Anti Social Behaviour

ASB covers a vast range of problematic and troublesome behaviours that impact on quality of life. As your police service we are committed to ensuring that anyone who comes into contact with us receives the necessary and appropriate level of service and support.

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Find out more about ASB and what we can do to help.

Quite often we are the first point of contact for anyone who wants to report anti-social behaviour or believes they are a victim. We want to ensure that everyone who contacts the police receives assistance and support. The nature of the call and the vulnerability of the victim will help us determine the most appropriate response.

Some calls regarding anti-social behaviour will not necessarily warrant police attendance. At times we will be able to offer advice over the phone or signpost the caller to one of our partner agencies who would be better placed to respond. For example if someone was having an issue with neighbours who were constantly playing loud music late at night then the local Council would be best placed to investigate.

A risk to life, the use of threat of violence, or injury or damage being caused would be considered an emergency situation and police will attend.

We have processes in place to ensure that repeat and vulnerable victims are quickly identified and steps taken to ensure they are fully supported. Our local policing teams and neighbourhood officers are well attuned to the issues in their areas and continue to foster close working relationships with the people in the communities they serve. We know that being able to quickly identify emerging issues that may contribute to ASB allows us to take steps to prevent further escalation.

The best outcome is that the person who contacts us receives a service that is consistent and effective and addresses his or her concerns.

 

Partnerships

Partnership work between statutory and community bodies is a key enabler to tackling ASB. Find out more here.

While police remain the first point of contact for anyone reporting ASB, we are not always the best or most appropriate organisation to respond or offer support. We work in partnership with other statutory and voluntary agencies recognising that the solution to many community issues lies not just with police but with a range of organisations that are specially skilled and resourced.   

Local Councils – Your local councils have a wide range of criminal and civil powers to deal with issues such as noisy neighbours, littering and dog fouling.  Find out how to contact your local council here:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/local-councils-in-northern-ireland

Housing Executive & Housing Associations – The Housing Executive and Housing Associations have a number of options available to deal with tenants and those on their property who are causing anti-social behaviour. Find out how to contact your local office here:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/contacts-az/northern-ireland-housing-executive

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/housing-associations

Peak times for Anti Social Behaviour

While anti-social behaviour can happen at any time, we tend to see an increase in reports at key times throughout the year including the summer and Halloween.

HALLOWEEN

Halloween should be a safe and enjoyable time for everyone; however it can be a busy time for police. It is not uncommon to see increased reports of criminal damage and calls in relation to anti-social behaviour at this time of year. Most people are responsible, but we need to be considerate and mindful of others when it comes to marking the Halloween festivities.

It’s important to remember that fireworks are made from explosive material and if misused, can cause serious and life changing injuries. The law clearly states that fireworks - except indoor fireworks and sparklers - must be bought from reputable, licensed dealers who are required to keep sales records. Fireworks bought from other sources may not be British Standard approved thus presenting an even bigger risk of injury. It is also illegal to possess, sell, handle or use fireworks if you do not have a licence. And you can be fined up to £5,000 for breaking the law.

Remember, what might seem like harmless fun to some, may seem feel like anti-social behaviour to others.

ON-STREET DRINKING

Many of the people who are out on the streets drinking are vulnerable and require support on a number of fronts in terms of addiction, homelessness, and mental wellbeing. While there are offences police can and do deal with around on-street drinking and related anti-social behaviour there is a wider societal issue here that will not be solved by a policing response alone. We work on a continual basis with our partners to ensure our community is a safe place for all our residents and welcome any new approaches or practices around how best to protect those who are most vulnerable and at risk.

ALCOHOL AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Police regularly work with our partners to tackle underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour recognising that a community based response is required to educate young people about the dangers of abusing alcohol.

The real worry here is the vulnerability of our young people when they are under the influence of alcohol. It can make them try things they wouldn’t ordinarily do from getting involved in petty crime and criminal damage to leaving them at risk to unwanted attention. These incidents happen most often when parents thought their children were at the cinema or a friend’s house. Early education and parental influence are key components to making sure our young people understand the impact abusing alcohol can have.

Police will continue to target hot-spot areas to confiscate alcohol from underage drinkers and from people drinking in public in contravention of council bye-laws. Any underage drinkers caught by police may also be liable for prosecution or on-the-spot fines. Adults found to be purchasing or supplying alcohol for use by juveniles can also expect prosecution. All alcohol seized will be destroyed.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Neighbourhood Watch is about communities working with police to ensure that no one has to feel afraid, vulnerable or isolated in the place where they live. It's about people looking out for each other, crossing barriers of age, race and class to create real communities that benefit everyone.

Making your neighbourhood safer is also about reducing the incentive to commit crime. Neighbourhood Watch groups initiate security measures and also work to make their neighbourhoods pleasant and friendly places where crime is less likely to happen. If you are interested in the scheme please click on the link:

https://www.psni.police.uk/my-area/neighbourhood-watch/

Anti Social Behaviour initiatives

Local housing associations and the Police Service of Northern Ireland are working in partnership to tackle anti-social behaviour through fuller sharing of information. Fourteen housing associations who collectively manage over 33,700 properties across Northern Ireland have signed a binding agreement that provides a framework to enhance existing working relationships.

Housing associations will be able to request relevant information from the Police Service to verify recorded cases of ASB in the neighbourhoods in which they operate. This will better enable coordinated action against offenders and for appropriate support to be provided to victims.

Housing Association

Back Row (L-R) Carol Ervine – Director of Tenant & Client Services, Choice Housing, Gary Dugan – Chief Executive, Newington Housing Association, Paul Armstrong – Practice Officer, NIFHA, Elizabeth Martin – Housing Manager, Clanmil Housing, Jacqui Gilmore – Housing Manager, Apex Housing Front Row: (L-R) Superintendent Ryan Henderson, PSNI and Cameron Watt - Chief Executive, NIFHA

Love your club

The Police Service of Northern Ireland teamed up with Coleraine F.C. and Ballymena United to encourage supporters of both clubs to show respect and tolerance through the #LoveYourClub campaign. The purpose of this partnership campaign was to demonstrate that you can show your love for your team without getting involved in anti-social behaviour.