Feedback from our BID Members suggests that anti-social behaviour is becoming a challenge in Harrogate, as many businesses and organisations suggest it is their biggest concern.

We work closely with North Yorkshire Police, Harrogate Homeless Project, North Yorkshire Council and other partners to reduce behaviours which may cause problems in our town centre. We fund initiatives and campaigns to increase visibility, while playing an active role in specific crime reducing operations.

Anti-social behaviour has been defined as behaviours which can cause nuisance, annoyance, distress or harm to a person in their neighbourhood. According to North Yorkshire Police, a neighbourhood is an area a person lives, works or visits often.

The Victim Support charity suggests that anti-social behaviour can be:
• Noise nuisance,
• Verbal abuse,
• Threatening behaviour,
• Harassment and intimidation,
• Vandalism,
• Criminal damage,
• Neighbour disputes.

It’s important to consider that people taking part in anti-social behaviour may do so to overcome a variety of challenges such as mental health struggles, coping with the cost-of-living crisis, addiction, broken down relationships or because they may be forced to do so.

In our eyes as the town’s Business Improvement District (BID), the majority of anti-social behaviour acts in Harrogate are linked to aggressive begging, threats to staff, attempted shoplifting and theft, drinking in the street and erratic behaviour which can make visitors and residents feel scared or intimidated.

As Harrogate BID, we take pride in our town, so we work hard to improve the town centre and encourage visitors. We want to do our best to lower the risk of anti-social behaviour and the problems it can lead to, linking to our objectives as we move into our second term.

At the BID, we have launched a brand-new job role in line with the objectives within our term two business plan. Our new Town Centre Support Officer (TCSO) will work as the eyes and ears on the ground across the town centre to help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. They will provide a roaming security presence and will work closely with North Yorkshire Police to support with incidents.

We’re also exploring the idea of putting a potential Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in place in the town centre. A PSPO is created to deal with a particular nuisance in a defined public space, where the behaviour is having a negative impact for people within that area. This would prevent those looking to carry out anti-social behaviour within our town, as it would be an offence to do so.

You can help lower the risk of anti-social behaviour and crime by reporting any potential incidents to police officers. If you feel you have witnessed an act of anti-social behaviour in Harrogate, you can call North Yorkshire Police on the non-emergency number 101. But, if you feel the situation could get heated or violent very soon, or you feel you need support straight away, then you should call the emergency number 999.

Reports can also be made on the North Yorkshire Police website here.

If you have a view or an idea to share on supporting the BID with tackling anti-social behaviour, please contact the team on