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Anti-social behaviour

Definition of ASB

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is defined under section 2 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 as:

  • Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person;
  • Conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises; or
  • Conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person.

While police are responsible for tackling some ASB, your local council deals with;

  • abandoned vehicles
  • graffiti
  • fly tipping
  • noise (including loud music from parties, neighbour’s, alarms, animals and pubs and clubs).

Policy quote

Essex Police Strategic Aim & Principles for Managing ASB

Our policy is based upon a number of principles and the overriding aim to: 

“Work in partnership to tackle effectively and efficiently high risk of harm and/or prolonged suffering in our communities due to ASB.”

Essex Police has a wide range of responsibilities, which arise from distinct roles, in dealing with ASB our role is one of being a statutory member of the Essex Community Safety Partnership.  Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 we must work with other agencies to reduce crime and disorder in Essex.

The policy embraces and complements the principle of the ‘Code of Practice for Victims of Crime’ to provide an ‘enhanced service to vulnerable victims’.

Communities expect a robust response from the police where the behaviour causes or is likely to cause significant harm.  Our focus of activity will therefore reflect this and we will respond to incidents of ASB where:

  • Vulnerability and / or a high risk of threat or harm is identified;
  • Repeat locations are identified and cause a high risk of threat or harm to a person or community;
  • An offender is identified who requires police intervention to manage their behaviour;
  • A repeat victim is identified who requires a supportive package to be put in place by police.

How can the police help?

There are a range of powers available to us to tackle anti-social behaviour. For example:

  • Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) - a court order to tackle the most persistently anti-social people who are also convicted of a crime.
  • Closure powers - allow us or the council to quickly close premises which are being used, or likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder.
  • Public Space Protection Orders - to stop people committing anti-social behaviour in a public space.
  • Dispersal powers - used to move people away from a particular area for up to 48 hours if they're likely to cause anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder.
  • Community remedy - gives victims a say in the out-of-court punishment of offenders for low-level crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Civil injunction - to quickly stop or prevent people causing anti-social behaviour.
  • Community Protection Notice - to stop someone (16 or over), a business or an organisation committing anti-social behaviour which spoils the community’s quality of life.
  • Absolute ground for possession - where applicable, we can speed up the eviction of anti-social tenants to bring faster relief to victims.

What are Community Triggers?

If you've reported 3 or more incidents of ASB to a relevant organisation within the last 6 months you can ask your local Community Safety Partnership to review the incidents under a 'Community Trigger'.

The incidents must be about the same problem and reported within a month of when it first happened.

Most districts have their own online application forms which can be found below:




Castle Point



Epping Forest







Reporting anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour can cause damage to communities and individuals ranging from annoyance to serious physical or mental distress.

Essex Police receive a high number of calls each day. We need to prioritise these calls so we can help those most in need, but sending officers to every report of anti- social behaviour isn’t necessary and is also no longer possible.

Local authorities and the police have a shared responsibility to tackle anti-social behaviour and in many cases it may be most appropriate for another agency to help you.

For example, noise problems are best dealt with by your local council, as are dog fouling issues and neighbourhood disputes involving local authority or other housing provider’s properties.

Below is a list of the contact numbers for local councils throughout Essex. Please consider calling them if you believe they are best placed to help you.

Basildon 01268 533333
Braintree 01376 552525
Brentwood 01277 312500
Castlepoint 01268 882200
Chelmsford 01245 606606
Colchester 01206 282222
Epping Forest 01992 564000
Essex County Council 0845 743 0430
Harlow 01279 446655
Maldon 01621 854477
Rochford 01702 546366
Southend 01702 215000
Tendring 01255 686868
Thurrock 01375 652652
Uttlesford 01799 510510

If you are uncertain who should deal with your complaint, or if you believe you need to report an incident of anti-social behaviour to Essex Police, you can do so by:

  • Calling the Essex Police non-emergency number 101 or alternatively 01245 491491
  • Dialling 999 in an emergency

When you report anti-social behaviour to us, a member of staff will take your details and record what has happened. The incident will then be thoroughly assessed and a decision made on whether Essex Police will deal with it or hand it to another agency. This decision will be based on an assessment of the level of threat, risk and harm caused by the anti-social behaviour you have reported and its impact upon you and your local community.

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