What is and isn't ASB

By Kevin Black in Crime

Anti-social Behaviour is a phrase that the police use all the time but do you know what is and isn’t ASB and more importantly would you know who to contact if you were suffering from the effects of it?

The Anti-social Behaviour Awareness Week which starts today (Monday 17 July), aims to answer these questions and highlight the ongoing work of Surrey Police and partner agencies to clamp down on behaviour that has a real impact on the lives of individuals or communities.

Superintendent Duncan Greenhalgh, Surrey Police Lead on Anti-social Behaviour (ASB), said: “My motivation for joining Surrey Police just over 29 years ago was a strong desire to keep people safe and make a difference to people’s lives. This still holds true today and it gives me enormous satisfaction when I see how the Surrey Police ASB team work with partners, victims and offenders to tackle issues, find solutions and prevent them from recurring.

“Just recently we received an email from a resident in Ashford whose road was blighted by the excessive shouting and abusive foul language from the family living at the property. After a Closure Order had been obtained on the property the resident expressed his thanks:

“Last night was bliss at home. We were able to stand out in the street and enjoy the evening. It was like a pressure had been lifted. It was so peaceful. You have no idea how much of a help you have been.”

Superintendent Greenhalgh continued: “Where there’s a problem with ASB, we try to help perpetrators understand the impact of their actions and discourage further unwanted behaviour. We often find that the police is not the best service to help individuals so we would refer them to specialist agencies who are better placed to support those with complex needs. Where ASB issues can’t be resolved by those concerned or by mediation we have a range of enforcement options available including warning letters, fixed penalty notices and for more serious cases – prosecution.”

Since last July the ASB team has issued 23 Criminal Behaviour Orders, three Anti-social Behaviour Injunctions, 26 premises associated with persistent ASB have been closed. Several Community Protection Notices and Warning Letters have also been issued by local authorities to tackle issues such as barking/uncontrolled dogs, hoarding and other environmental issues. These orders and notices are proving very effective in getting the perpetrators to stop their behaviour.

The ASB Awareness Week aims to help ensure residents understand what ASB is, which organisation deals with which type of ASB and what can be done to tackle it so that local issues can be quickly resolved. To help with this, a one-stop-shop ASB information website is now available at

www.surreycommunitysafety.org.uk. This website also details what self-help options – such as mediation – are available and who problems should be reported to. It also explains more about the Community Trigger which gives victims a greater say in the way their complaints of ASB are dealt with.

Across Surrey’s eleven boroughs there will be proactive patrols in the areas where ASB has been previously reported or where there is known disorder.

Other work will focus on off-road bikes, skate parks and joint patrols with partners around parks and green spaces. There will be joint working with colleagues from the Council’s Joint Enforcement Teams to tackle issues with fly tipping and noise and Surrey Mediation Services will be promoting their work.

24hr ASB Tweetathon - To give the public an insight into the ASB issues Surrey Police deals with on a daily basis, the Force be tweeting the incidents that come into its Contact Centre throughout the day on Wednesday 19 July.

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