Anti-social behaviour orders are to be scrapped under Government plans to speed up the response to complaints from the public.
Under the changes, police will be forced to investigate a situation after complaints by five different people or three separate complaints from one person.
The plans, set out in a White Paper, are aimed at putting an end to the horror stories of victims being ignored despite repeatedly complaining about problem neighbours.
It follows high-profile cases including that of Fiona Pilkington , who killed herself and her disabled daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18, in 2007 after 10 years of sustained abuse.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: "I want to see the police dealing with anti-social behaviour when it happens and when people are reporting it."
The Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo), introduced by Tony Blair in 1998, will be axed in favour of new criminal and civil powers aimed at streamlining the system.
The Asbo is being replaced with two different orders: a new Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for more serious issues and a Civil Crime Prevention Injunction (CCPI) for lesser offences.
The CPI can be used earlier - within days or hours - and needs a lower standard of proof, although breaches can still land the culprit with a fine or even a jail sentence.
The CBO would impose a ban, like an Asbo, but could also force people into changing their behaviour - such as imposing dog training or drug rehabilitation.
One of the other measures will be a Community Protection Notice, which would punish people who blight their community - for example by using their gardens as a dumping ground.
There will also be simpler powers to close premises that are a magnet for trouble and tougher action for nightmare neighbours, including faster eviction processes.
The ideas will be introduced in three pilot schemes in Manchester, Brighton and Hove, and West Lindsey in Lincolnshire.
The Home Secretary told Sky: "Sadly too many Asbos are breached, for some they became a badge of honour and up and down the country despite the Asbos being in place for several years now we still see people's lives blighted by anti-social behaviour.
"What we want to do is put victims first, trust professionals at a local level and give communities more power to make sure something is happening. Crucially this is not a one-size-fits-all model."
However, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper claimed the new measures will make it harder for the authorities to take tough action against anti-social behaviour.
"It should not take three separate complaints, or five different households complaining before getting a response. All complaints should be dealt with, and quickly: no-one wants to wait for the Government's slow trigger," she said.
"Breaching anti-social behaviour orders will no longer be a criminal offence. And housing associations have warned that rebranding injunctions will make it harder to deal with neighbours from hell because it rips up years of case law and experience.
"Ministers' grand promises on anti-social behaviour are no use if they are taking away the police to do the job and cutting back the effective powers they need."
Campaigner Mary Armstrong, who led a long campaign to drive anti-social behaviour out of the Irk Valley estate in Collyhurst, Manchester, told Sky News that a more streamlined system is long overdue.
"It was taking too long - the process of first of all getting the anti-social behaviour order and then, if it was breached, there was an even bigger gap - the whole thing was just too lengthy," she said.
Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, director of the Criminal Justice Alliance , warned that enforcement powers alone will not be enough to prevent anti-social behaviour.
"There is a risk that if these new measures are not accompanied by necessary support in communities - youth clubs, family support and health services - they will do little in the long term to tackle this important issue," she said.
"There is a real risk that these new orders will result in more and more people being sent to prison for breaching their order when the original offence would not have warranted custody."
Sky News political correspondent Sophy Ridge added: "People will fear that the same problems with Asbos will still apply here. Will young people be demonised? How do you stop people breaching these orders? Theresa May was pretty confident that this will improve what happened with Asbos but it does wait to be seen."