In these extraordinary times, a feeling of uncertainty about safety can lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Halton Borough Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Victim and Witness Support Service is reassuring people that they are here to provide advice and support.

There are a number of reasons why Covid 19 may influence an increase in ASB in communities.

Fear: People’s behaviour can alter when they are frightened.

Greed: Some people will consider this global crisis as an opportunity for personal gain.

Boredom: Some people will dismiss what is acceptable behaviour and will find ways to entertain themselves at the expense of other neighbours.

Living closely continually could escalate and aggravate minor irritations.

Intolerance: Some people become less tolerant the longer they are prevented from doing their usual daily activities.

Faulty and assumed beliefs: In time of crises, people might target others unfairly as they perceive them as being kin a better position than they are, such as benefit claimant or those they consider more affluent

Limited resources: The assumption that this will result in nuisance behaviour being unchallenged.

Blame: When some people feel they have suffered an injustice they sometimes and indiscriminately look for someone to bear the responsibility

But we must be clear that anti-social behaviour is still anti-social behaviour – Covid-19 does not legitimise unacceptable behaviour which causes harm to others. Indeed, that harm is likely to intensify by victims feeling even more vulnerable than usual.

The ASB Victim and Witness Support Service will continue making contact with victims of this type of behaviour, agreeing regular contact patterns by telephone, e-mail and text.

We will assure victims that the perpetrator of such behaviour will be dealt with appropriately even it might take longer than usual.

Victims and witnesses need to log their complaints by calling 101 and 999 if there is a risk to life or to property.