Stop It! ASB Case Studies

Antisocial behaviour (ASB) is ‘Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person.’(ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014).

An increasing range of Manchester city centre businesses have reported incidents of ASB in recent months.

Bar Pop

Aaron Wilson has been General Manager at Bar Pop, on Canal Street in the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village for the last twelve years. Bar Pop has two venues next to each other and employs a team of 80 staff.

Aaron has noticed an increase in antisocial behaviour over the last few years, which has involved incidents of aggressive language and behaviour such as spitting, punching and sexually assaulting staff while they are working.

“We are a bar located in Manchester’s gay village and we stay open until the early hours of the morning, so people are often drinking and becoming intoxicated. However, we have noticed a rise in antisocial behaviour these last few years.

“I’m not sure if it is the fall out after the lockdowns. Some people seem to have lost the ability to behave in public. We want people to come out and have a good time, but that doesn’t mean that they can be abusive.

“We’ve had hen parties in where they’ve been drinking a lot and then they may grab one of our members of staff by the bum. That isn’t acceptable. Our staff are in work. If it was an office, would you do the same?

“We have quite a lot of verbal abuse on the door. If we must turn someone away because they are intoxicated, then we often get accused of being homophobic or heterophobic.

“We have security who are trained to manage such situations and our team all access radios so they can report if they have a problem. We have a traffic light system so security know how to respond.

“We don’t tend to report incidents directly to the police, but we put together an incident report and this will be shared with a licensing officer who is also a police officer and they get to see the complaints and we work out how to manage them.

“We want everyone to have a good time when they come out and remember that we are trying to make a living.

Be respectful.”


The Manchester Shop

Miki Christi runs her own retail business in Manchester’s popular Northern Quarter in one of the city’s great institutions – Afflecks. While Miki acknowledges that the area is vibrant, creative and a wonderful place it isn’t without its problems.

Miki runs three stores within Afflecks under the umbrella of Extreme Largeness: they are Luna, Occult patches and pins, and The Manchester Shop – which is in the Arcade on Oldham Street.

The area is known for its youth culture, but it also has a lot of antisocial behaviour with open drug dealing and a drinking culture that often causes her and her staff problems.

“People come here to go out and then they may decide to go shopping after they’ve had a few drinks. We have a real problem with shoplifting, but also with antisocial behaviour. I don’t let my team work alone anymore. I’ve had people threaten to follow me home and assault me because I’ve refused to lower the prices of my products.

“People think it is acceptable to haggle and then when you politely tell them it is not an option, some people get extremely aggressive with me.

“I set up the Manchester Shop in memory of my Mum and Grandma, strong northern women who were proud of the city that they were from.

“It is my love letter to Manchester. I am proud of what we do. We employ a small team, we use local designers and make a lot of the products ourselves and support the local economy.

“All we’re asking for is respect.”

“You know the nature of our business means that we attract a lot of tourists. They come here to buy a memento or souvenir of Manchester. We’ve just hosted the Chanel fashion show and we’re listed in travel guides around the world.

“This is all well and good but we’re also dealing with people swearing at us, smashing our windows through and littering the streets.

“Do we want people to remember Manchester that way?”



Sam Tytyk has been area manager of McDonald’s six Manchester city restaurants for 15 years. These include Manchester Arndale, St Ann’s Square, Oxford Road, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Gardens and Hulme Asda. Most of them are open 24 hours and as family restaurants, they are there to provide quick meals to a variety of people who are in the city centre for leisure and business.

These last few years however, Sam and her team have had to deal with an increase in antisocial behaviour particularly from young people.

One incident recently saw the security guard at Piccadilly Gardens being repeatedly punched and bitten by a teenage girl at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. He was taken to hospital to be treated and the store is now pressing charges against the individual.

While Sam is keen to stress that most of their customers are well behaved, there is a small minority of people that are causing trouble, and they tend to be young people.

The staff at the restaurants all receive training in workplace violence and conflict resolution before they start working and staff never work alone. In addition, the stores in the city centre are part of the Manchester BCRP.

The information logged is shared with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council’s Antisocial Behaviour Action team. The scheme has been running for over a decade and has provided support for Sam and her team.

The Piccadilly Gardens store has security on the door and the branch at Manchester Arndale is supported by security teams who work there.

Sam says: “It’s a shame that we need to have a security guard really. We do involve the police when there are physical assaults.

We’re really fed up with this minority of people who are ruining things for other people.

Manchester is a tourist destination. If we have an incident now where someone is hurt, we will 100% report it.”



Claire Barratt has been Senior Branch Manager at Nationwide’s Market Street branch, in Manchester city centre since it opened in October 2017. During the last few years, Claire and the team have seen an increase in antisocial behaviour, which Nationwide is taking a zero-tolerance approach to.

Claire says: “It’s as if people have forgotten how to behave. We are a financial institution on the high street and when people come through the door, we expect them to be respectful.

“We receive a lot of verbal abuse, with customers swearing and shouting at us regularly, when things maybe don’t go their way, but we also have experienced physical assaults.”

Claire and her team have all had training from Nationwide. Staff must complete customer vulnerability and physical security e-learning, and additional support is also provided for staff on an individual basis.

“We had one customer come in, who was known to the branch. We’d never had any trouble before, but on this occasion he came in intoxicated and he didn’t get the decision he wanted.

“I was in a private room with another customer handling a bereavement and I could hear him shouting. We asked him to stop and tried to de-escalate the situation. That didn’t work, so we told him that we were going to start the CCTV cameras to record him, and he assaulted the member of staff and left.

“As we have evidence, from the CCTV footage, this can be shared with the police who can then arrest him and press charges – which is what happened.”

CCTV is installed in all Nationwide branches with some high risk branches also having body worn cameras. Nationwide has a dedicated team who investigate all allegations of verbal and aggressive behaviour, and they will liaise and provide witness statements to the police where applicable.

“We now encourage all staff to report incidents. We can send customers a warning letter or we can close their account, and in addition to this, if the behaviour is physical, we can also press charges through the police.”

Nationwide also supports its staff through a dedicated colleague support line if they experience incidents in the branch.



Primark’s busy Manchester city centre store is the second largest in the country and even during typically quieter weeks at the end of January, the store is still exceptionally busy. While the majority of their customers are well behaved there are a minority of people who are disrupting the retail experience with loud, aggressive, and antisocial behaviour, on a weekly basis.

Primark team manager, Jason, says: “It’s becoming routine to report at least one or two incidents each week. That is just for me and there are 40 managers at the Manchester store.”

Hannah, a retail assistant who has worked at Primark for the last decade, says she has seen an increase in antisocial behaviour. This is both the frequency of it happening and the level of aggression directed towards customers and staff.

She says: “Some customers can use quite aggressive body language and raised voices which can leave you really shook up.

I don’t want to come to work to be abused in that way”.

Primark employs security staff who are trained to deescalate antisocial behaviour and the team are equipped with radios and headsets so that they can communicate where there is an issue.

Team manager Jason says: “We encourage our staff and customers to say something to a member of staff if they see shoplifting or antisocial behaviour and not to engage with it.

We put people’s safety first. We do not tolerate this behaviour.”