Anti-social behaviour guide

Use the guidance below to work out what is and is not ASB, what action you can take and what we can do to help.

Noise

Of the various types of ASB report we receive, noise from neighbours is one of the most common. Wherever you live, neighbours will have different lifestyles, opinions and values. No home is completely soundproof and it is important that you are tolerant of each other and understand that part of being a good neighbour involves a certain amount of compromise.

For first-time occurrences of noise, it is important to consider that it could be a one-off incident such as a birthday party or bit of DIY. Although it may have disturbed you, there is always going to be a bit of noise that can be heard from neighbours.

Here are some tips on how to reduce the amount of noise you might make at home:

  • Keep TVs and music at a reasonable volume, especially in summer when open windows or doors can allow the noise to travel further.
  • Where possible, keep any sound equipment – speakers, TVs, etc – off of floors and away from walls that are connected to neighbouring properties.
  • If you can, reduce the bass volume as this will travel through walls and floors the most.
  • If you are having a party, let you neighbours know beforehand that there may be some noise, and be prepared to turn any music down if you are asked to.
  • Take care not to slam doors, particularly shared entrance doors to blocks of flats, and especially if it is late at night.
  • Remember that gardens are open and offer limited sound insulation – any noise outside will have a greater impact on your neighbours.
  • Try to arrange the timing of noisy household chores, such as vacuuming or putting on the washing machine, so that they are not done late at night or in the early hours of the morning.
  • If you have guests, remind them to keep noise to a minimum if they are leaving your home late at night or in the early hours.

For more advice on handling incidents of noise, please read our guide to dealing with different types of noise.

Arson

Arson is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police or fire brigade immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police or fire brigade, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Assault

Assault is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Verbal abuse or harassment

If the behaviour is of a criminal nature, you should report it to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Harassment includes vandalism – such as property damage or graffiti – that is targeted against an individual.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, please report this on our ASB reporting form. Include the dates and times of any incidents as we will need this information to help decide what to do.

If you suspect that the abuse or harassment has been motivated by yours or someone’s disability, gender-identity, race, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation, this is classed as a hate crime. Please read the section on hate crime for further advice.

Drug use/dealing

Drug use and drug dealing are criminal offences and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, your Housing Officer may ask you to record the dates and times of the incidents on diary sheets to help us assess what action to take.

Drug dealers and gangs can sometimes take advantage of vulnerable people and use their property as a base for their activities – this type of crime is known as ‘cuckooing’. Children have also been exploited by criminal gangs and used to supply drugs. If you believe someone is being exploited for illegal activity, please report this to the police on 101. In an emergency, always call 999.

Domestic abuse

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and wish to speak to someone, please contact us and speak to your Housing Officer. Please be assured that we will not send letters about this or discuss your case with anyone else who may answer your phone. In an emergency always call the police on 999.

If you have concerns that another Worthing Homes resident is experiencing domestic abuse, please contact us to let us know. If you feel something is happening now and someone’s safety is at risk, please report this to the police straight away.

Gun or knife crime

Gun crime and knife crime are criminal offences and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Pets and animals

Residents need our permission to keep a pet at their property, and permission will not usually be given in flats unless there is access to a separate enclosed garden.

If you have concerns about the welfare of a pet, please report this to the RSPCA [https://www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/contactus/reportcruelty] or your Local Authority dog warden [https://www.gov.uk/check-council-missing-dog].

In some cases, dogs can become aggressive and bite other animals or people. The law says any dog can be considered dangerous if it is not kept under control. In fact, the dog does not have to bite anyone – it could just show aggressive behaviour that makes someone fear for their safety. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact the police immediately to report the dangerous dog.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them.

Dog owners can be given an on-the-spot fine if they do not clear up after their dog. If you witness a dog owner not clearing up after their dog in a public area, please contact your local council to report the incident. If it took place on Worthing Homes property, please let us know and we will investigate.

For advice on dog or pet noise, please see our guide to dealing with different types of noise.

Threats of abuse or violence

The threat of abuse or violence is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, please report this on our ASB reporting form. Include the dates and times of any incidents as we will need this information to help decide what to do.

Hate crime

Hate crime is defined as crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation. This can include threatening behaviour, assault, robbery, damage to property, inciting others to commit hate crimes or harassment.

Hate crime is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, please report this on our ASB reporting form. Include the dates and times of any incidents as we will need this information to help decide what to do.

You can also find help and support on the Stop Hate UK website [https://www.stophateuk.org/], including details of their 24-hour help line.

Sexual offences

Sexual offences must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Drunk or rowdy behaviour

If you witness drunk or rowdy behaviour that is of a criminal nature, this must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, your Housing Officer may ask you to record the dates and times of the incidents on diary sheets to help us assess what action to take.

Unsanitary conditions or hoarding

If you believe a neighbour is creating or living in unsanitary conditions, is hoarding, or is not able to look after their home properly, please contact us.

If you are concerned that a possibly vulnerable adult is living in potentially dangerous conditions, you can also inform your Local Authority’s Adult Social Care department. [https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council]

If you believe that a child is living in unsanitary conditions, please inform your Local Authority’s Child Services department. [https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council]

You can find out more about hoarding disorder on the NHS website. [https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hoarding-disorder/#what-to-do]