Today the Scottish Community Safety Network, has launched a significant piece of research. ‘The Scottish Picture of Antisocial Behaviour (ASB)’ report, produced by Robyn Bailey, Social Researcher for the Scottish Government was commissioned as part of our ongoing conversation around a ‘new dialogue’ on ASB in Scotland and facilitated as part of the Scottish Government’s Analytical Exchange Programme for third sector organisations.  The research looks at ASB in terms of how common it is, which types are most common, who is engaging in it and what is driving it.

The key findings from the report show: 

  • Levels of ASB have decreased over the past 10 years and the public have noticed this decline in their areas. 29% of adults in 2017/18 thought ASB was common in their area which is down from 46% in 2009/10. 
  • Nevertheless, Those living in the most deprived areas, in socially rented housing and in large urban areas, as well as younger people, are more likely to perceive ASB issues in their area.
  • While it is an improving picture, there is a strong link between ASB and area deprivation, possibly arriving as a result of intensively neighboured housing and a lack of community facilities and social services.
  • Perceptions of ASB and who engages in it are also often inaccurate and influenced by stereotypes.
  • Court action for ASB has decreased over the last 10 years, reflecting a shift from treating ASB as an issue of law and order that requires sanctions to one of addressing perpetrator vulnerability to prevent ASB.

Lorraine Gillies, Chief Officer of Scottish Community Safety Network says “We are delighted to launch this research today.  This important piece of work helps us gather an updated picture of antisocial behaviour in Scotland.  This builds upon the event we held in February where SCSN were keen to reframe conversations on ASB to be asset based, recovery-focused and trauma-informed.  The key findings from the report point to the need to address false perceptions around ASB and its prevalence but also how best to approach this issue in a holistic way, working with all members of the community.  The report clearly indicates that the community safety sector are on the right track in Scotland but reiterates a message that we have further to go in finding solutions together.  We hope that Community Safety Partnerships will find this research useful to shape local conversations about ASB.”

Scottish Community Safety Network are the national intermediary for community safety in Scotland and an umbrella body for Home Safety Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.  You can tweet us @SCSN2 or contact us at

Notes for Editors:

  1. This research was conducted between May and June 2020 and referenced the Scottish Household Survey 2018, of which there has since been a 2019 report.