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Anti-social behaviour powers

Legislative powers for anti-social behaviour – including different forms of personal, nuisance and environmental anti-social behaviour.

First published

This page lists anti-social behaviours (ASB) and relevant legislation and policing powers. This includes:

  • general enforcement powers for ASB
  • powers for specific ASB offences

It also explains the different categories of ASB.

Categories of anti-social behaviour

There are three main types of anti-social behaviour (ASB). These are:

  • personal
  • nuisance
  • environmental

The topics and anti-social behaviours listed on this page may fall into more than one category of ASB.

Personal ASB

Refers to incidents that deliberately target an individual or group of people, rather than the community. It is when an incident causes concern or stress and may impact on people's quality of life. For example:

  • intimidation
  • harassment

Nuisance ASB

Refers to incidents affecting the community, rather than an individual victim. This is when an act, thing or person causes the community trouble, annoyance, inconvenience or suffering. These incidence can interfere with public interests such as health, wellbeing, safety and quality of life. For example:

  • drug or substance misuse
  • vehicle-related nuisance
  • animal-related problems

Environmental ASB

Refers to incidents where individuals or groups impact their wider surroundings. It includes environmental damage and the misuse of public spaces or buildings. For example:

  • criminal damage or vandalism, such as graffiti or damage to bus shelters
  • littering

General ASB

This section contains a list of general enforcement powers to address anti-social behaviour under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. They may be appropriate for addressing various types of anti-social behaviour.

Civil injunctions

Sections 1 to 21 allow courts to grant a civil injunction to stop or prevent individuals from engaging in anti-social behaviour.

Criminal behaviour orders (CBO)

Sections 22 to 33 allow courts to make a CBO to stop or prevent individuals from engaging in anti-social behaviour.

Dispersal powers

Sections 34 to 42 allow police to use dispersal powers to exclude individuals from a specified location for a specified period of time.

Community protection notices (CPN)

Sections 43 to 93 allow authorised people to issue CPNs.

Public spaces protection orders (PSPO)

Closure powers

Sections 76 to 93 allow the council to quickly close premises that are being used, or are likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder.

See also the explanatory notes.

Community remedy

Sections 101 to 103 allow local policing bodies to prepare a community remedy document. This lists actions for a perpetrator to undertaken in consequence of their behaviour or offending, as chosen by the victim.

Absolute ground for possession

Sections 94 to 100 introduced a mandatory ground for possession of secure and assured tenancies where anti-social behaviour or criminality has already been proven.

See also:

ASB case review (community trigger)

The ASB case review was formerly known as the community trigger. The ASB case review provides victims of persistent ASB to request a review of the case. Further information can be found at:

Animal-related problems

This section contains a list of powers for animal-related ASB problems, such as noise and uncontrolled animals.

Dangerous dogs

  • The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 allows police to impose restrictions on dogs that present a serious danger to the public.

Nuisance noise

    Uncontrolled dogs

    Welfare concerns


    Powers to address begging when it may be classed as ASB.


      Coerced begging

        False representation

        • The Fraud Act 2006 s 2 is relevant for those pretending to be injured or destitute for their own gain. For example, those dishonestly presenting themselves as homeless when they have accommodation.

        Fear or provocation of violence


        Intentional public nuisance

        Organised crime

        • The Serious Crime Act 2007 is relevant for begging that involves crime, organised crime or joint enterprise.

              Wilful obstruction

              • The Highways Act 1980 s 137 covers wilful obstruction. For example, if someone is approaching cars to beg they may be blocking free passage along a highway.

              Drug and substance misuse

              Powers to address drug-related ASB, such as littering drug paraphernalia.

              Drug taking


              Other resources

              Fireworks misuse

              Powers to address ASB using fireworks.

              • The Fireworks Act 2003 covers inappropriate use of fireworks, unlawful sale or possession of fireworks and noise created by fireworks.

              Other resources

              Intimidation, harassment and stalking

              Powers to address ASB such as harassment and intimidation.

              Other resources


              Powers to address ASB in the form of nuisance noise, such as noisy cars or motorbikes, noisy neighbours, loud music, or noise from pubs or clubs.

              Nuisance noise

              Noise can count as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if it either:

              • unreasonably and substantially interferes with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
              • injures health or is likely to injure health

              Local authorities and the police can issue CPNs for noise under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

              Other resources

              Street drinking

              Street drinking is a misuse of public space and can be classed as environmental ASB.

              Other resources


              Powers to address trespassing when it may be classed as ASB.

              This section contains a list of powers for seizing vehicles. These seizure powers may be appropriate for addressing ASB such as vehicle nuisance or inappropriate use of motors.

              General powers

              Careless or inconsiderate driving

              The Police Reform Act 2002 s 59 allows police to seize any motor vehicle if it is being:

              Driving without licence, insurance or tax

                Vehicles used to commit an offence

                Rave events

                Other resources

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