Anti-social behaviour including drugs and alcohol
Our borough is vibrant, diverse and an exciting place to live, work and visit and we want everyone to feel safe and enjoy everything that it has to offer. Anti-social behaviour (ASB), however, is one of the biggest challenges we face in Tower Hamlets. We are committed to reducing the harm ASB causes and our policy helps define what ASB is and the enforcement powers we have.
We work with a range of partners and the community to help change negative behaviour and create a safer borough.
As ASB can take many forms, we ask that you read the following information before submitting an ASB report. This will ensure your complaint is directed to the appropriate team first time and dealt with effectively. To do this, select the menus which apply to your complaint, where you will find further information and guidance on how to make your report.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) covers a broad range of issues. It's behaviour that causes nuisance, harassment, alarm and distress to individuals and the community.
Together with our partners we can support you with ASB from:
Drug and alcohol abuse
This includes irresponsible drinking and drug-related litter such as needles, alcohol cans and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) cannisters.
Threatening or abusive behaviour
This is verbal abuse or threatening behaviour that causes nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress.
The behaviour can be deliberate or not.
This is when someone has damaged or destroyed public or private property on purpose.
Aggressive and persistent begging
This is begging that makes people feel intimidated or hassled to give money.
These are tents or temporary shelters put up by individuals and/or groups. If this causes nuisance, alarm and/or distress to other people it can be anti-social behaviour.
Please note that rough sleeping alone is not considered ASB. Visit the helping the homeless page to get more information on how to support a person who is homeless.
Sex working and prostitution
This includes soliciting/prostitution, brothels, kerb crawling, and sex work that causes ASB (e.g. condom littering, screaming or fighting )
Public urination or defecation
This is someone going to the toilet in a public or communal place.
Vehicle related ASB
This can be nuisance behaviour inside or around a vehicle(s).
Noise nuisance (non-statutory)
This is unreasonable noise that causes nuisance, alarm and distress.
It can be from:
- unreasonable/avoidable domestic noise
- intentional noise like shouting, arguing, swearing or playing music
It is important that you report anti-social behaviour as it happens to the police. You can do so in three ways:
- Call 101: for ASB, including drug dealing (if drug dealing is happening outside of a school or playground, call 999)
- Call 999: only in an emergency, if there is a crime occurring, someone is injured, being threatened or threat to life
- Report online via the Metropolitan Police Report ASB page.
We work closely with a variety of landlords in the borough. If the matter you wish to report is not one that requires an immediate call to the police and concerns an issue where you live, please report this directly to your housing provider in the first instance. Our main providers in the borough include:
The dealing of drugs is a serious criminal offence and needs to be reported to the police in the first instance. You can report this to the police by:
- calling 101 (unless it is taking place outside a school, in which case call 999)
- contacting your local police team by visiting the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Policing teams
- reporting online via the Metropolitan Police Report ASB page
- calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Where appropriate, the council works with police and other partners to deal with the range of ASB issues related to the misuse of drugs. However, the police are the main partner for drug-related issues.
If you report is a drugs-related issue to the council, we will refer it directly to Tower Hamlets Police who are responsible for responding to you.
We can take action on excessive levels of noise considered to be a statutory noise nuisance, but you must be aware that we need to monitor the noise complained of from within your premises (if such action is to be considered). You can report incidents of noise via the noise pollution page.
Dumping of rubbish can be classed as anti-social behaviour and we have a dedicated team who deals with these matters:
- for dumped rubbish on estates or by neighbours, contact your housing provider
- for dumped rubbish in the street, complete our online form for report waste and street cleaning.
We have a team that deals with this sort of vandalism and reports can be made via our graffiti page.
We work closely with the police and other partners to prevent all forms of hate crime. We encourage victims or witnesses of hate crime to report it immediately to the police. Hate Crime is any criminal offence or incidents where the victim has been targeted because of their:
- race or ethnic identity
- religion or belief
- gender or gender identity
- sexual orientation
- immigration status or nationality
- or any other perceived aspect of their identity.
To report a hate crime:
- Call 999: in an emergency, if there is a crime occurring, someone is injured, being threatened or threat to life
- Call 101: if it is a non-emergency and the crime has occurred
- Visit our hate crime page for more information and how to get support.
If the options above do not apply to your anti-social behaviour complaint, please submit your report using our online form.
Submit a report
- You will receive an automatic message confirming that your report has been received.
- Within five working days (from you submitting the report) you will be contacted again with specific information about how it will be managed.
- You will be notified that an officer from the council will be contacting you to progress the matter further. We will not pass your details to the persons causing the ASB, without your permission to do so. We will try and work with you to formulate an action plan to tackle the ASB.
- You may also be notified after an initial assessment of your report that it has been transferred to another more appropriate team at the council or another agency such as a housing provider or the police. You will be given as much information as possible about what you can expect if a report is transferred to another team or agency.
- Your report will also be used for statistical purposes to help us monitor and improve our service to you.
If you have reported an ongoing problem of ASB, but do not believe it has been dealt with you can ask the Community Safety Partnership to review your complaints (including incidents of hate) under the Community Trigger process.
The Community Trigger should only be used if no action has been taken as a result of repeat reporting to the council, police and/or a housing provider. It cannot be used to report general acts of crime.
To qualify for the Community Trigger the following criteria must be met:
- Three separate anti-social behaviour incidents have been reported within six months of the first incident
- The Community Trigger must be submitted within a month of the last reported incident, and where it is considered that ‘no action’ has been taken
‘No action taken’ is defined as:
- the reported problems have not been acknowledged i.e. no one has contacted the victim to advise what action would be taken
- the reported problems have not been appropriately investigated
- the victim’s vulnerability and/or the potential for harm has not been considered and this has affected potential service delivery
- no action has been taken because information has not been shared between partners and this has affected potential service delivery
If you believe your on-going reports of antisocial behaviour have not been dealt with appropriately and satisfy the criteria’s mentioned above, please visit our Community Trigger page for more information and to submit your application.