Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is the common term used to describe incidents or actions that cause damage or affect the quality of life of people. It can be any behaviour that causes harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not living in the same household and can include things such as noise, neighbour nuisances, abandoned vehicles, litter and vehicle nuisance.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, 34% of respondents experienced or witnessed anti-social behaviour in the year ending March 2020. This is statistically significantly lower than the England and Wales rate of 40%. 8% of Lancashire respondents experienced drink related behaviour and 16% groups hanging around on the streets.
In contrast the police recorded anti-social behaviour incidents in the same period, year ending March 2020, were 38 per 1,000 population (57,023), which is higher than the England and Wales figure of 22 per 1,000 population. 31% of the incidents were personal related and 67% nuisance related. The trend has been consistently downwards over the last nine years; in 2011/12 there were 68 incidents per 1,000 population.
A 2016 study into the causes and key determinants of ASB in Lancashire found:
- Mental health was reported in 43% of cases, either as a determining factor or as a result of the anti-social behaviour itself; this rose to 63% for cases between direct neighbours.
- A third of cases involved noise nuisance; there is a strong correlation between mental health and noise.
- Race was reported in 13% of cases, a third of which were high risk;
- 5% of cases were classed as hate against the LGBT community.
- High risk cases accounted for 23% of cases (the high risk cases were female biased, accounting for 63% (26) of the total).
- People over the age of 30 years were most affected by neighbour nuisance.
- One third of cases involved alcohol or drugs or both, a third of these also reported mental health as an aggravating factor.
- In one in five cases the perimeter of the harmed person’s property is targeted - criminal damage is a common activity as part of the ASB.
A strategic intelligence assessment of ASB in Lancashire in 2014 found that:
- 35% of personal ASB incidents involve problems between neighbours and 41% is repeat or recurring incidents.
- 19% of nuisance ASB is noise related, 18% deliberate and 44% repeat or recurring issues within the community.
The likelihood of becoming a victim of ASB is low in the majority of Lancashire but there are certain areas where it is still a significant problem and, where repeat incidents occur, it can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of victims. A Living in Lancashire Survey in 2015 (PDF 1.2 MB) found that for respondents who consider their area to be unsafe, the most common reason given is that there is ASB or gangs of young people in the area.
Recommendations included the use of independent mediation to resolve neighbour problems and noise nuisance, training and empowering staff to use the tools and powers available to them, sign-posting repeat offenders with mental health issues into appropriate services and better data collection/sharing.
2016 ASB partnership intelligence assessment (PDF 1.1 MB)
2014 ASB partnership intelligence assessment (PDF 1.16 MB)
Page updated November 2016