Mid Sussex is a safe place to live and work. However crime and anti-social behaviour does happen.

What is anti-social behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour is defined as 'behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person' (Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003)

Anti-social behaviour covers a wide variety of behaviours and what could be anti-social behaviour in one person’s eyes might not be anti-social behaviour to another person.

Are you a victim of or witnessing ongoing anti-social behaviour?

To gather evidence for an anti-social behaviour investigation we will send the complainant diary sheets to complete for two weeks. This will allow us to see an overview of what anti-social behaviour is currently occurring and how it is affecting the complainant.

To take further action in anti-social behaviour cases we must be able to evidence that the behaviour is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those in the locality and that the behaviour is persistent. We work very closely with other relevant agencies like the Police, Social Services or Registered Social Landlords to help resolve anti-social behaviour cases.

If you are would like further support whilst the anti-social behaviour is investigated you can contact an independent charity called Victim Support for further help and advice: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/

Victim Support provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for people affected by crime & anti-social behaviour.

How to report anti-social behaviour

Multi-agency anti-social behaviour case review (also known as The Community Trigger)

The Multi-Agency Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review is a process that allows members of the community to ask the Mid Sussex Community Safety Partnership to review their responses to complaints about anti-social behaviour.

The Multi-Agency Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review is designed to make sure we work together to try and resolve any complaints about anti-social behaviour.

We will do this by:

  • Talking about the problem
  • Sharing information
  • Using our resources to try and reach an agreeable outcome

The Multi-Agency Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review should be used if you believe your complaint has not been properly looked at - or no action has been taken by us.

Please note: The Multi-Agency Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review cannot be used to report general acts of crime, including hate crime.

It does not replace the complaints procedures of individual organisations or your opportunity to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman or Independent Police Complaints Commission.

How can I request a review?

Online Multi-Agency Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review Request Form

When can I request a review?

You can make a Multi-Agency Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review request if you have complained about three separate incidents in the last six months to:

  • The Council
  • The Police
  • Or a registered housing provider/social landlord and you feel the incidents have not be investigated fully.

For more information please see our factsheet below.

ASB Case Review Factsheet

West Sussex Mediation Service

The West Sussex Mediation Service (WSMS) is a service that could be the most appropriate way of resolving some anti-social behaviour cases. Relevant agencies can refer ASB cases to WSMS or residents can refer themselves to get advice and help. Cases they can help with include (but is not exclusive to) neighbour disputes, driveway/access disputes or property boundary disputes.

This is a voluntary service which all parties must agree to for it to work however, individuals are also able to be referred to WSMS for support and advice. Please call them on tel: 0300 200 0025 or see the following link for more information.

West Sussex Mediation Service

 

Hate crimes

Cases involving Hate Crimes & Incidents will be discussed at a Hate & Anti-Social Behaviour Risk Assessment Conference (HASBRAC). HASBRAC is a multi-agency conference held on a monthly basis. Hate Crimes & Incidents are discussed alongside higher/medium risk anti-social behaviour cases. They are discussed with other relevant partner agencies to determine the most effective multi-agency approach to resolve hate crime & anti-social behaviour reported.

Please ensure any suspected Hate Crimes are reported urgently to the police by calling 101 or by the following link:

https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/how-to-report-hate-crime/

For further support if you have witnessed or suffered from a Hate Crime please contact Victim Support by calling 0808 1689 111 or visit their website.

For more information on Hate Incidents and Hate Crimes please visit: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/environment/hate-incidents-and-hate-crime/

What the Anti-Social Behaviour Team does not investigate

  • Noise made by children playing
  • Normal family lifestyles (i.e. talking in garden, noise from children playing or friction between day/night workers)
  • Occasional events like barbecues or fireworks
  • One off events like religious celebrations or weddings
  • DIY work (please visit the Environmental Health section for advice)
  • Noise from domestic appliances
  • Transport noise or noisy vehicles

Advice: Try speaking to your neighbour or giving them a polite note through their letter box advising them of how it has affected you or the community. Alternatively you can contact the West Sussex Mediation Service (WSMS) who can offer advice on how to cope with the issues.

Other reporting

You can also:

Report Graffiti

Graffiti is removed by the local town council, please report this to:

East Grinstead Town Council – T: 01342 335051 E: communityservices@eastgrinstead.gov.uk

Haywards Heath Town Council – T: 01444 455694 E: townclerk@haywardsheath.gov.uk

Burgess Hill Town Council – T: 01444 247726 E: helppoint@burgesshill.gov.uk

Domestic abuse

Please see our domestic abuse page

Anti-social driving

Operation Crackdown has been created to make our roads safer and our neighbourhoods a better place to live.

What is anti-social driving?

It can be:

  • Speeding
  • Thoughtless driving
  • Under age driving
  • Drink driving
  • Drug driving
  • Tailgating
  • Mobile phone use while driving
  • Vehicle in unsafe condition
  • Any other issues that could be considered dangerous or anti-social
How do I deal with anti-social driving?
  • Pull over safely to the side of the road
  • Write down vehicle details - vehicle make / model / colour / number plate
  • Note location using house numbers / shop names / road names to pinpoint where incident occurred
  • Write a brief description of what you saw while it is still fresh in your mind
  • Report it to Operation Crackdown

Report anti-social driving

Operation Crackdown
Tel: 01243-642222
Online:  Report anti-social driving

Enforcement Powers

Fixed Penalty Notices

Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN/s) have been created under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 and the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Several officers will be authorised to issue a FPN on the spot.

If an officer witnesses an offence, they can approach the person, show their ID and explain their powers. The officer will explain the offence and can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice ticket. In any case, FPNs can also be sent in the post, as the person can be identified using the license plate of the vehicle. 

Fixed Penalty Notices cover:

Littering (including fly-tipping)

Littering is an offence and we like to keep Mid Sussex as clean as possible.

Littering comes in many forms including:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Chewing gum
  • Leaving litter on the street
  • Fly-tipping or commercial retailer’s waste not being disposed of properly
Illegally transporting waste

To transport waste you need to be registered with the Environment Agency if you do any of the below as part of your business:

  • transport waste
  • buy, sell or dispose of waste
  • arrange for someone else to buy, sell or dispose of waste

Register for a waste carriers licence

If you are moving waste for someone else, you need to get a Duty of Care note (Waste Transfer Note)

Graffiti and fly-posting

Graffiti and fly-posting

Although some graffiti can look nice unfortunately most graffiti is not and it is an offence if done without the owner’s permission. It is the duty of the Town and Parish Councils to remove unwanted graffiti, you can report graffiti through our online form.

Not picking up after your dog

In order to reduce the amount of dog fouling in Mid Sussex, owners are required to clean up their dogs' mess. This order applies to all District Council owned or managed recreational and other public land, car parks and all highway areas within a 40mph speed restriction. Find out more on our Park Rangers page.

Dog exclusions from certain areas (where they are forbidden)

To prevent people or the dogs themselves being injured as a result of sharing activity space, dogs are excluded from all fenced children's play areas and fenced recreational areas such as tennis courts, bowling greens, and multi activity areas owned by Mid Sussex District Council.

Dogs on a lead when requested

In order to stop a loose dog disrupting sporting or community events or disturbing local wildlife, dogs must be placed on a lead if requested to do so by a Council officer.

This order applies to land on which formal sports and community events regularly take place, and all designated conservation sites and local nature reserves.

Maximum number of dogs

The number of dogs one person can take onto Council nature reserves or selected large parks is restricted to six. 

Fixed Penalty Amounts

If you pay a Fixed Penalty within ten (10) days, the amount will be reduced. If you fail to pay, the Council will take you to court, which could result in a fine.

 

Offence

Paid within 10 days

Paid within 14 days

Maximum penalty conviction

Littering

£50

£75

£1,000 or up to £50,000

Not clearing litter away from the street

£60

£100

£2,500

Not being able to show the right papers for transporting waste

£180

£300

£5,000 (or on indictment, an unlimited fine)

Not having the authority to transport waste

£180

£300

£5,000

Graffiti and flyposting

£50

£75

£2,500

Not clearing away dog faeces

£50

£75

£1,000

Dogs in areas where forbidden

£50

£75

£1,000

Dogs on a lead where requested

£50

£75

£1,000

Maximum number of dogs in designated areas

£50

£75

£1,000

Nuisance Parking

£60

£100

£2,500

Breach of Community Protection Notice

£60

£100

£2,500 for an individual or up to £20,000 for businesses

Breach of Public Spaces Protection Order for Car Cruising

£60

£100

£1,000

Community Protection Notices & FPNs

Community Protection Notices (CPN/s) were created under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This allows Mid Sussex District Council to issue a warning letter asking for an anti-social behaviour to desist and if this behaviour is not stopped to issue a Community Protection Notice.

A notice will be considered if the behaviour is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality;

  • Is persistent or continuing in nature and,
  • Is unreasonable.

The decision whether behaviour is considered as any of the above will be taken on a case by case basis.

If evidence is received that a Community Protection Notice is breached and an offence has been committed, Mid Sussex District Council can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for the offence or take court action. A Fixed Penalty Notice can be hand delivered, delivered by a partner agency or delivered by post.

If MSDC receives enough evidence and decides an FPN is appropriate in the circumstances we can issue FPN’s for the following offences:

  • Flytipping
  • Breach of Community Protection Notice
  • Breach of Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), current PSPO
  • Fouling of Land By Dogs (on MSDC land)
  • Dog Exclusion
  • Dogs on Lead When Requested
  • Maximum Number Of Dogs
  • Car Cruising (Burgess Hill)

Fixed Penalty Notices

How to make an appeal or complaint

Fixed Penalty Notices are designed to give an offender the opportunity to discharge any liability to conviction for an offence - which means that by admitting the offence and paying the fine, an offender can avoid being prosecuting for that offence.

There is no formal appeal process for Fixed Penalty Notices – if you disagree that you have committed an offence, you can decide not to pay the Fixed Penalty Fine, and the matter will then be decided by a Court. However, this can be expensive and time-consuming for both parties, and Mid Sussex District Council therefore has an internal review process that can help to resolve disputes before they get to Court.

When can you challenge a Fixed Penalty Notice?

Cases where a complaint might be considered favourably include, but are not limited to, instances where you can demonstrate that:

  • No offence was committed, or the fixed penalty notice has been wrongly issued
  • The offence was committed by someone else
  • The offence wasn't the fault of the person against whom the Notice was served, and there was nothing they could do to prevent the offence 
  • We shouldn't have served the Notice because the offender is under 18, or is physically or mentally incapacitated or has some other incapacity that prevent them from understanding that they committed an offence
  • There are significant extenuating circumstances that temporarily affected the ability of the person to comply with the law

In order to serve a Fixed Penalty Notice, we will have evidence that an offence was committed by the person against whom we issued the Notice. Any challenge must therefore clearly show the reasons why the Fixed Penalty Notice should be cancelled. You will need to give us evidence you have, such as photos, witnesses etc.

There are a range of reasons where a review will not be considered, and these include

  • Ignorance of the law – the test would be whether a reasonable person would be aware that an offence had been committed – for example, most people know that dropping litter and allowing their dogs to foul is wrong! There are some requirements to display notices warning people about the law, but these don’t apply everywhere and to all legislation, and warning notices don’t have to be where you happen to be when the offence was committed
  • You didn't know an offence had been committed – the test would be whether a reasonable person would have known what had happened
  • You couldn't prevent the offence - the test would be whether a reasonable person could have taken steps to prevent the offence occurring
  • The offence was only minor – that’s why a Fixed Penalty Notice has been issued, as this gives the opportunity to avoid going to Court. More serious offences could be prosecuted straight away

If you are served a Fixed Penalty Notice by Mid Sussex District Council or anyone acting on our behalf, but you disagree that you have committed an offence or feel that it was unreasonable for us to serve the Notice, you can write to the council at Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1SS or by email to antisocialbehaviour@midsussex.gov.uk.

Every challenge will:

  • Be considered on its merits, on the basis of the information and evidence provided by the appellant and by the person who issued the Notice
  • Receive a full written response, normally within 10 working days. Where a more detailed investigation is required, this will be acknowledged within 5 working days.

Where a challenge is not upheld, the reasons for this will be explained, a further 7 day period for payment will be given.

Public Spaces Protection Orders

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO/s) were created under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and can be used to stop a person or a group of people committing anti-social behaviour in a public place, for example in a park. 

Anti-Social Behaviour Offences need to:

  • have had, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality;
  • is, or is likely to be, persistent or continuing in nature;
  • is, or is likely to be, unreasonable, and
  • justifies the restrictions imposed. 

Mid Sussex District Council will consider implementing an order on a case by case basis. If an individual breaches an implemented Public Spaces Protection Order they can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice or be taken to court.

The Public Spaces Protection Orders that Mid Sussex District Council have initially instigated are: Fouling of land by dogs, Dog exclusion, Dogs on lead when requested, Maximum number of dogs and car cruising in Burgess Hill.

For more information on the PSPO for Car Cruising in Burgess Hill please visit:

https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/environment/anti-social-driving/

Safeguarding

In the course of an investigation, an officer may come across a person whose welfare may raise concerns. Such people may or may not have a direct connection to the case under investigation. In any situation it remains a legal duty for officers to ensure that these concerns are properly logged and passed to the relevant agency such as WSCC’s adult social care or children’s services in accordance with Safeguarding Policy & Procedures.

For more information on Safeguarding please visit:  https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/environment/safeguarding-people-at-risk/

Hate & Anti-Social Behaviour Risk Assessment Conference (HASBRAC)

HASBRAC is a multi-agency meeting which includes the police, local council, social landlords, social services, schools and other relevant agencies to ensure a joint approach offering interventions for victims and perpetrators of anti-social behaviour. Using the relevant powers from each agency HASBRAC is a forum for agencies to discuss anti-social behaviour cases with a view to take the most effective and appropriate action to support victims and stop perpetrators of anti-social behaviour.

Collecting & Processing Information

Evidence gathered for anti-social behaviour cases is stored on a restricted file which is only accessible to officers that are working on cases.

For more information about how Mid Sussex District Council processes and stores your information please contact Mid Sussex District Council’s Information Manager:

Tel: 01444 477422

Email: foi@midsussex.gov.uk

Please note all requests for your information will need to be sent to the Information Manager in writing.

Contact us

Please call our switchboard to be directed to the correct team.

Switchboard
Tel: 01444-458166

Last updated: 16 September 2021