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What is anti-social behaviour and what sort of noise is anti-social?

When it comes to community safety, all the district councils for the boroughs we serve have tackling anti-social behaviour as one of their priorities. Anti-social behaviour covers a whole range of issues, including vandalism, littering, harassment, public drunkenness and excessive noise.

According to the charity ASB Help, noise disturbance is by far the most common type of anti-social behaviour reported to the police, local authorities and housing associations and nearly every aspect of anti-social behaviour involves some level of noise, whether it be loud music, parties, multiple visitors frequenting a property, banging, alcohol-related disorder, foul and abusive language to name but a few.

This comes as no surprise to us at West Kent Mediation as many of the cases referred to us for mediation from the police, housing associations and local councils relate to noise. Many of the self-referrals we receive are noise complaints too and we do our best to help the neighbours find a resolution wherever the referral comes from.

Anti-social behaviour can have a negative impact on individuals and communities, causing feelings of fear, discomfort, and a deterioration in quality of life. However, it is important to note that not all behaviours that may be considered annoying or unpleasant necessarily fall under the category of anti-social behaviour. For example, someone having a one-off party is not necessarily classed as anti-social behaviour, although playing very loud music and partying until 4 am should be avoided if you want to avoid falling out with your neighbours or a knock on the door from a police officer!

Importantly, noise from everyday living, while it can be annoying, is not anti-social if it’s during reasonable hours. Many residents complain to us that their neighbours are noisy, particularly when they have neighbours living in a flat above their property, but it is often more to do with the construction of the building or poor soundproofing than the neighbours making excessive noise. While children running around and playing can sound like a herd of elephants has moved in upstairs, telling someone that their children should be seen and not heard doesn’t tend to go down too well in this day and age!

If you’re based in the Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling, or Tunbridge Wells areas, contact West Kent Mediation to find out if we can help you resolve your dispute. You can read more about our neighbourhood, family and workplace mediation services on our website and contact us by email at or by telephone on 01732 469696.

March 3, 2024
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