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Anti-social behaviour

What is anti-social behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour is serious or persistent behaviour that causes harassment, alarm or distress to an individual or the wider community. It can damage a person's quality of life.

Examples can include:

  • Rowdy, noisy behaviour including shouting and yelling close to people’s homes
  • Littering and fly-tipping rubbish, including leaving used needles
  • Groups of teenagers hanging round the streets, paths and shops
  • Drinking alcohol, being drunk or rowdy in a public place
  • Playing loud music
  • Climbing on roofs or property that does not belong to you
  • Riding mopeds or scooters through estates and on paths
  • Abandoning cars on the street
  • Vandalism and graffiti
  • Use of an imitation weapon, like a BB gun, in a public place
  • Setting off fireworks late at night
  • Begging
  • Harassment

Some of the above is criminal behaviour and can be prosecuted by police.

Anti-social behaviour is not limited to groups of young people - adults can be reckless and abusive and carry about the above offences. 

Anti-social behaviour is not:

  • ball games
  • neighbour disputes
  • domestic issues
  • drug use
  • violent behaviour

If there is serious risk to life or property, call 999.

Reporting anti-social behaviour

There are many different types of anti-social behaviour. Some matters will be dealt with by the police, but some are best reported to the council for our Civic Enforcement or Streetscene teams to deal with.

Who should I contact?

Darlington Borough Council 

       Durham Police  [external page]

Flytipping/littering/waste on land Begging
Dog fouling Vandalism
Abandoned vehicles Gangs and youths drinking in parks
Graffiti Harassment or intimidation
Lost or stray dogs Dangerous dogs
Noise nuisance Misuse of fireworks
Parking issues Nuisance driving, including quad bikes
Found syringes Dealing/taking of drugs and drinking alcohol in the street

The links above include information about how to make a report to the council about different types of anti-social behaviour.

You can also make non urgent reports to us online here: 

Report anti-social behaviour online

You can call us anonymously on 01325 406999.

For police matters, there is more information about how to report an incident on the Durham Police Report It page [external page].You can also call the non-emergency number101

In an emergency call 999

Anti-social behaviour involving council housing or tenants

How we handle nuisance and anti social-behaviour in relation to council housing

How we will respond

In most cases we will contact you within 24 hours to let you know we are looking into your issue.

A report of ASB will not always mean a police officer or a council civic enforcement officer attends the incident. However, every report is logged and investigated - the teams use the information from every report to map ASB hotspots so that resources can be targeted. This could mean, for example, patrols are targeted in a certain area at a certain time of the week where there is often trouble, or cameras could be deployed to watch out for problems reported in a particular alleyway.

If you are the target of anti-social behaviour or you are experiencing abuse/harassment we may need to speak to you before we can start an investigation.

You can report anti-social behaviour anonymously.

We can act as a witness on your behalf.

We can meet you at your home, in our office or somewhere else if you would prefer.

Acceptable behaviour agreements (ABAs)

Some of the action we can take is to interview perpetrators, speak to their parents if they are under 16 and set up ABAs.

The agreements can run for a specified time and can contain prohibitions.

For example:

  • not to go into a particular area
  • not to swear
  • not to associate with other offenders

The content of the ABA is drawn from gathered evidence.

Where appropriate, failure to follow the agreed terms can result in:

  • Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions
  • Criminal Behaviour Orders

Deterrents for anti-social behaviour

As punishment for anti-social behaviour perpetrators can receive:

  • civil injunctions
  • Community Protection Notices (CPN)
  • Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO)

The above replaced Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2014.

A court may give a civil injunction or the local authority may issue a CPN if it gets reports of persistent anti-social behaviour.

You can only get a CBO if you are convicted of a crime linked to anti-social behaviour.

Community trigger

When a problem is not resolved you can activate a community trigger.

The community trigger gives victims of anti-social behaviour the opportunity to request a review of their case.

It brings agencies together to help find a solution.

This is not to be used for complaints about how the enforcement team have handled your issue.

You can send complaints about council officials to corporate complaints.

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