What is Anti Social Behaviour?
Anti Social Behaviour is defined under the Anti Social Behaviour, etc (Scotland) Act 2004 as where a person:
- Acts in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause alarm or distress
- Pursues a course of conduct that causes, or is likely to cause alarm or distress to at least one person who is not in the same household
'Conduct' includes speech, and a ' Course of Conduct' must be conducted on at least two occasions.
It is clear from this definition that it encompasses a wide range of behaviour which may be considered to be anti social, and the perceptions of tenants' and residents' may be entirely different from those of practitioners.
By way of a guide, anti-social behaviour should be considered as falling into three types:
- Category A - complaints relate to extreme forms of anti social behaviour, and includes certain types of criminal behaviour such as drug dealing. although behaviour which is criminal in nature is entirely within the remit of the police, certain action may also be taken by the landlord
- Category B - complaints relate to serious and persistent anti social behaviour, behaviour which typically may result in ASBO, interdict and eviction proceedings
- Category C - complaints relate to nuisance behaviour, behaviour which is more of a nuisance than anti social, and may include low level neighbour disputes which may be dealt with by mediation or the landlord
What should I do if I am affected?
Call into the office and discuss the matter with your Housing Officer. We will listen to your problem and try to give you the best advice on how the matter can be resolved. It is important to do this at an early stage, before a minor dispute escalates. It may be necessary to complete diary sheets, providing as much information as possible, including times, whether the Police have been involved etc so that the Association can proceed with an investigation of your complaint.
What action can the Association take?
There are several courses of action we can take depending on the problem. It is important that we are quickly made aware of any problem so we can establish the facts during our investigation and start taking action early, if this is appropriate. In severe cases or where persistent problems occur we can take an offending tenant to court with the possibility of eviction from property. However, for minor disputes between tenants, advice or limited intervention from the Association may be all that is required. Mediation might also be considered by staff if this is felt to be appropriate – this is where problems are discussed and resolved by all parties round the table. Staff might also suggest that the best way to prevent escalation of a problem may be to talk a problem through with your neighbour before involving the Association.
What if my neighbour is not a tenant?
The Association may be restricted in the action we can take against owner occupiers and tenants of other landlords, however we will assist you as much as possible.
It may be appropriate to consider the involvement of the police, Anti Social Investigation Support Team (ASIST), Environmental Health Department and we will give you advice and assistance where we can in these cases.
Police Scotland Tel: 101
Community Police Tel: 101
Police Scotland Crimestoppers Tel: 0800 555 111
West Dunbartonshire Council Tel: 01389 737000
Anti Social Investigation Support Team (Asist) Tel: 01389 772 048
Victim Support Tel: 0141 952 2095