Anti-Social Behaviour

In legal terms, anti-social behaviour is defined as:

'Acting in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as themselves.' Crime and Disorder Act, 1998

Your borough council deals with the following types of anti-social behaviour:

  • *Noise nuisance
  • Dog fouling
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Vehicles parked on yellow lines, school markings, in permit-only areas, bus lanes or disabled bays
  • Littering and fly tipping (dumping rubbish)
  • Graffiti and fly-posting

You can report any of the above issues by contacting Tunbridge Wells Borough on 01892 526121.  *For noise complaints, ask to speak to the Environmental Protection Team.

If you experience other problems with anti-social behaviour or feel threatened or intimidated by, for example, rowdy, drunken or violent behaviour, you should contact the police in the first instance.  Dial 101 to report non-urgent police matters or call 999 if life is in danger or to report a crime in progress.

Persistent Offenders

Where the law has been clearly broken, the police will always take the lead.  Anti-social behaviour, however, covers a wide range of issues, not all of which are prosecutable offences.  For on-going issues such as those caused by persistent offenders, which may require long term solutions, the Community Safety Unit (CSU) may be able to help.  

Tackling this type of anti-social behaviour often requires the involvement of several different agencies, and because the CSU works in partnership with a broad network of organisations, we can ensure that problems are dealt with promptly by the appropriate agency or department. 

Multi-agency case meetings take place regularly to discuss anti-social behaviour, and to monitor individuals who are causing a persistent nuisance.  Depending on the nature of the problem, agencies have a range of powers available to them to secure useable evidence and take appropriate action.  These include serving a hand-delivered warning letter, offering an acceptable behaviour agreement (ABA), or applying to the court for an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO). 

Agencies may also apply for community orders, parenting orders, drug treatment and testing orders, curfews and other behavioural or neighbourhood restrictions such as closure notices, dispersal orders, injunctions and penalty notices.


Where anti-social behaviour is related to a location rather than a person or group of people, the CSU, its partners, and you have powers to change that area.  For example:

  • Poorly-lit or overgrown places.
  • An 'abandoned' property.
  • A park or street bench that frequently attracts nuisance behaviour.
  • Very untidy or uncared-for areas.

Making changes to areas that encourage anti-social behaviour will again involve collaboration between several agencies, and may provide an opportunity for some Community Payback through the Probation Service.

Sometimes the solution may involve local residents

Residents’ Associations can influence positive changes in their neighbourhood. By contacting the CSU or local housing association, they can enlist agencies to perform, lead or attend crime reduction surveys, visual audits, estate walk-abouts, community clean-ups or fire-safety visits.

In some areas Kent County Council provides Community Wardens to reassure the public and engage with the community. There are regular police and social housing meetings in all wards and estates where you can raise local issues.

For this information as a PDF leaflet - see below.