Antisocial Behaviour

Argyll and Bute Council is committed to tackling anti social behaviour within towns, communities and neighbourhoods. A number of partners have a key role to play and work together within the Community Safety Partnership to address issues of abusive behaviour, unruly and disorderly behaviour, noise nuisance, drug dealing, neighbour disputes, fly tipping, graffiti, littering and dog fouling.

The Argyll and Bute Community Safety Strategy 2009-2012 sets out measures by Community Safety Partners to tackle anti social behaviour.

What are your responsibilities?

Citizens have a responsibility to treat neighbours and others in the wider community with respect. We all have a responsibility to report antisocial behaviour so that it can be stopped and respite offered to victims.

What is antisocial behaviour?

Antisocial behaviour is persistently acting in a manner that causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress to other people. Different types of anti-social behaviour may be categorised as follows:

  • Disregard for community or personal well being (including noise, rowdy behaviour and nuisance behaviour)
  • Acts directed at people (including intimidation and harassment)
  • Environmental damage (including criminal damage, vandalism, litter and fly tipping or graffiti)
  • Misuse of public space (including street drinking, drug/substance misuse and dealing)

Who can help?

The Council will provide information or advice about anti social behaviour to anyone who is seeking this assistance. If you wish to complain about anti social behaviour and either own your own home or rent from a private landlord you can contact the Council. If you rent your home from a Housing Association you should report problems with neighbours to your local housing office who will advise you on the steps that can be taken to tackle the problem.

Antisocial behaviour which you consider as serious and where you require assistance should be reported to the Police. The Police will normally notify the Council or Housing Association of any anti social behaviour but you should also speak to the Council or your Housing Office to provide your account of any incidents.

Guidance on noise complaints can be obtained from Environmental Health. Environmental Health Officers investigate and seek to resolve complaints of excessive noise under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This provides control over noise activities including those emanating from commercial activities and antisocial noise complaints (e.g. noise from TV, hi-fi’s, washing machines etc).

If the property is tenanted then the landlord also has obligations with regard to managing the tenancy, you can contact the Private Landlord Registration team for more information or check if a landlord is registered for a property at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk.

How are complaints of antisocial behaviour dealt with?

Each complaint of anti social behaviour will be examined according to its own facts and circumstances. Persons making a complaint will be asked to provide details of the anti social behaviour and, where known, the name and address of the person who it is alleged is behaving anti socially. You may be asked to keep a diary record of incidents and to provide these to the Council or Housing Association on a regular basis. If another person is a witness to the anti social behaviour that person can assist by providing a statement. Information may be shared and exchanged between the Council, Housing Associations and the Police when investigating anti social behaviour complaints. Where noise nuisance is the main source of complaint noise monitoring equipment may be installed by the Councils Environmental Health Service.

What action can be taken?

Anti Social Behaviour Legislation provides Local Authorities and Housing Associations with powers to apply to the Sheriff Court to obtain an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) against an individual or individuals preventing them from pursuing a course of conduct which may be considered to be persistent anti social behaviour.

Seeking an ASBO in Court is often regarded as a last resort when other attempts to tackle the anti social behaviour complained of have been considered and tried.  Anti social behaviour may be dealt with in a number of ways. This may include a formal warning to a person behaving in an anti social manner; fixed penalty notices for certain offences such as noise nuisance and littering; entering into an “acceptable behaviour contract” where the person complained acknowledges the anti social behaviour and agree that this will not be repeated in future; mediation to resolve neighbour disputes.

The Council will try to seek practical ways of tackling anti social behaviour before reverting to court proceedings.

Useful Contacts and Services

The following may be contacted for information, advice or to complain about anti social behaviour:

Anti Social Behaviour

Robert Cowper, Scotcourt House, 45 West Princes Street, Helensburgh, G84 8BP
Tel. 01436 658831

Anti Social Noise Nuisance

Environmental Health - 01546 605519 or envhealth@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Private Landlord Registration - 01546 604408 or landlord.registration@argyll-bute.gov.uk