ASB is often downplayed as a petty, 'low-level' crime. To suffer from ASB causes misery, disturbs sleep, anxiety, work and relationship issues – leaving victims feeling unsafe and afraid in their own homes. It can feel like you are living a nightmare.
The Taking Back our Communities - working together to make communities safer report commissioned by Resolve in 2021 indicates the negative effects ASB victims suffer are severe and for some are potentially life-changing. Of those who had been a victim of ASB:
- 43% say it has affected their mental health
- 47% say they have considered moving home
- and 54% say they feel unsafe in their local area.
The report also illustrates that ASB is a serious concern that impacts across all main facets of daily life for many people – in and around their own home; at or around their local shops; in their town centre; and on public transport.
The negative effect on someone's mental wellbeing can manifest in several different ways, with fear of repercussions causing distress and anxiety for some victims if they decide to report the incidents to the authorities.
In some cases, reporting the issue can occasionally make matters worse because of reprisals from the perpetrator, and this can sometimes prevent victims of ASB from going about their regular everyday routine as a way to avoid seeing the perpetrator who may confront them, which can have a negative impact on their wellbeing due to the changes they have to make. It can also make a victim worry about what will happen when a sanction ends and worry that the nuisance will start all over again.
Support for victims
Always speak to someone if you are experiencing any of these feelings to ensure the right support can be put in place to help you deal with situations like this.
Victim Support have specialist ASB teams in many areas around the country that deal directly with councils and social housing landlords. The police might refer you to them if you report a crime, but anyone affected by antisocial behaviour can contact them directly if they want to – you don’t need to talk to the police to get their help.
You can contact them by:
- Contacting your local Victim Support team
- Calling their Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111 (If English is not your first language, let them know which language you speak and they will call you back with an interpreter)
- Contacting them through their free 24/7 live chat service
- Requesting support via their online form
Families and friends affected by ASB can also contact Victim Support for support and information.
Alternatively you can create a free account on My Support Space – an online resource containing interactive guides (including a guide on antisocial behaviour) to help you manage the impact that crime has had on you.
Support for children and young people
If you’re a child or young person under 18 and are looking for support, visit You & Co website, where they have lots of information and tips specifically for children and young people.