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What is the difference between antisocial behaviour and harassment?

Finding out if your problem is antisocial behaviour or harassment.

Antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour (ASB) is behaviour that causes annoyance, disturbance or distress that prevents people from enjoying their homes peacefully and quietly.  Examples of nuisance and ASB.

  • Excessive or persistent noise e.g. loud music or TV.
  • Abusive or insulting behaviour
  • Shouting, screaming, swearing or drunkenness.
  • Using violence or threatening to use violence.
  • Vandalism, graffiti or fly –tipping.
  • Using cars or motorbikes illegally.

However, WDH cannot deal with all matters you may consider to be ASB or nuisance.  Examples of these include:

  • children playing in the street;
  • children arguing;
  • riding bikes or skateboards;
  • events in the home such as; flushing toilets, cooking smells, smoking in own home, washing machines, babies crying or playing;
  • staring or looking at someone;
  • pets straying across garden areas; or
  • noise from a one-off party or BBQ.


Repeated behaviour that is deliberately intended to upset or harm another person, family or group of people.  Examples of harassment.

  • Damage to property, for example, graffiti or vandalism.
  • Verbal abuse and threats of violence.
  • Violent acts.
  • Domestic abuse.
  • Hate crime.

For more information visit Victim Support, Stop Hate UK, Wakefield Council and West Yorkshire Police websites and our other FAQs 'How do I report antisocial behaviour?' and 'How long will it take to resolve my antisocial behaviour case and what action can WDH take?'


noise ; music ; nuisance ; dogs ; barking ; youths ; drinking ; alcohol ; drugs ; complaint ; harassment ; threats ; abuse ; shouting ; violence ; motorbikes ; fly-tipping ; vandalism ; graffiti ; screaming ; littering