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Anti-Social Behaviour - Criminology Dip 10

Updated on November 1, 2011

Anti-Social Behaviour


***Before you continue to read this Hub may I mention that this is my work, written in my words for my Criminology Diploma. By all means read the Hub and absorb it's content but please don't plagiarize my work and present it as your own work towards your own diploma. This has been added as a request from a tutor/examiner of the Criminology Diploma program.***

Thank you!

10.1 Analyse different forms of anti-social behaviour, who it affects, its long term effects and approaches to tackling it.

Anti-social behaviour could be described as unacceptable behaviour that causes alarm, harassment or distress to the community. Some incidents can be graded as simply a nuisance though some are actually unlawful and therefore criminal. Generally, incidents of anti-social behaviour can include: -


· Intimidating behaviour

· Violence, threat of violence, assault

· Abusive language

· Verbal abuse, racist or homophobic

· Aggressive begging

Any behaviour, which creates intimidation, hostility or offence to its recipient, can be classed as harassment; it does not necessarily have to be repeated over a period of time, a single statement or action can constitute harassment. A persons health, physical characteristics, sexuality, personal beliefs, colour and religion are some factors that could attract harassment.

Intimidating behaviour can be anything that makes it difficult to go about ones own business in a public place. It could be verbal or physical and could eventually lead to violence or the threat of violence.

Anyone could fall victim of harassment or intimidation.

Street Nuisance

· Intimidating gatherings of young people in public places, underage drinking and smoking

· Alcohol abuse

· Use and trading of drugs and solvents

· Begging

· Prostitution

· Dog fouling

Gatherings of young people in public places, even innocent gatherings can cause concern and intimidation especially towards, say the elderly and timid folk. Drinking and smoking enhances that intimidation and becomes a criminal act if those involved are underage, are drinking in a no-drinking area or become drunk and disorderly.

The use of and trading of drugs on the street is a major concern in itself but it also has knock on effects. It creates a fear of used infected needles and syringes being discarded in public areas and the likelihood that infection and disease can be transmitted through these, especially in parks and places where children play. It also creates a concern to us all that those purchasing the drugs need money to buy them, where will they obtain this money? Burglary? Robbery? Shoplifting? Where are the drugs coming from? Are there more serious criminals located within the community?

Prostitution again could suggest that there are serious criminals within the community, are the prostitutes forced into prostitution? Who is running the prostitution?

To most of us, begging isn’t really a threat but it can be a real annoyance that we don’t need, though some may really feel intimidated by the presence of a beggar.

Dog fouling is a very unpleasant sight to see and is even worse if stepped in, it is the responsibility of dog owner to clean up after their pets, fines of up to £1000 can be administered if taken through court, though there is provision for a fixed penalty fine of £50.

Nuisance Neighbours

· Constant rowing

· Loud music

· Constant dog barking

· Seriously untidy gardens

Nuisance neighbours can have a big impact on the community all around them; one or two anti-social families can affect dozens of lives through threats, intimidation, harassment and even vandalism. Rowdiness, shouting, loud music, offensive drunkenness and the constant barking of dogs are common examples of the nuisance neighbour. Some may dump waste or litter into neighbouring gardens or leave evidence of drug misuse or other dangerous items lying around.

Yobbish Behaviour

· Damage to property, graffiti and vandalism

· Verbal and physical abuse

· Intimidation and harassment

· Motorcycling or cycling on footpaths

· Misuse of fireworks

Yobbish, or uncouth, thuggish behaviour could be encountered by any one of us.

A yob (a word formed in 18th century England, “boy” backwards) is a troublesome, rude, obnoxious and violent youth, likely to be a member of a gang although could act alone, delivering verbal and physical abuse and causing intimidation and harassment to any possible victim. This type of person has nothing better to do than to cause trouble and fear towards others. Pointless damage to property, vandalism and graffiti fall into the yobbish behaviour category, bringing high repair costs to the affected property or vehicle owner. Using vehicles public footpaths and setting off fireworks in public places are other examples of yobbish attitude, showing no concern for the safety of others.

Vehicle Nuisance

· Excessive noise

· Street racing

· Vehicle repairs or maintenance carried out in gardens and on the street

Inappropriate use of vehicles either on or off-road can be noisy, intimidating and dangerous. Racing of cars or bikes on the street create the risk of injury or even death to innocent pedestrians, all vehicles used on a public road must be legal for road use and the driver/rider must conform to the highway code. Vehicles parked in the street either for maintenance or repair work to be carried out, or being advertised as for sale can be an eyesore and can be a hindrance to neighbouring residents who could be prevented from parking their own vehicles. Persons using the street as a workshop or showroom can be fined under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment act 2005.

Environmental Anti-Social Behaviour

· Fly tipping

· Accumulation of unsightly rubbish in gardens

· Abandoned vehicles

Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of rubbish or other bulky items on land not licensed to receive it. Fly tipping can be dangerous, pollutes land and waterways and costs the taxpayer significant amounts of money to clear away. Dumping illegally is a serious criminal offence that carries a fine of up to £20,000 (unlimited if the case goes to Crown Court), or an offender could even be sent to prison.

Unsightly rubbish accumulating in a garden is not only unsightly it could attract vermin bring in the risk of disease.

Abandoning a vehicle carries a maximum penalty fine of £2,500 or 3 months imprisonment or both. In most cases an abandoned vehicle will have been stolen or will have taken part in some other crime, never touch or enter an abandoned vehicle and never approach a burning one.

Anti-social behaviour destroys lives and can shatter communities. It is a widespread problem but its effects are often more damaging in communities that are already fragile. Left unchecked it can lead to neighbourhood decline with people moving away and tenants abandoning housing.

Anti-social behaviour can destroy the quality of life for those affected by it, not only at the time of any incidents buy way into the future. Many victims still report emotional problems months after the event. The longer anti-social behaviour continues the more chance of long term damage to the sufferer’s well being.

We can all be affected by anti-social behaviour but those likely to suffer its effect more are: -

· Poor individuals and families who can’t afford to move away

· Those already discriminated against such as ethnic minorities and homosexuals

· Young people who can be an easy target for negative peer group pressure, or who are vulnerable because they are outside traditional support structures such as school or work

· Other vulnerable people like the aged, disabled or women

Tackling anti-social behaviour is high on the agenda of both national government and local agencies. Local partnerships, together with local communities, have been encouraged to identify local problems, develop strategies and action plans, and evaluate their interventions to assist future practice.

The government is supporting Crime and Disorder Partnerships (CDRP’S) in developing robust community safety strategies and action plans, which are: -

· Responsive to community concerns; partnerships are encouraged to develop strategies in conjunction with local communities

· Evidence based and led; an audit is important in providing a clear understanding of the anti-social behaviour problems in an area so that partnerships can choose which problems to tackle and set baselines for improvement. In designing solutions to these problems, emphasis is placed on methods that have been proven to work in similar contexts, or where this is not available, on sound principles

· Outcome focused; Partnerships are encouraged to set clear targets, monitor and evaluate the results and adjust the interventions implemented in the light of this activity

This “toolkit” is part of an extensive programme being put in place to support partnerships to achieve reductions in crime and disorder. It offers practical advice and guidance on how communities can: -

· Identify local problems

· Determine what action to take

· Implement the local action

· Assess the local action

It provides information on the latest developments, research findings and approaches to tackle ant anti-social behaviour. It includes tools to identify problems, develop responses and monitor progress at local neighbourhood levels with the aim of making communities safer places where people will want to live and work.

As an effective means of addressing anti-social behaviour, the “toolkit” recommends the following three points: -

· Prevention; enforcing measures to create a physical and social environment where anti-social behaviour is less likely to arise in the first place

· Enforcement; making full use of the current powers available such as. The Housing Act 1996, the Crime and Disorder Act 1996 and the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003

· Reintegration/resettlement; breaking the cycle of repeated anti-social behaviour and minimising perverse outcomes such as homelessness

What can we do to assist in the fight against anti-social behaviour: -

· Talk to your local community safety partnership manager who can help you tackle the problem

· Get involved to help prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour when it does occur

· Report anti-social behaviour incidents to your local police, Housing Executive or council

· if you feel comfortable doing so talk to the person causing the problem; they may not realise how it is affecting you

· Be a witness to support legal action and stop anti-social behaviour by getting court orders

Anyone encountering a situation which could be an emergency (if someone's life or health is threatened) call 999.

Comments welcome!


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