What is Anti-Social behaviour?

Peoples understanding of what constitutes Anti-social behaviour can be very different and can affect people in very different ways. For some people it means living next door to nuisance neighbours, for other people it's about litter and dog fouling or graffiti on the street. Often it can include people acting in an aggressive, intimidating or destructive manner.

Report Anti-Social Behaviour online

There are multiple legal definitions of anti-social behaviour however, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 gives the most recent definitions, citing Anti-Social Behaviour as:                                               

“Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress‘’


“Conduct capable of causing housing related nuisance or annoyance”

There is also a clear link between Anti-Social Behaviour and crime. Nuisance can escalate if not dealt with, and this can erode people's sense of attachment to where they live. We actively work with other agencies such as Kent Police, where Anti-social Behaviour escalates or overlaps with criminal acts.

When confronting nuisance and Anti-Social behaviour,  Social Landlords may also have their own procedures for dealing with complaints, so if you rent your property through a social landlord there may also be additional guidance available to you. East Kent Housing provides additional advice and information in their housing anti social behaviour strategy.

For more information on current tools and powers available to agencies to tackle nuisance, please see the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.


We also have regard for guidance issued in the 2003 white paper "Taking a Stand Against Anti-Social Behaviour‟ which highlights a reluctance and deliberate element to the behaviour should be present:

"The common element in all anti-social behaviour is that it represents a lack of respect or consideration for other people. It shows a selfish inability or unwillingness to recognise when one’s individual behaviour is offensive to others and a refusal; to take responsibility for it. More fundamentally it shows a failure to understand that one’s person’s rights are based on the responsibilities we have towards others and towards our families and communities."