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Environmental Anti-Social Behaviour

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What is Environmental Anti-Social Behaviour?

Environmental Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) is when “a person’s actions affect the wider environment, such as public spaces or buildings.” (Metropolitan Police)

Environmental ASB includes graffiti, vandalism to both vehicles and property, fly-tipping, fly-posting, unpleasant smells, discarded drug paraphernalia, dog fouling, obstructions on the road, arson and street begging. There are more examples on the ASB Help website. 

Environmental ASB refers to the interface between people and places. It includes incidents where individuals and groups have an impact on their surroundings including natural, built and social environments.

People’s physical settings and surroundings impact positively or negatively on mood and sense of well-being. A perception that nobody cares about the quality of a particular environment can cause those effected by that environment to feel undervalued or ignored.

For some environmental offences it may be more appropriate for restorative action, such as community remedy for offenders, so they clean up what they have done.

This Act set in place the six remedies currently available to manage ASB, which are: civil injunctions; criminal behaviour orders; community protection notices; public spaces protection orders; closure orders; dispersal powers. It also introduced the community trigger and community remedy.

  • Civil injunctions

Courts award injunctions to stop people engaging in ASB. They can be awarded without notice but are only available if there has been a threat or use of violence.

  • Criminal behaviour orders

Criminal court issued against a person who has been convicted of an offence and is causing ASB.

  • Dispersal powers

Allow the police to order a person who is causing harassment, alarm or distress to leave a specific area for up to 48 hours.

  • Community protection notices

Can be issued by local authorities, police and some housing associations to address a wide range of problems, such as littering and noise nuisance.

  • Public space protection orders

Can be used by local authorities to prevent persistent, unreasonable and/or detrimental behaviour.

  • Closure orders

Court order which closes down properties that are causing serious nuisance, disorder or criminal behaviour, putting in place a temporary ban on anyone occupying the premises.

  • Possession proceedings

Evict the perpetrator of ASB through the courts.

  • Resolve

Resolve website – includes information on their BTEC programmes and a range of other resources

  • ASB Help

Community Trigger podcast

  • Local Government Association

Anti-Social Behaviour in our communities webinar

Useful Links

ASB Help – information for victims and practitioners

Visit the Website

Victim Support – information and support for victims

Visit the Website

Crimestoppers – information on what ASB is and how to report it

Visit the Website

Resolve – information and advice for practitioners

Visit the Website

Help and Support

For victims, families and concerned people

Environmental enforcement encompasses a range of legislative powers which are 

administered by different teams within local authorities as part of a corporate approach. This frequently includes environmental health/ regulatory service, and housing and planning. It is therefore important that environmental ASB is reported to local authorities.

If you experience ASB, you may have to help provide evidence before action can be taken. Ask who you are reporting to what information/ evidence they will need. Increasingly some are utilising Apps. You may have to call the police on 101 or even 999 if it’s an emergency.

ASB Help provide information and advice to those impacted by anti-social behaviour in Wales and England. They also have information on who to report to, such as Local Authorities, Police and Housing Associations.

Community Trigger (also known as ASB case review) is available through Local Authorities (see Directory), or via the four police force websites (Dyfed Powys, Gwent, North Wales, South Wales). If there have been three or more times within six months that you or others have reported incidents then you can use the Trigger for a review to be carried out so that agencies deal with persistent ASB. For more information see the ASB Help website.