What is anti-social behaviour?

For some people, anti-social behaviour (ASB) is about graffiti, litter or abandoned cars.

Other people may experience more personal ASB such as nuisance or noisy neighbours, rowdy gangs in the street, verbal abuse or being a victim of crime.

Anti-social behaviour is defined in law as "behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person".

However, in some cases, activities may be classed as ASB if they cause nuisance and annoyance only.

Types of anti-social behaviour

The following activities are things we will generally treat as anti-social behaviour if they cause harassment, alarm, distress or significant nuisance and annoyance:

  • Noise
  • Non-threatening verbal abuse
  • Alcohol/drug-related incidents
  • Misuse of shared areas and public space
  • Pets and animal nuisance
  • Nuisance from vehicles
  • Litter and rubbish

We will always treat incidents of hate crime, harassment, physical violence and threats of violence as anti-social behaviour.

What is not anti-social behaviour?

Behaviour that annoys one person may not annoy someone else. In each individual case, we will consider whether certain incidents are ASB.

These are some examples of behaviour we generally don’t consider to be ASB: 

  • The sound of children playing or a baby crying
  • Everyday living noises, such as toilet flushing, closing doors, vacuuming 
  • Minor personal disputes and differences
  • Young people gathering socially unless they are being intimidating
  • Being unable to park outside your home (where there are no lawful restrictions in place)
  • DIY and car repairs unless they are taking place at unsocial hours (for example late at night or in the early hours)
  • Civil disputes between neighbours (e.g. shared driveways)

Further advice

What should you do if you experience ASB?

What can the council do about ASB?

The Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review

Report anti-social behaviour

If you have any other concerns in relation to anti-social behaviour, please visit the West Midlands Police website where you can find helpful advice or use their Live Chat facility.