What it is, types of anti-social behaviour and how to report it

Call 999 if a crime is happening now or you're in immediate danger.

What anti-social behaviour is

Anti-social behaviour can affect the quality of life for individuals and the whole community.

It is behaviour that has caused or may cause:

  • harassment, alarm or distress to any person
  • nuisance or annoyance to a person because of their job or where they live
  • housing-related nuisance such as loud noise, rubbish outside the property or annoyance to any person

It is also behaviour that can be considered unreasonable or is having a detrimental effect over a long period of time on the quality of life of the local community.

Types of anti-social behaviour

Personal anti-social behaviour

Where an individual or group are targeted or affected rather than the whole community. For example:

  • behaviour, which is violent, aggressive, threatening or intimidating
  • verbal abuse
  • threats of violence
  • hate behaviour for example harassment based on ethnicity or sexual orientation
  • domestic abuse

Nuisance anti-social behaviour

Behaviour that affects the local community rather than an individual or group. For example:

  • drug dealing
  • prostitution
  • begging
  • misuse of communal areas, shared equipment or space
  • drunk and rowdy behaviour
  • noise nuisance
  • gang related activity
  • problems caused by animals such as uncontrolled behaviour or continual barking

Environmental anti-social behaviour

Behaviour where individuals or groups negatively affect their surroundings. For example:

  • dropping litter including sex and drugs litter
  • fly-tipping
  • dog fouling
  • criminal damage such as graffiti or vandalism
  • storing rubbish in gardens
  • continual vehicle repairs and maintenance carried out in gardens
  • abandoned vehicles or vehicles blocking the road

What is not anti-social behaviour

Some incidents are not classed as anti-social behaviour. For example:

  • children playing in their home, garden or communal areas at reasonable times of the day
  • a baby crying
  • cooking smells
  • people doing DIY at a reasonable time of the day
  • putting rubbish out on the wrong day
  • dogs barking now and again
  • occasional parties
  • minor personal difference such as fall outs between children
  • clashes of lifestyles including cultural differences
  • use of unallocated parking spaces

Report anti-social behaviour

Street issues

To report street issues, like graffiti, fly-posting, rubbish or dog mess go to report a street issue.

Pollution and noise

To report pollution issues, like loud noise, light or smells go to pests, pollution, noise and food.

Anti-social behaviour involving a council tenant

If you're a council tenant or the person responsible for the ASB is a council tenant:

Council tenant anti-social behaviour policy

Read our  document Housing Management and Estates anti-social behaviour policy  (300 KB)  for council tenants.

Other anti-social behaviour

Contact the police to report other ASB, including:

  • criminal damage such as vandalism
  • aggressive language or threatening behaviour
  • physical attacks
  • drunken behaviour
  • drug taking or dealing

You can:

Corporate anti-social behaviour policy

Read our pdf Corporate anti-social behaviour policy (396 KB) .

This policy includes our ASB objective and principles, legal and regulatory requirements, and our approach to anti-social behaviour. 

What happens after you've reported anti-social behaviour to us

What you can expect from us

In an emergency situation, meaning a real risk or threat of harm and use or threat of violence we'll respond in 1 working day of a report being made.

For other anti-social behaviour complaints we'll respond within 10 working days.

For street issues, pollution and noise we'll respond within 15 working days.

We'll agree:

  • how we'll keep in touch, phone, email
  • how often we should keep in touch
  • our next steps such as gathering evidence, issuing a warning, speaking to partners or referring the people involved for support or mediation
  • what we'll ask you to do such as keeping a record, reporting incidents, using support or going to mediation.
  • a review date

To start with, we'll try to resolve the issues by talking to the person causing the ASB. We might:

  • issue them with a verbal or written warning
  • suggest that the people involved take part in mediation
  • use an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) with the person causing the issue

If this doesn't work to stop the ASB, we may use a legal intervention.


We must support you and the person responsible for the ASB with any underlying issues that we identify.

What we need from you

Consistent recording, we may ask you to keep a diary or record of incidents and reporting of incidents that shows:

  • who was involved
  • what happened
  • why the incident occurred if known or suspected
  • where the incident occurred
  • when, date and time
  • how it affected you

An understanding and acceptance that other people may:

  • behave differently to you
  • have different standards to you.
  • have complex needs that affect their behaviour that are not obvious or apparent and we must support people who fall into this category

Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership

We work with members of the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership Go to https://bristolsafeguarding.org/about-us/who-we-are/ (opens new window) to tackle anti-social behaviour. 

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