The law defines anti-social behaviour as an act that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or nuisance or annoyance if related to housing. What this means in practical terms is that it helps us challenge and protect people from behaviour of another that unreasonably impacts on their quality of life.

All complaints are assessed in relation to the potential threat, risk and harm that could be caused to any person or property. Our resources must be focused on situations that pose the highest degrees of threat, risk and harm to ensure those most vulnerable to such anti-social behaviour and its impact are assisted in the first instance. The types of ASB we deal with include:

  • Use or threatened use of violence
  • Abusive or foul language
  • Hate crime
  • Damage to property
  • Loud music from residential property *

* There are different types of ASB, one of which is noise nuisance. The law relating to noise nuisance is different which means that it is dealt with in a slightly different way to other ASB.

  Report anti social behaviour

What we can’t deal with

We can only take action where we have the legal power to do so and there are some issues we can’t help with.

  • Neighbour disputes - the only option we would be able to offer is mediation or restorative intervention work, where appropriate.
  • Low level nuisance complaints - caused for example by unreasonable behaviour. In these cases enforcement action is either not possible or is not proportionate to the nuisance, but could be resolved by communication. In such circumstances we would offer mediation.
  • Complaints where the complaint is about somebody living in Registered Social Landlord accommodation. Your complaint should be addressed direct to the landlord.
  • Complaints where there is either no or not enough evidence available.
  • Rough sleeping is not an anti-social behaviour nor is it an offence, homelessness is a need for housing. We will accept complaints about the behaviour of rough sleepers if it is specifically anti social ie causing harassment, alarm or distress. Rough sleepers can be assisted by calling the Street Link hotline on 0300 500 0914 and notifying them of their location – this will ensure local outreach provision can engage and offer help. For more information please visit our homelessness page

How your complaint will be dealt with

Watch our short video to see what happens if you want to report Anti Social Behaviour in Torbay.

Read the film’s transcript.

We can only try and take action with your help. Download a nuisance diary and record each incident, the date on which it happened, the impact it has on you and any other relevant information. If the case goes to Court, these diary sheets will form important evidence.

Nuisance Diary
Diary form for logging the occurrences of neighbourhood or commercial noise and other nuisances.


We usually work in partnership with other agencies like the police when dealing with anti social behaviour.

If your report of ASB hasn’t given you the result you had hoped for, you might be able to use a Community Trigger.

Your complaint will be treated in strict confidence and your details won’t be given to the person(s) you have complained about, without your permission. In some situations it is not possible for us to tackle complaints and keep you completely anonymous throughout, but we can discuss that with you to reach a decision on a way forward.