Hand up defending
Rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour in a public place Certain behaviour can cause intimidation to some residents


People gathering together in public is not an offence. However, if drink or drugs are involved this can sometimes lead to disruptive noise and this can then escalate into aggressive, violent or lewd behaviour, such as intimidation or verbal abuse of passers-by, fighting or urinating in public. All of which are offences

If people are drinking or taking drugs they may leave litter behind, including hazardous materials such as needles, syringes, swabs, wraps and gas canisters. This is a particular concern as it can pose a health risk to other members of the public, pets and wildlife.

Ideas for you

If you know the people involved, or they seem approachable, our first advice would be to talk to them peacefully. After all, they may not be aware they’re causing a problem. If they are trespassing on your property you have the right to ask them to leave.

However, do not take the law into your own hands by intervening, such as making physical threats or attempting to confiscate items. You may make the situation worse and even risk committing an offence yourself.

If talking hasn’t worked, or you would prefer not to talk to those involved, there are a number of ways to get help and support.

If it’s not an emergency, you can report it to the police using 101 

In an emergency you should always call 999

You can report public disorder online at www.dc.police.uk where you can access the Police’s online contact methods – WebChat and Crime Reporting Form. These are available to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   

Things that might help

Neighbourhood Watch offer useful advice for dealing with ASB and nuisance behaviour. You can find out more here

Detailed legal advice and guidance concerning public order offences is available through the CPS online here https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/public-order-offences-incorporating-charging-standard

The UK Public Order Act 1986 includes information on changes to legislation and accurate definitions on new offences. It is available online here .