Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can take many forms. It can severely affect someone’s quality of life and their day to day living.

It includes behaviour that causes harm to:

  • the environment, like graffiti, vandalism or fly-tipping
  • the community, like noise, drunken behaviour, drug taking, youth nuisance, nuisance vehicles or drug dealing
  • an individual, like threatening or abusive language, harassment or aggressive behaviour

Read more about the types of anti-social behaviour at Citizens Advice and the law around anti-social behaviour.

If you are threatened or feel unsafe call Dorset Police. Call 999 if a crime is happening now or if someone is in immediate danger. Call 101 if it’s not an emergency.

Report a crime anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

How we deal with reports of ASB

Assessing your case

We will assess your complaint to decide if we can accept it.

We can deal with reports of ASB that is persistent and ongoing, not one-off incidents.

This could be where:

  • the victim or victims are identified as vulnerable and at the greatest risk of harm, or the victim is being personally targeted
  • a person is repeatedly a victim of ASB or harassment
  • locations and communities are identified as vulnerable and at the greatest risk of harm or where repeated anti-social behaviour regularly takes place
  • bullying, verbal abuse, threats, harassment or intimidation is a key feature of the anti-social behaviour
  • property and possessions are vandalised, or threats to are made
  • the ASB is driven by hate or prejudice associated with the victim’s ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, gender or age
  • there is drug dealing and associated disorder in a specific property or location
  • prostitution and associated disorder is taking place in a property or location
  • individuals or groups of people are causing a persistent or targeted nuisance in a specific location or community

ASB involving a housing association tenant

If you are a tenant of a housing association suffering from ASB, contact your housing officer to help resolve it:

Gathering evidence of ASB

If we can accept your complaint, we will need your personal details and any evidence you have so that we can deal with your complaint effectively.

Once we have enough evidence, we will decide the next steps to take. 

Download our ASB diary sheet to make a note of each incident.

Include details of:

  • times and dates
  • location of the anti-social behaviour
  • what is happening
  • the person causing ASB
  • any witnesses
  • why it might be happening
  • the impact on you, your family or community

Record any incidents for 2 to 4 weeks, then email your completed diary sheets to along with your:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • telephone number
  • email address

What we can do to stop ASB

We use an escalation process to help us resolve the ASB.

It starts with us speaking to the person causing ASB. Depending on the result of this conversation, we may issue a verbal or written warning to them. Depending on the nature of the ASB, we may suggest both parties take part in mediation.

We may also use an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) to gain the perpetrator’s agreement to amend their behaviour.

If these informal measures fail to stop the ASB, we may have to use a legal intervention such as:

  • Community Protection Warning Letter
  • Community Protection Notice
  • Fixed Penalty Notice
  • Prosecution
  • Criminal Behaviour Order
  • Injunction
  • Premises Closure Order
  • Public Spaces Protection Order

These are all council powers available to us under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014.

Going to court costs money and takes officers' time. If we take this route to protect victims and communities, we need their support in terms of evidence, witness statements and court attendance.

We will support you throughout the investigation and keep you informed on the progress.

When the ASB is resolved, we will close your case.

Working with partner agencies

ASB is rarely resolved by one agency. We work together with victims, the community and our partners to try to resolve it.

Partners we work with include:

  • Dorset Police
  • Social services
  • locality teams
  • Environmental Protection
  • other services within Dorset Council
  • Town and Parish Councils
  • housing providers
  • homelessness charities
  • youth Justice Service
  • National Probation Service
  • Community Mental Health Teams

Our Community Safety Team is working on Operation Luscombe with Dorset Police, The Lantern Trust, REACH and others to tackle street-based anti-social behaviour.

Data protection and information sharing

We may need to share and discuss your complaint with partner agencies so they can assist in finding a resolution. 

Dorset Council operates under the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. We will protect any personal or sensitive information that is gathered during an investigation into ASB. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and data protection legislation allows us to share appropriate information with relevant partners in our efforts to support and protect victims and to prevent and tackle crime and disorder. We gather, store, share and destroy personal data to strict guidelines.

See our Privacy Notice for more information.

If the problem is not solved

If we cannot help resolve the ASB, we will explain why. We may refer you to another agency, or close the case if an agency can't help either.

If you are not satisfied with our response, talk to us about your concerns.

If you are still unhappy, you can make a complaint about how a service or individual has treated you.

If you think agencies have not been effective enough in dealing with your ASB complaint, you can ask for a case review.

Trying to resolve ASB yourself

If you’re experiencing anti-social behaviour, you could try and talk to the person causing the problem. They may not realise they’re being anti-social. Only do this if you feel safe and comfortable.

If the problem persists, report it to us.

Filming ASB

It is not illegal to film ASB in a public place but we advise against it, especially filming people under the age of 18.

If you do record ASB, you must:

  • witness ASB taking place so you can justify filming it
  • pass the evidence to us or Dorset Police straight away, then delete the video from your device
  • not put yourself or the person being filmed in any danger

If you have domestic CCTV or a video doorbell, you're classed as a Data Controller by law. This carries some responsibilities. You must display a sign stating you are recording. Read guidance from the ICO.

Victim support

If you are a victim of ASB and need support, you can:

Where to report other crimes and offences

Hate crimes and prejudice

Call Dorset Police on 101 to report hate crimes or prejudice. Call 999 if life is in danger or a crime is in progress.

For support and advice, visit the Prejudice Free Dorset website.

Domestic abuse

Contact Dorset Police to report domestic abuse or get help.

You can also contact You First Dorset for domestic violence information and support on 0800 032 5204. 

Noise nuisance and littering

Report noise nuisance, barking dogs, animal welfare, littering, bonfires or fly-tipping.


Hoarding is not anti-social behaviour although it may have an impact on neighbours, it is a social welfare issue and may point to the hoarder having poor mental health. Contact Adult Social Care for help and advice.

Find out more information on hoarding from:

Speeding or road obstruction

Call Dorset Police on 101 to report speeding or obstruction on the road.

Untaxed vehicles

You can check if a vehicle is taxed and report an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA.

Anti-Social Behaviour Team

Tel: 01305 762439
Full contact details