The government is promising to set up five pilot schemes this summer, which will force the authorities to act if people in five separate households complain about a neighbour causing problems, such as noise or threatening behaviour.Simply put, it seems that the Police are being absolved of the responsibility to investigate after receiving just the one complaint.
Rather different, then, to areas where activities which are wholesome, enjoyable, or life-enhancing seem to require only one complaint to have non anti-social activity stopped, such as expressions of affection.
The message on the bulletin board headed ‘Speaking to Customers’ said: “Please can drivers be aware that some of our customers may take offence at having terms such as ‘love’, ‘darling’ and ‘babe’ directed towards them.It was also a lone complainant who had the Police scrambling to arrest an entertainer singing 1970s chart hit Kung Fu Fighting.
“This can be seen by some as being a sexist comment, as a recent complaint has highlighted.”
The incident had involved a 32-year-old man who apparently took offence as he walked past the bar during Mr Ledger's performance.A single anonymous sad sack who enforced the removal of a lollipop man's Christmas tinsel.
Hampshire Police said Mr Ledger was questioned on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm or distress, but released because there was not enough evidence to prove a criminal offence had been committed.
Pupils at Berrywood Primary School in Hedge End, near Southampton, sobbed when the decoration was taken off Kevin Simpson's placard after council officials banned it.Just one complaint was enough to ban a children's trampoline from a shared garden.
An anonymous passer-by had complained the decoration might obscure the sign.
A spokesman for London and Quadrant, the housing association, said that it had contacted Mr Nice about his trampoline after receiving a complaint from one of his neighbours, but denied that risk of burglary was a factor.And just one person was required to object to Mothers looking after each other's children for the practice to be deemed unlawful.
"The trampoline is in a communal area on our land and our only concern was that when it is left unattended other children could use it and may hurt themselves," he said.
Two working mothers have been banned from looking after each other's toddlers because they are not registered childminders.Now, these are merely articles I have written about on this blog in the past or - in the bus company case - tweeted recently. I'm sure you could find hundreds of other examples yourself without too much searching.
The close friends' private arrangement had let them both return to part-time jobs at the same company.
However, a whistleblower reported them to the education watchdog Ofsted and it found their informal deal broke the law.
So what we can take from the situation is that if you are a law-abiding citizen, just one complaint is fine for there to be an investigation and censure. The complainant is even allowed to have their identity protected.
If, however, you are an irritating little scrote, it will take five complainants, from five different - identifiable - addresses, before the Police will be required, under Teresa May's shiny new initiative, to lift a finger of help.
I'd be more impressed if May had instructed public bodies to abide by a trigger of five complaints against ordinary people going about their daily lives in a decent manner (which is arguably another form of anti-social behaviour anyway), while instructing the Police to go after anti-social or criminal behaviour the very first time it is flagged up.
But then, when did politicians ever recognise what is truly important to the public? They've spent the past 20 or 30 years trying their hardest not to listen to us, after all.
Or is it just that law-abiding folk are far easier to bully than anti-social neds and their hulking pit bull, Satan?