Anti-social behaviour and vulnerable people

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can affect individuals and whole communities. ASB can often be targeted at our most vulnerable members of the community and even when individual incidents may seem minor in nature the cumulative impact can be devastating for the victim.

The statutory definition of ASB as set out in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is - behaviour that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more person not in the same household as the perpetrator.

ASB can include criminal damage, graffiti and vandalism, verbal abuse, harassment/intimidation, noise nuisance, vehicle-related nuisance and assault.

Wiltshire Police - particularly our 27 Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) - work hard alongside Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, which are the lead agencies in our area responsible for dealing with ASB, to tackle these issues.

NPTs work with communities to deal with concerns raised, including issues about ASB, with residents and local agencies. You can find out more about Wiltshire Police NPTs by viewing our ‘Policing in your area’ website section.

You can find out more about ASB, including guidance on what is and what is not ASB, tools and powers available to deal with ASB and report ASB online, via both of the council websites – Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council

Vulnerable victims and witnesses

It is important that we recognise when a victim or witness of ASB or crime may be vulnerable so we can work with them and our partners to reduce the potential risk of harm. When anyone contacts Wiltshire Police to report crime or ASB, as well as taking all the details of the incident, our call takers will ask a series of questions to determine whether the reporting person may be vulnerable.

We will ask:

  • Whether the incident was aimed at you personally
  • Whether you have reported similar incidents before and to who
  • What impact the incident has had on you
  • Whether you have any disability or special circumstance that we should know about in order to get appropriate services to you

These questions may seem a little strange when all you want to do is report the incident. Asking these questions will not delay our response to your call, but it does help us to identify vulnerable people and helps us to protect them.

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