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What is and isn't antisocial behaviour, what can be done and how we can help.

Everyone has a different idea about what antisocial behaviour means. The term 'antisocial behaviour' covers any kind of nuisance, unreasonable behaviour or harassment. It can also include more serious criminal behaviour or activity.

The Anti-Social Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 provides the legal definition of antisocial behaviour as:

A person engages in antisocial behaviour if they act in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause alarm and distress or pursues a course of conduct which causes, or is likely to cause alarm and distress to at least one person who is not of the same household. (Course of conduct must involve conduct on at least two occasions).

What is antisocial behaviour?

Watch our video explaining what antisocial behaviour is.


Antisocial behaviour may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • noise disturbances such as loud music, noisy parties, shouting
  • harassment
  • hate crimes, including race, religion or faith, sexual orientation, disability or transgender or gender identity
  • violence or threats of violence
  • verbal abuse
  • vandalism and graffiti
  • drug dealing

It should be noted that many of the above are crimes. Incidents of violence, suspected drug dealing, racial harassment etc should always be reported to the Police in the first instance.

What isn't antisocial behaviour?

As antisocial behaviour can be difficult to define and annoying, there are some types of behaviour that are not classed as antisocial and may not be investigated by our antisocial investigators:

  • children playing in the street or communal areas - unless they are causing damage to property
  • young people gathering socially - unless they are swearing and being intimidating to individuals
  • being unable to park outside your own home
  • DIY and car repairs - unless these are taking place late at night or early in the morning
  • civil disputes between neighbours, for example, fence boundaries

For these types of disputes, please get in touch with any of the contacts below.

List of East Ayrshire contacts for help and advice on antisocial behaviour
Housing - Anti-Social Behaviour Investigation Team 01563 554400
Council helpline - emergency out of hours 0345 724 0000  
Environmental Health 01563 576790
Social Work - Cumnock 01290 427720
Social Work - Kilmarnock 01563 554200
Social Work - Out of hours 0800 328 7758

List of organisations for help and advice on antisocial behaviour

Action for Children 0300 123 2112
Barnardo's 0800 008 7005
Breathing Space 0800 838 587
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
East Ayrshire Women's Aid 01563 536001
NHS Addiction Services 01563 574237
NHS Community Mental Health Team 01563 578592
Police Scotland 101 or 999 in an emergency
Samaritans 0845 790 9090
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service 0800 073 1999 to arrange a home safety visit or 999 in an emergency

Contact Information


Housing: Irvine Valley and Kilmarnock South
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
Telephone: 01563 554400
Housing: Kilmarnock North and Central
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
Telephone: 01563 554400


Housing: Cumnock and Doon Valley
1 Greenholm Road
East Ayrshire
KA18 1LH
Telephone:01563 554400


24 Hour Emergency Helpline
Telephone(local rate): 0345 724 0000


Police Scotland
Telephone (to report a crime): 101
Telephone (in an emergency): 999