When you report Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) we will follow the promises made to tenants through our Local Offers and Service Standards, which include:
- To take your report seriously and carry out a thorough investigation
- Contact you within 24 hours of receiving high priority ASB cases (e.g. racial harassment, domestic abuse or physical assaults)
- Contact you within seven calendar days for all other ASB cases
- Aim to resolve your complaint quickly and find a lasting solution
- Keep you informed of progress and regularly review this
- Give you advice, support and guidance throughout our investigation and work with other agencies
- Aim to resolve the situation without moving anyone or taking legal action
- Get both sides of the story and give people the chance to change their behaviour
- Take steps to tackle the root of the problem – this may include mediation
- Take swift enforcement action where a serious incident has occurred or when people do not change their behaviour
- Keep your details confidential unless you give us permission to share them with others
- Contact you before closing the case and ensure you understand why. We will confirm this in writing
- Ask for your views on how we dealt with your case and publish our performance based on satisfaction with our service.
If you contact us to report ASB, you do not have to wait for us to contact you if you want to report further incidents, you need advice or are worried about something – speak to the officer dealing with your case or complete on online form. You can also contact the Community Sustainment Team on 01246 217670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you first report the Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) or harassment to us, we will ask for full details of what happened and who was involved. The information you provide will help us to decide what action to take. It may be necessary to speak to the person who caused the ASB straight away. If a serious incident has occurred, it may be necessary to take immediate action and ask you to give a witness statement to pass on to the Legal Team.
If we cannot take action straight away, we will explain the reasons why and what we need to do next.
The sort of questions we may ask as part of our investigation are:
- What happened?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Who was involved?
- Who witnessed the incident?
- Is this the first incident or has this been happening for a while?
- Have you reported the incident to anyone else (e.g. Police)?
Once this information has been gathered, the Community Sustainment Officer will arrange to meet with you to discuss possible action to be taken. A proposed action plan will then be drawn up to address your complaint.
The Community Sustainment Officer will monitor and record ongoing work and keep you updated with progress made.
In more serious cases, we will consider steps to make people feel safer in their home. This could be:
- Additional security measures
- Use of surveillance equipment
- Providing information for witnesses from other agencies as appropriate.
It is important that we are given enough information to allow us to fully investigate your complaint and decide on the most appropriate course of action.
In most cases of Anti Social Behaviour (ASB), we will issue you with an incident diary to complete. The diaries provide important information for us when investigating your complaint as well as being a good source of evidence to support any legal action we may take if they are written at the time of the incident. They can help the Judge to understand what you have suffered.
If the problem stops and then starts up again, the diaries are important to show that previous warnings have been ignored and we are reasonable in taking further action.
Incident Diaries are not the only source of evidence we use. Anything that backs up your report to prove the ASB or harassment can be used, such as:
- Statements from other witnesses
- We have specialist surveillance equipment we can use to record evidence of ASB and harassment
- We have noise monitoring equipment that can be used when investigating complaints of noise nuisance.
The action we can take depends on the severity of the problem and the evidence available.
We will always try to resolve an issue at a ‘low level’ in the first instance. Sometimes people are not aware of the effect their behaviour is having on their neighbours and a quiet word can highlight the problem to them and remind them that their behaviour is unacceptable and a breach of their tenancy agreement.
We can refer some cases to mediation where the problem could be resolved by helping you and the person causing the problem to come to an agreement and resolve your differences.
We can give verbal and written warnings and escalate these to more formal actions such as Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs).
If the ASB or harassment continues, a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) for Secure Tenants or Notice of Proceeding for Possession for Introductory Tenants can be served. This is the first legal step towards taking possession of their property. In serious cases, we can serve a NOSP without prior warnings.
Although we try to solve complaints without legal action, we have several legal powers available to force someone to stop causing ASB or harassment and will use them where necessary.