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Anti-social behaviour and Community Trigger

Community Trigger:

See also:


Reducing anti-social behaviour is one of the Safer Communities Partnership's key priorities. We rely heavily on the information provided by members of the public to do this. Community Safety is more than just about tackling crime and disorder; it is about how safe people feel in their own communities and how we can all make a real difference by working together.

It is not just the job of the police - we all need to play a part in making our communities safer. Cutting crime and its causes and the fear of crime should involve everyone in the community.

The 'Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014' provides more effective powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and offers greater protection to victims and communities whilst paying regard to the treatment of the underlying behaviour issues of anti-social behaviour perpetrators. The practical effect of this legislation is to:

  • Give victims and communities more power to define and respond to anti-social behaviour, and
  • Impose positive requirements on perpetrators to address the causes of their behaviour

The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 defines the meaning of anti-social behaviour 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

To find out more about how we do this, please see the Adur & Worthing Councils' Anti-Social Behaviour Policy (below).

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What is anti-social behaviour

Anti-social Behaviour IS:

Although not an exhaustive list, anti-social behaviour can include noise nuisance, intimidation, harassment, aggressive and threatening language, violent behaviour against people and property, selling drugs, abandoned cars and fly-tipping.

In applying the definitions of anti-social behaviour as outlined above, Adur & Worthing Councils will always take in to account, the following Government Guidance, in determining if an allegation of unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour is in actual fact anti-social and

“Not just an example of conflicting lifestyles. A distinction needs to be drawn between petty, low-level nuisance and persistent and serious misconduct.”

AWC have adopted the National Harm Model, where the anti-social behaviour harms are defined as:

  • Personal Harm - Where an individual is specifically targeted, bullied or victimised
  • Public Nuisance - Includes noise nuisance, rowdy behaviour and anti-social use of vehicles etc. in public places
  • Environmental Harm - Is where harm is caused to the environment, eg graffiti, dropping litter, etc

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What isn't anti-social behaviour

Some examples of behaviours which are NOT generally considered as anti-social behaviour include:

  • Young people playing in parks
  • Disputes between members of individual households (neighbour/family disputes - see below)
  • Inconsiderate parking
  • Disputes over property and boundaries
  • Business activities associated with either commercial or private premises

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Neighbour disputes and/or family disagreements

Adur & Worthing Councils will not intervene in neighbour disputes and or family disagreements, which by their nature are based on people's intolerance and or prejudice associated with intergenerational, individual and lifestyle differences.

The classic neighbour/family type disputes between individuals do not amount to criminality or anti-social behaviour and are regarded by Adur & Worthing Councils as a private matter between the individuals concerned.

In the absence of parties agreeing to participate with mediation, which is the only intervention Adur & Worthing Councils will provide (at public expense) in such circumstances, parties will be advised to seek closure to their situation, through privately accessed civil remedy at their own expense.

To find out more about how we deal with these type of issues, please see the Adur & Worthing Councils' Anti-Social Behaviour Policy (below).

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Report anti-social behaviour

To Sussex Police:

If the crime is in progress, telephone the Police on 999

If the matter is not urgent but you would like to report the incident to Sussex Police call 101.

You can also report anti-social behaviour or other crimes to Sussex Police on-line:

To Adur & Worthing Councils:

We can only deal with anti-social behaviour if we know where and when it is happening. Anyone living, working or visiting Adur or Worthing can report anti-social behaviour by contacting us directly by phone:

  • Telephone reporting line - 01273 263356

or by reporting it online:

You can keep a log of the incidents including times, dates and descriptions of the perpetrators:

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How we'll deal with anti-social behaviour

When you report anti-social behaviour, we will:

  • Contact you within three working days
  • Provide you with the details of who will be dealing with your complaint
  • Record and investigate the details
  • We will discuss options and agree actions with you
  • Provide you and any witnesses with appropriate support
  • Use the tools and powers we have available to deal with the persons responsible
  • Inform you of our progress by your preferred method (eg text, email, letter or phone)
  • Treat the information you give us sensitively
  • Seek your feedback about how we handled your complaint

To find out more about how we deal with anti-social behaviour, please see the Adur & Worthing Councils' Anti-Social Behaviour Policy (below).

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Anti-Social Behaviour Policy

The impact on the quality of life for those affected by anti-social behaviour can be severe. It can affect people's self-esteem, their perceived safety in their own home and their mental and physical wellbeing. In the most severe cases, it can have tragic consequences and it is often the most vulnerable in society who are at most risk from the effects of anti-social behaviour.

This policy outlines how Adur & Worthing Councils will work with partners to protect people who are victims of and or suffering harm (Harm Related anti-social behaviour), as a result of the behaviour of others.

AWC will engage in a multi-agency approach to the handling and management of reports of anti-social behaviour. We will draw upon a variety of informal and formal remedies, interventions, preventions, engagements, that are readily available for dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Adur & Worthing Councils recognise that anti-social behaviour is an overarching term, which is used to describe a broad range of socially unacceptable behaviours including day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder which make many people's lives a misery and the possible list of such behaviours immense. Such a wide range of behaviours means that responsibility for dealing with ASB is shared between a number of agencies, particularly the police, councils and social landlords.

Victims of anti-social behaviour can feel helpless, bounced from one agency to another and then back again. In many cases, the behaviour is targeted against the most vulnerable in our society and even what is perceived as 'low level' anti-social behaviour, when targeted and persistent, can have devastating effects on a victim's life.

This policy describes why there is a role for Adur & Worthing Councils to deal with anti-social behaviour and what principles we will apply in our approach to the handling and management of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour. This Policy should be read in conjunction with the relevant Adur & Worthing Councils departmental anti-social behaviour procedure documents and any other relevant policies and procedures as are identified.

For more detail see:

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Useful websites

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Community Trigger

What is the Community Trigger?

The Community Trigger is a process which allows members of the community to ask the Safer Communities Partnership to review their responses to complaints of anti-social behaviour.

The Trigger is designed to ensure we work together to try and resolve any complaints about anti-social behaviour. We will do this by talking about the problem, sharing information and using our resources to try and reach an agreeable outcome.

The Trigger should be used if you believe your complaint has not been appropriately addressed or no action has been taken. The Trigger cannot be used to report general acts of crime, including hate crime.

The Trigger does not replace the complaints procedures of individual organisations, or your opportunity to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman or Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The Community Trigger can be used if you (as an individual) have complained to the council, police or a registered housing provider (social landlord) about three separate incidents in the last six months and you consider there has been no action taken.

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Trigger Activations

In the year 2018-2019 we had 0 trigger activations.

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When can I trigger?

The Community Trigger can be used if you (as an individual) have complained to the council, police or a registered housing provider (social landlord) about three separate incidents in the last six months and you consider there has been no action taken.

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How do I trigger?

To use the Community Trigger you can complete a form, email, write a letter or call us.

If you decide to request a community trigger you will need to give the following details:

  • dates of each time you've complained
  • details of where you complained (name, organisation and/or Incident Reference Number)
  • information about the anti-social behaviour

You can use our form to record and report the events:

You can contact us by phone:

  • Telephone: 101 Ext 581744 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

You can contact us by email:

Write a letter and send it to:

  • Adur & Worthing Councils,
    Safer Communities Team,
    Worthing Town Hall,
    Chapel Road,
    West Sussex,
    BN11 1HA

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What can I expect?

Once you have asked for a Community Trigger, the Safer Communities Team will ask the agencies involved to provide details of your complaints and actions that they have considered and taken.

A meeting will take place between the appropriate Community Safety Agencies, or the Registered Housing Provider and other partners (if they are involved) to discuss the anti-social behaviour and what actions have been considered and taken. The group will review how the Partnership has responded and make recommendations on how the problem can be resolved.

A response will be sent to you by the Community Safety Team, explaining the action taken and also suggestions on how the Partnership can attempt to resolve the anti-social behaviour.

The Community Trigger is not a complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with the response from the community trigger process, you may then implement the complaints procedure for the organisation concerned.

Note: In the event of any further incident(s) occurring, please call the police non-emergency 101 reporting line. If there is an immediate threat to your personal safety please call the police on 999.

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Page last updated: 15 February 2021