Neighbourhood problems

Find out how best to deal with antisocial behaviour, damage to property, fly-posting and nuisance or noise from neighbours and businesses.

Antisocial behaviour is a broad term used to describe the day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder that make many people's lives a misery.

This can include, but is not limited to nuisance behaviour, intimidation and harassment, vehicle related nuisance and street drinking.

The council recognises that anti social behaviour can have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of those in the community and we work in partnership with police, housing and other agencies to deal with it.

The council has a dedicated community safety team consisting of a senior officer and 5 community safety officers covering the whole county and at least one of them works in your area.

If you are currently experiencing ASB and wish to report the matter, please use the form below. If you have previously reported ASB on three or more occasions or you and four others have reported the same issue and feel that nothing has been done, please use the community trigger application form.
 

Consumption of alcohol in public spaces

On 20th October 2017, the restrictions placed on the consumption of alcohol in certain areas within Northumberland which are currently dealt with under the provisions of various Designated Public Places Orders (“DPPOs”) made under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 will become restrictions under the provisions of Public Spaces Protection Orders (“PSPOs”) by operation of section 75 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, full details of which are contained in the following Notice:

Notice of DPPOs to PSPOs

Copies of the DPPOs referred to in Schedule 1 of the above Notice and which will now be treated as if they were PSPOs may be viewed at the links below:  

Dog Control

To find information on Public space orders for dogs click here
If someone’s life or health is threatened, or a crime is in progress, call 999 and alert the police. This can include, but is not limited to, activity such as criminal damage, assault, theft and threatening behaviour.

Antisocial behaviour can be a one-off incident, such as a piece of offensive graffiti, but often it is a series of low level incidents which, when they continue, can become very distressing. If someone else’s behaviour is having a negative impact on you or your family and is causing you alarm, harassment or distress: If the problem is only related to noise nuisance, read our advice in the statutory nuisance section.

All complaints are confidential, so you don’t need to worry about your identity being revealed. We can also accept anonymous calls providing we have enough information to investigate the incident.
In order to investigate we need details of all of the issues causing a problem. It is helpful to know:
  • how long the problem has been going on
  • how regularly it occurs
  • the location of the problem
  • if it tends to occur at a particular time
  • who is affected
  • any details you have about the person who is causing the problem
If you or the person causing the problem live in a rented property, it may be helpful to liaise with the landlord to help to resolve the problem so it is useful to know the tenure of your property.
Once we’ve collected all the information we need from you, we’ll provide you with a contact officer who is responsible for investigating your complaint and will keep you updated.

We may liaise with the police, social landlords and other tenants to get a better understanding of the issues and corroborate the allegations. We may also speak to the other party if they are known, with your agreement, to see if the problems can be resolved informally.

In some cases we may seek the views of other residents in the area, to see if anyone else is experiencing similar problems.

If we conclude a problem does exist, we will take action to resolve it. This may be an informal agreement, mediation, a warning or it could lead to a formal intervention using our legal powers, including a civil injunction or community protection notice. 
If you have reported anti-social behaviour and feel nothing has been done, let us know.

You may be able to activate a ‘community trigger’, which means an impartial case review will take place. This means we will evaluate the action taken by the organisations involved and decide if this was a sufficient response to your problem.

If it was not we can identify further action that needs to be done to help you. This is whether you have reported the problem to us, the police or your housing provider.

The community trigger is activated if:
  • you’ve reported anti-social behaviour to the council, the police or your landlord three times or more in the past six months and no action was taken
  • you and at least four other people have reported the same issue in the past six months to the council, the police or your landlord and no action was taken
Complete the community trigger form if you feel your case meets one of the above criteria and we’ll respond in three working days.
  • Alternatively, you can email CommunityTrigger@northumberland.gov.uk, call 0345 600 6400 or write to  Community Trigger, Public Protection Department, Local Services, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.
Please note that this is not a complaints process. If your report has been investigated and you’re not satisfied, please use the complaints process for the agency you reported to.
Your community safety team is dedicated to resolving anti social behaviour and nuisance issues in your area.

They are:

Emma Beniams - Senior Community Safety Officer

Area Community Safety Officers:

Darren Dougan - Cramlington, Blyth and Seaton Deleval
Ross McLeod - Ashington
Lynsey Green - Bedlington
Simon Packham - Tynedale and Morpeth
Judith Davis - North Northumberland
Your community safety officer is Darren Dougan. 

       
Darren has been a community safety officer for over 10 years and has extensive knowledge of the Blyth area. He works closely with Northumbria Police and support services and has a background working in housing. He previously worked for Blyth Valley Borough Council. Darren chairs the Blyth area multi agency meeting at which local community safety issues are tackled using a problem solving approach.

Latest news

Youths causing anti-social behaviour in Blyth have been targeted in a multi-agency operation involving Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police.

Teams from the Council’s Housing and Public Protection Service joined the police and interviewed several young people from the Blyth area accompanied by their parents about ongoing issues including damage to homes and vehicles.

Parts of Blyth have had issues with anti-social behaviour for some time and residents’ concerns had been highlighted through social media as well as direct contact with the council.  Although some incidents have involved significant numbers of young people the evidence suggested there was a small core of approximately 20 who were at the centre of this problem.
These individuals were targeted recently when over two thirds of the group were interviewed along with their parents or guardians by the Council’s Community Safety Team and the police.  
Several signed up to Acceptable Behaviour Agreements, a written agreement signed by the individual, their guardian and the authorities outlining what is expected of them in future.
Further action is planned for those that did not attend this event.  The young people were also offered the opportunity to work with local  Army Reserve Units to divert their activities into positive experiences while parents were offered support from the Council’s Early Help Service.
 

Community Engagement Event

A 'Lets Talk' event is taking place on Tuesday May 15th between 10am and 1pm at The Buffalo Community Centre in Blyth. The aim of the event is to give local residents the opportunity to talk to those organisations in their area who are there to keep them safe and support them. Residents will be able to talk to members of the Council's community safety team, local neighbourhood police officers, housing organisations and other groups from the community and will be able to seek advice and voice concerns. If you wish any further information or would like to take part in the event, please contact Darren using the details below.

 

If you are experiencing anti social behaviour in the Blyth area you can contact Darren via Public Protection:

Telephone: 0345 600 6400

Or via email here
 

 Your community safety officer is Ross McLeod.

Ross has 20 years community safety experience and has an extensive knowledge of the Ashington area. He works closely with Northumbria Police and private and social landlords. He also runs the area multi agency meeting where local community safety issues are tackled using a problem solving approach. 




Latest News
 

Community Engagement event to be held in Ashington

 

Northumberland County Council are inviting residents to a Community Engagement event in Ashington on Tuesday 24th April.

 

Alongside Northumbria Police, Northumberland County Council are inviting residents of Ashington to come and have their say about their local area.

 

The Community Engagement event will take place on Tuesday 24th April, between 10am - 3pm at Hirst Park pavilion and is an opportunity for local residents to meet with a variety of organisations and services, discuss their local area and raise any concerns they may have.

 

The main focus of the event will be centered around community safety however there is also the opportunity to discuss environmental issues or anything else residents feel is a priority.

 

John Riddle, cabinet member for Planning, Housing and Resilience at Northumberland County Council said: “We encourage local residents to come along to our Community Engagement event in Ashington as this provides a great opportunity for residents to have their say and impact on their local community.

 

“This event allows residents to discuss the issues that matter to them and Northumberland County Council are working closely with Northumbria Police on this event and will be taking a joint approach to tackling issues raised within the meeting.”

 
If you are experiencing anti social behaviour in the Ashington area you can contact Ross via Public Protection:

Telephone: 0345 600 6400 or via email here
Your community safety officer is Lynsey Green

Lynsey has worked for Northumberland County Council for 25 years. She has a strong background in support services and works closely with adult and children's mental health services and safeguarding. She also attends the area multi agency meetings where local community safety issues are tackled using a problem solving approach. 

Latest News
Lynsey has been working with partners to address issues of anti social behaviour at the library in Bedlington. Her positive action has seen the anti social behaviour in the area ceaSe, which has been of huge benefit to those in the area and people using and working at the library.


If you are experiencing anti social behaviour in the Bedlington or Cramlington areas you can contact Lynsey via Public Protection:

Telephone: 0345 600 6400 or via email here
Your community safety officer is Simon Packham.
                        

                                  


Simon has worked for Northumberland County Council for 5 years after a 30 year career as a police officer. He has an extensive knowledge of a wide variety of community safety issues and is very experienced in noise and nuisance.

Latest News

Simon has been working with partners to address issues of anti social  behaviour around the bus station at Hexham. He has issued a number of banning notices to young people involved and continues to work with police and housing to address the issue.

Simon is also currently dealing with an ongoing issue of residential bin fires in Hexham. If you have any information about the fires that would help, please get in touch with Simon on the link below



If you are experiencing ASB in the Tynedale area or wish to pass on any information, you can contact Simon via Public Protection:

Telephone 0345 600 6400
or by e mail here
Your community safety officer is Judith Davis

Judith has been a community safety officer for 9 years following a ten year career as a police officer. She has an extensive knowledge of the Alnwick and Berwick areas and the community safety issues that affect them. She works closely with police and other agencies and has strong links with schools as part of her education and engagement role. She is also the coordinator of the Alnwick and Amble Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP). Alongside colleagues from public protection she helps run the local multi agency meetings where local issues are discussed and tackled using a problem solving approach.


Latest News
Judith  continues to work in schools across the county delivering education around the safe and legal use of social media and other topics that affect young poeple. As we head towards summer, her work will be focussing on keeping young people safe when they are by themselves or with friends. She is currently working with local schools to provide education in relation to underage alcohol use and she will be working with the Fire and Rescue service soon to promote safety for young drivers and passengers.

As part of her role as coordinator of the Alnwick CAP, she is helping to organise a week of action later in the Spring looking at under age alcohol use and to provide support for young people and parents. She will be joined by local retailers, youth organisations and local licensees and there will be activities in schools and the community. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.

If you would like to know more or would like a visit to your school or organisation, please get in touch via email here


Future events
Community Safety will be working with partners to provide another Young Drivers Event in Alnwick in the Spring. The event, which has been delivered round the County with great success, looks at both driver and passenger responsibility when in vehicles. It will include a live demonstration of a vehicle extrication by the Fire Service, informative presentations and visits from North East Ambulance Service, Op Dragoon (Police) and other agencies who will provide information for young drivers and passengers.
Information will be posted as soon as the date is set.
 

If you would like to report any community safety issue or get further informtion on any of the topics mentioned, you can contact Judith via Public Protection:

Telephone 0345 600 6400 or via email here 

You have been directed to this page as this area has recently been subject to Anti - Social Behaviour (ASB).

The area is currently being monitored which may include CCTV and Northumberland County Council
and Police patrols.

Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police take reports of ASB seriuosly due to the detrimental effect it has on those in the area and the locality. As such anyone found to be casuing ASB will be dealt with using a variety of powers, some of which may include being banned from the area altogether.

We ask that while you are in this area, you ensure that your behvaiour does not have a
negative effect on those around. This includes littering.



If you would like would like any further information about this, please contact Northumberland County Council on 0345 600 6400 and ask for your local community safety officer.

 
This section provides information on how to report a nuisance relating to noise, odour, light or smoke.

 
The law on statutory nuisance relates to the behaviour of a person on their property, which interferes with another person’s enjoyment of their property. Details are set out in part three of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The act includes powers to deal with unreasonable noise, odour, smoke, accumulations and light from both neighbours and businesses.

Noise from construction and demolition sites are dealt with in a different way, so see this webpage. 
The law generally allows people to have a bonfire at any time of the day providing that the smoke given off from the fire does not cause a ‘statutory nuisance’ to other people's premises.
The law relating to statutory nuisance is set out in The Environmental Protection Act 1990 s.79 - s.80.
 
In assessing nuisance officer would look to the severity of the problems the fire was causing for example the amount of smoke created, where it was drifting and the effects it was causing in other people’s property.  Additionally we would consider how often the problems occur and how long they go on for when they do occur.
 
Generally for a nuisance to be suffered the smoke from the bonfire must affect other people's premises to such an extent that normal use of those premises is not possible. Conditions that may give rise to a statutory nuisance could be:
  • smoke entering people's houses
  • smoke blowing across gardens and preventing normal use of the garden
  • smoke affecting people's washing or
  • hot ash and cinders landing on people's property.
Additionally, where the effects of the fire have a detrimental, unreasonable and persistent  effect on a locality they could be classed as anti-social behaviour and action such as a Community Protection Notice could be taken under the Police, Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2014.
 
Under the Highways Act 1980 a person responsible for lighting a fire which causes smoke to drift across a road faces a fine if it endangers traffic. (Please contact the Police for further information if these circumstances arise).
 
The Council would normally discourage the use of garden fires for disposing of waste as there are several more appropriate methods.
 
Click on the link for further  information on disposing of household waste, bulky waste, hazardous waste and garden waste. There is also information on composting and recycling.
If you are concerned about statutory nuisance you can:
  • Talk to the person causing the problem, as they may be unaware the behaviour is disturbing you.
  • Contact specialist officers at the council who can advise you and investigate the matter if necessary.
Investigations into nuisances will assess:
  • how severe the problem is
  • how often it occurs
  • how long it lasts for
You will normally be required to complete a log or diary for a period of two to three weeks to prove these details.

Officers will assess the diary to decide if the problem requires further investigation. If so, efforts will be made to try and obtain more detailed information. This will be by installing equipment to record the problem or visiting your property to see it first-hand. If the problem is very severe, officers will attempt to visit the property more quickly.

This information will then be assessed to decide if the problem is serious enough and whether there is sufficient evidence to deal with the matter as a statutory nuisance. If so, the person responsible will be given a legal notice which requires them to stop or reduce the activity to a level where it does not cause a nuisance. This could be effective immediately or by a notice period.

The person who receives the notice has a legal right to appeal against it. Therefore, officers need to be able to provide evidence in court, such as results of monitoring, log sheets or witness statements.

If a problem is found to not be a statutory nuisance, officers will discuss approaches to improving the situation. However, this is an informal process and does not require the person responsible to participate. You can obtain independent legal advice on this matter.

In some cases, statutory nuisance is only one aspect of a problem that could include abusive, threatening or antisocial behaviour. Officers will still be able to give advice and investigate these matters as part of, or alongside, a nuisance investigation.
Here you can find out how to report damage to property, graffiti, fly-tipping and fly-posting.

Please use the appropriate section for reporting, otherwise you can contact us here.
Criminal damage is defined by the police as follows:

“Criminal damage refers to crimes where any person, without lawful excuse, intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages any property belonging to another. Activities resulting in non-permanent damage (i.e. that can be rectified, cleaned off or removed at no cost) such as letting down car tyres, should not be classed as criminal damage, nor should accidental damage.”

Damage to a council property on the other hand covers crimes against households and household property including cars.
We will remove graffiti from any property in Northumberland. A small fee may be charged in some cases. We’ll also ask the property owner to sign a disclaimer, as the removal process can sometimes damage certain surfaces.

We aim to remove any obscene graffiti within 24 hours of receiving a report.
Fly-posting is the unauthorised display of an advertisement in any public place. It’s illegal to attach posters or any form of advertising to signs or street furniture, like lampposts or park benches. We will remove any fly-posting we find and legal action may be taken. 
Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste. It can cause a range of problems for people, animals and the environment.