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Nuisance neighbours and dangerous dogs named as anti-social behaviour with the most impact on quality of life

Nuisance neighbours and problems with out of control/dangerous dogs are the anti-social behaviours which have the largest impact on quality of life, according to new research led by Nottingham Trent University.

Vicious dog
Issues with dangerous dogs can have an impact on quality of life

The project explored who experiences anti-social behaviour (ASB) and in what context, focusing on four themes: reporting, experience, impact and perception. 

People’s experience of 13 anti-social behaviour categories from several years of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) was analysed, among other data. Along with problems with out of control/dangerous dogs and nuisance neighbours, categories included people using or dealing drugs, youths/teenagers/groups hanging about on the streets, vandalism, begging, and environmental issues such as litter, fly-tipping or dog fouling.

The latest figures from the CSEW show that, of those surveyed, 37% reported experiencing or witnessing some form of ASB within a 15-minute walk of their house. The NTU research highlighted the most frequently experienced ASB types were street drinking/drunken behaviour; groups hanging around; inconsiderate behaviour; and vehicle-related.

Certain types of ASB were more prone to repetition, including environmental; vehicle-related; begging; people using or dealing drugs; and groups hanging around.

Particular individuals and households were more likely to report experiencing or witnessing ASB. In general, when looking at all ASB types combined, younger, male, white individuals with educational qualifications who had lived in an area with higher income deprivation and higher crime risk for longer than 12 months were more likely to experience ASB. However, the characteristics of victims did vary depending upon which type of ASB was considered.

In relation to formal reporting, approximately 31% of ASB incidents were reported to the police, local authority or housing association/private landlord  and the ASB type most likely to be reported was nuisance neighbours.

Victims were generally satisfied with the response received from the police, with the exception of some ASB types, and generally less satisfied with the response received from the local council or housing association/private landlord. As frequency of ASB occurrence increased, satisfaction with response decreased.

Dr Becky Thompson, research lead and senior lecturer in Criminology at NTU’s School of Social Sciences, said: “These findings help us to develop a better understanding of who the people experiencing ASB are and the harm caused by the incidents. Practically, the findings from this research can inform how to prevent ASB as well as how to respond to incidents. In relation to prevention, our work identifies the individuals and communities most vulnerable to ASB. With regards to response, the findings directly inform risk assessment practices at the point of report in terms of assessing the likelihood of both repeat and potential impact.”

The findings of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded research are to be showcased and discussed at the national launch of a report written by the Victims’ Commissioner, ASB Help and Nottingham Trent University on Tuesday 30 April. The event is being hosted by the Centre for Social Justice.

The research was carried out in conjunction with Dr James Hunter, Nottingham Trent University; Professor Andromachi Tseloni, Nottingham Trent University; Professor Nick Tilley, University College London; and Dr Puneet Tiwari, Nottingham Trent University. The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

[1] Source: 2015/16 CSEW

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Helen Breese, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email.

    Economic and Social Research Council project reference: ES/P001556/1

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

Published on 30 April 2019
  • Category: Press office; Research