ASB include conducts like verbal abuse, drug or substance abuse, violence against a person e.g. assault, sexual offences, harassment, vandalism, hate crime such as homophobia, xenophobia and racial hatred, noise e.g. loud music in the neighbourhood, failing to keep control of the pets e.g. dogs barking and threatening behaviour.
It is important to realize that an anti-social behaviour in one location may not be necessarily an anti- social behaviour in another location. ASB vary from distressing behaviour to serious criminal to contrasting lifestyles. Therefore any agency dealing with ASB should define the behaviours classified as ASB. This so because there exists social differences between locations or societies even those that are close together.
Anti- social behaviours need to be prevented or if the y have already occurred, law enforcement is necessary so as to avoid chaos and unrest in the society. The United Kingdom is one of the countries that take prevention of Anti-social behaviours seriously. In UK the two agencies that handle ASB are the police and the local authority. The local authorities receive twice the number of ASB complaints than do the police (home office, 2003). The two agencies always involve the people in the community and in some occasions the two coordinate their activities aimed at preventing and dealing with ASB.
Having seen the agencies that deal with ASB in the UK, it is important to understand how these agencies handle ASB. There are a number of strategies used in handling ASB. These include: Prevention, enforcement, support of victims, witnesses and perpetrators and rehabilitation of the offenders.
This paper seeks to appreciate the effects of ASB in the community or society, understand the linkages or relationships among the three areas of ASB i.e. Enforcement, Support and Rehabilitation, understand how services aimed to curb ASB are delivered in housing associations and the cost associated with the delivery of services by these associations.
To start with, let us look at the possible effects of ASB in a community or society. Most effects of ASB on community are negative and detrimental In fact there is no positive effect known. ASB decreases the value of life of the victims, increases insecurity in the neighbourhood in which ASB is rampant thus causing anxiety in the inhabitants. ASB in a place can also derail development in such a place at the same time breeding disharmony, chaos and disorder. Generally, the effects of the ASB are detrimental to the well being of the community or society. Comparison of societies or communities where one has rampant ASB and the other with almost nil incidents of ASB can attest to the fact that ASB in a community is not a piece of bread. It is a vice that needs mobilisation of resources for its total abolition.
The abolition of ASB in a community involves three major parts namely enforcement, support and rehabilitation. These three parts of ASB can work alone or in harmony. The three are linked in a way that calls for another after one is through or has failed. The strong links among the three parts can not be ignored. Enforcement involves involving the prescriptions of the law as basis of an action. This is only resolved to in appropriate cases. Some ASB are not serious as such and thus legal enforcement may not be necessary. Enforcement invo