Anti-social behaviour (with or without hyphen) is behaviour that lacks consideration for others and that may cause damage to society, whether intentionally or through negligence, as opposed to pro-social behaviour, behaviour that helps or benefits society Template:Harv. Criminal and civil laws in various countries offer remedies for anti-social behaviour.
In psychiatry, particularity in the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, persistent anti-social behaviour is part of a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. The ICD-10 defines a conceptually similar dissocial personality disorder.
Intent and discrimination may determine both pro- and anti-social behaviour. Infants may act in seemingly anti-social ways, yet be generally accepted as too young to know the difference before the age of 4 or 5 Template:Harv. In preschool-aged children, an increase in aggression is normal, indeed lack of such behavioural changes may lead to depression and anxiety later in life. However, continued aggression can indicate problems. Persistent anti-social behaviour may be a manifestation of an antisocial personality disorder. Parents should teach their children that "emotions need to be regulated, not repressed". Both bullies and their victims have inadequate emotional regulation Template:Harv.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 defines anti-social behaviour as acting in a manner that has "caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household" as the perpetrator. There has been debate concerning the vagueness of this definition. The Act introduced the Anti-Social Behaviour Order ("Asbo"), a civil order that can result in a jail sentence of up to five years if the terms are breached. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are civil sanctions, effective for a minimum of two years and classed as criminal proceedings for funding purposes due to restrictions they place on individual liberty. An Anti-Social Behaviour Order does not give the offender a criminal record, but sets conditions prohibiting the offender from specific anti-social acts or entering into defined areas. Breach of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order is, however, a criminal offence.
In 2003 the Anti-Social Behaviour Act amended the original Act and introduced further sanctions such as Child Curfews and Dispersal Orders.
The following list sets out what behaviour the UK police classify as anti-social:
- Substance misuse such as glue sniffing
- Drinking alcohol on the streets
- Problems related to animals such as not properly restraining animals in public places
- Prostitution related activity such as curb crawling and loitering
- Abandoned vehicles that may or may not be stolen
- Vehicle nuisance such as "cruises" – revving car engines, racing, wheel spinning and horn sounding.
- Noise coming from business or industry
- Noise coming from alarms
- Noise coming from pubs and clubs
- Environmental damage such as graffiti and littering
- Inappropriate use of fireworks
- Inappropriate use of public space such as disputes among neighbours, rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour
- General drunken behaviour (which is rowdy or inconsiderate)
- Hoax calls to the emergency services
- Pubs or clubs serving alcohol after hours
- Malicious communication
- Hate incidents where abuse involves race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability
- Firearms incidents such as use of an imitation weapon
In a survey conducted by University College London during May 2006, the UK was thought by respondents to be Europe's worst country for anti-social behaviour, with 76% believing Britain had a "big or moderate problem".
- Andrew Millie (2009). Anti-Social Behaviour. ISBN 0335229166.
- Safer Lancashire website (accessed 20 Dec 06)
- Matt Weaver and agencies (2006). UK 'has worst behaviour problem in Europe'. guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 9 May 2006
- Valsiner, J. (2007). "Personal culture and conduct of value". Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology 1 (2): 59–65. http://www.jsecjournal.com/articles/volume1/issue2/JSEC_Valsiner_1-2.pdf.
- Berger, Kathleen Stassen (2003). The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 6th edition (3rd publishing). Worth Publishers. ISBN 0-7167-5257-3.