Antisocial behaviour

Dumfries & Galloway Council is committed to tackling antisocial behaviour within towns, communities & neighbourhoods. Several partners have keys roles, and work together to address issues of abusive, unruly, and disorderly behaviour, noise nuisance, fly tipping, graffiti, littering & dog fouling.

The Antisocial Behaviour Strategy: 

What are your responsibilities?

Citizens have a responsibility to treat neighbours and others in the wider community with respect. We all have responsibility to report antisocial behaviour, so that it can be stopped, and respite offered to the victims.

What is antisocial behaviour?

Antisocial behaviour is persistently acting in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, alarm or distress to other people. Different types of anti-social behaviour may be categorised as follows:

  • Disregard for community or personal well-being (including noise, rowdy behaviour, and nuisance behaviour)
  • Acts directed at people (including intimidation and harassment)
  • Environmental damage (including criminal damage, vandalism, litter and fly tipping or graffiti)
  • Misuse of public space (including street drinking, drug/substance misuse and dealing)

Who can help?

The Council will provide information or advice about antisocial behaviour to anyone who is seeking this assistance. We may not be the lead agency in the complaint though. If you rent your home, or whose who you wish to complaint about rent from a Housing Association, you should report problems with neighbours to your local Housing Officer, who will advise you on the steps that can be taken to tackle the problem.

The main Registered Social Landlords in Dumfries & Galloway are:

Any antisocial behaviour which you consider as serious, and where you require urgent assistance, should be reported to the Police. The Police will normally notify the Council or Housing Association of any antisocial behaviour.

If you believe that what you wish to report is criminal, please contact Police Scotland on 101 or Contact Police Scotland - Police Scotland

If a property is tenanted (not a Registered Social Landlord above), then the landlord also has obligations regarding managing the tenancy. Check if a landlord is registered for a property at which will reveal who the landlord is and their contact.

Many organisations already have numerous "Report It" functions for specific issues that you may class as antisocial. Example are discarded needles & syringes, littering, fly tipping, abandoned cars, domestic noise, or stray dogs (list not exhaustive).

How are complaints of antisocial behaviour dealt with?

Each complaint of antisocial behaviour will be examined according to its own facts and circumstances. Persons making a complaint will be asked to provide details of the antisocial behaviour and, where known, the name and address of the person who it is alleged is behaving antisocially. You may be asked to keep a diary record of incidents and to provide these to the Council or Housing Association on a regular basis.

If another person is a witness to the antisocial behaviour that person can assist by providing a statement. Information may be shared and exchanged between the Council, Housing Associations and the Police when investigating antisocial behaviour complaints.

Some may need to be progressed at a "Case Management" meeting. All the agencies involved in the case will discuss the circumstances, to identify a way forward. You will be asked to allow you details and case being shared. A multi-agency approach can be agreed, which may then lead to formal warning or legal action.

What action can be taken?

Antisocial Behaviour Legislation provides Local Authorities and Housing Associations with powers to apply to the Sheriff Court to obtain an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO) against an individual, or individuals, preventing them from pursuing a course of conduct which may be persistent antisocial behaviour.

Seeking an ASBO in Court is often regarded as a last resort when other attempts to tackle the antisocial behaviour complained about have been considered and tried.  Antisocial behaviour may be dealt with in several ways. This may include a formal warning to a person behaving in an antisocial manner; fixed penalty notices for certain offences such as fly tipping and littering; entering an "acceptable behaviour contract" where the person complained acknowledges their antisocial behaviour and agree that this will not be repeated in future; mediation to resolve neighbour disputes.

All agencies will try to seek practical ways of tackling antisocial behaviour, before reverting to court proceedings.

What is not antisocial behaviour?

As well as trying to define what is antisocial behaviour, we really need to explain what is not. Again, this list is nor exhaustive.

  • Children playing in the street or communal areas - unless causing damage to property.
  • Young people gathering socially - unless they are swearing and being intimidating to individuals.
  • Being unable to park outside your house.
  • DIY and car repairs - unless they are taking place late at night or early in the morning.
  • Civil disputes between neighbours, for example, fence boundaries.
  • Dog barking or other animal noise


Most complaints of antisocial behaviour can be resolved through discussions. If you wish, the Community Safety Team, offer a mediation service that both parties can work together to find solutions through dialogue. Both parties must agree to mediation.

The Community Safety Team
Dumfries & Galloway Council
Carruthers House
English Street

030 33 33 3000

Page last updated: 01/05/2024
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