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Neighbour disputes: who can do what?

Legal powers of other Council departments and outside agencies.

The police

The police can take action in a number of situations including; harassment, involvement in illegal drugs, noise nuisance, public nuisance, and dangerous dogs.

Harassment

Action may be possible under the law relating to assault, threatening behaviour and breach of the peace and it may be possible to proceed with a prosecution. If there is sufficient evidence a report could be submitted to the procurator fiscal which may lead to prosecution.

Drugs & drug dealers

If you suspect a neighbour is involved in drugs or drug dealing, you should contact the police and your area housing office.

Noise nuisance

If a neighbour is disturbing you by playing music at excessive volume, contact the police immediately. Even if the police do not arrive until after the music has been turned off, a call from the police may be enough to deter your neighbour from doing it again. If you do not want your neighbour to know you have called the police, ask the police not to call at your door after they have visited your neighbour.

Public nuisance

The police can take action if someone's actions are likely to cause annoyance e.g. cars being repaired, cars causing obstructions or abandoned cars on a public road.

Dangerous dogs

If someone allows their dog to cause danger, an injury to another person in a public place, you should contact the police. There are restrictions on the ownership of certain dangerous dogs and powers to control them.

Environmental health division

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives powers to council Environmental Health Officers to deal with certain issues like noise, excessive build up of rubbish and animal control.

Noise

Unreasonable domestic noise such as washing machines, intruder alarms, regular noise from car repairs and televisions / stereos.

Rubbish

Where excessive build up of rubbish is causing a danger to health and safety.

Animal control

Where dogs are causing a nuisance by straying or posing a threat to the public. Problems with dog fouling in public places such as foot paths and children's play areas.

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