint of anti-social behaviour to the local authority and then later sell your property, you are under a legal obligation to advise the purchaser of this fact. Failure to do this could result in a claim being made against you by the purchaser.
Low Level Interventions
There are a number of tools the council can use to tackle low level anti-social behaviour including;
- Warning letters
- Home visits
- Office interviews
- Acceptable Behaviour Contracts.
As a last resort or in response to serious incidents, we can take enforcement action in accordance with the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This can include;
- Civil Injunctions
- Closure Powers
- Possession Orders
- Criminal Behaviour Orders
Victim and Witness Support
The council offers the use of a victim and witness support service through an existing counselling service.
The council will consider the use of special measures or professional witnesses to help complainants who have a valid fear of reprisals or unable to give evidence in court due to physical/medical problems, in order to support the legal processes. Special measures can include giving evidence from behind a screen or via a video link so that the witness can remain anonymous. A professional witness can only be used where special measures would not protect the witnesses’ anonymity.
Milton Keynes Council has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults who may be at risk of harm. If it is suspected that a vulnerable adult, child or young person is at risk of harm, a safeguarding referral is made. Advice is sought and referrals made to the Children’s Services Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or Adult Social Care Access Team (ASCAT) as appropriate.
There are a number of ways to make contact.
- By telephone: 01908 252937 (option 4)
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In writing: ASB Team, Housing, Milton Keynes Council, Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ
- In person: Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ
The council’s Environmental Health department is responsible for dealing with statutory nuisance including excessive noise. You can report this type of nuisance directly to Environmental Health. Report Noise
Out of hours telephone number: 01908 226699.
Effective partnership working requires information to be exchanged and shared with other services and agencies. However, the information needs to be shared appropriately and securely, and it needs to be relevant and accurate to be used for the purpose of reducing and detecting crime and disorder. In order to achieve this, the Council has entered into a number of information sharing protocols with partnership agencies in order to make sure personal information is kept securely and the Council complies with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Officers will carefully assess what action is appropriate and proportionate to take as part of the investigation processes. Officers will identify and co-ordinate appropriate agencies to support individual anti-social behaviour cases.
In response to reports of minor disputes or disturbances, uncorroborated or a minor breach of tenancy condition, officers will encourage neighbours to resolve these themselves or will signpost them to other agencies as appropriate, for example, the mediation service for support with self-resolution.
Officers will investigate all reports of anti-social behaviour sensitively and fairly. Officers often receive counter allegations – both reports will be investigated equally and impartially.
Publicity and communications
The Council may publicise enforcement action that has been taken to let the community know the course of action taken to tackle anti-social behaviour. This is so that the local community will know the terms of any order that the Council obtains so they can inform Officers if they witness the perpetrator beaching the order, and also to act as a deterrent for those causing anti-social behaviour. Unless ordered not to by the Court the Council may disclose names, addresses and photographs of the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour.
If the Anti-Social Behaviour Team has investigated a complaint of anti-social behaviour from you, your feedback would be appreciated to help improve the service.
Last Updated: 21 December 2018