This policy sets out our approach to antisocial behaviour. It applies to the all residents, staff and their visitors. It should be read in conjunction with our complaints policy.
Effective from July 2018
Planned Review date: July 2020
Team A5 support aim to provide a safe and secure environment for its residents that is also sustainable and brings value to the community.
We work with a diverse range of individuals and is committed to working with residents and their visitors to tackle anti-social behaviour, harassment, nuisance and crimes.
Manage and reduce the causes of antisocial behaviour and prevent the incidents from occurring
Prevent the recurrence of antisocial behaviour in the residential areas where we operate to ensure we manage ASB effectively and efficiently through the balancing of intervention techniques and legal actions
Provide customers with the appropriate advice and support in relation to ASB within their communities
Work in partnership with other agencies, victims and perpetrators to deliver a holistic approach to tackling antisocial behaviour
To Support staff and customers in addressing antisocial behaviour
To sustain tenancies and where possible prevent homelessness.
Antisocial behaviour can include a range of activities and as a result can have many causes.
ASB is defined by the Met Police as ‘behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the person’ ( Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 and Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011).
In relation to Team A5 Support, any not of the same household means anyone that has been given permission to occupy the property and members of the community living or working in any other property in the locality.
According to the met Police there are three main categories for antisocial behaviour, depending on how many people are affected:
- Personal antisocial behaviour is when a person targets a specific individual or group.
- Nuisance antisocial behaviour is when a person causes trouble, annoyance or suffering to a community.
- Environmental antisocial behaviour is when a person’s actions affect the wider environment, such as public spaces or buildings.
All residents and visitors must show consideration to their neighbours by adhering the terms of occupancy and not do or allow their guests to do anything that could be classed as antisocial behaviour, this includes, harassment, nuisance, noise or disturbance or annoyance to other residents, or others in the communities i.e our staff, contractors whether unintentional, deliberate or personally motivated.
We are committed to preventing the incidents of ASB rising in the first place and adapt a range of preventative measures to achieve this. Where incidents have occurred, we will adapt early intervention techniques to offer support and prevent escalation.
Identifying and addressing root causes.
There are many issues that may result in behaviour that others perceive as antisocial behaviour. Therefore, as party of our prevention and early intervention measures where these are identified we will provide assistance to the resident directly or through a referral to a specialist agency conducive to their needs as necessary.
To deliver the most holistic support we take into consideration any mental health conditions or learning disabilities or difficulties with alcohol that make it difficult for individuals to manage their own behaviour.
We will adapt a multi-agency strategy where necessary to deal with the ASB issues. Our multi-agency strategies will include the sharing of information and feedback to assess the effectiveness of certain intervening methods used.
We aim to deal with ASB in a proportionate and appropriate manner. Our approach includes engaging with all parties involved including perpetrators and the provision of support and or taking legal action.
Our preventative measures include:
Clear clauses and rules in our occupancy agreements
Providing new residents with information on our policy and procedure in relation to antisocial behaviour at the start of their occupancy and at any starter visits.
Publishing our approach to ASB on our website and a copy of our ASB Policy
- Project risk assessments
- Dynamic risk assessments when making offers taking into consideration age and personalities disclosed and documented histories i.e. offending history, OASys risk assessments.
- Community groups/forums
- Refuse clients with histories of serious ASB
- Identifying and assessing support needs, providing support or care to those who need it either directly or by referring them to external agencies as necessary. To both victims and those that cause ASB.
- Support the perpetrators of ASB to minimise or reduce the risks of further incidents
- Conduct regular house meetings
- Conduct spot checks etc
- Build a relationship with the neighbours- leave contact details for them to be able to contact us.
- Display our correspondence details at the front of the project or in windows where possible
- Liaise with local police departments to effectively manage the impact and issues that may arise from the lives of our residents that could cause ASB.
Individuals can report ASB by phone, email in writing or in person Illegal activities or criminal behaviour should be reported to the police. We will record and investigate any anonymous reports received for validity.
We will work with both the victim and the perpetrator to identify and agree actions, timescales and ultimately closure of the case
In very serious cases our early intervention prioritises seizure of the behaviour. Early intervention prevents escalation
Where possible please provide a name and a correspondence address or email so we can communicate with you and keep you updated.
Staff are required to take all reports of ASB serious and should obtain contact details where possible from the person making the report unless they refuse to provide these. However, you should make every attempt to explain why we ask for them.
- Listen to the concerns raised and give advice about what the complainant can do and what to expect from us.
- Assess any risks and begin to monitor them more closely
- Keeping to specified and agreed response times for addressing ASB i.e acknowledgement and early intervention follow up actions.
- Where there is a risk to life ensure the appropriate emergency services are contacted and begin our investigation within 2 working days.
- Develop an action plan with the person making the report, being clear and realistic about potential outcomes and timescales involved, select the most appropriate action for the type of ASB reported and action this.
- Advise the person making the report that they will be expected to play an active role in the investigation and solution process via the recording and maintenance of diaries, possible the allowance of sound tests and reporting any crimes to the police and obtaining a crime reference number.
- Individuals will be referred to external agencies where this is deemed appropriate
- Liaise with relative internal departments.
- File all reports of ASB and monitor the developments and progress of the case.
10.Keep in regular contact with the person that made the report.
On some occasions you may find that as part of their response the alleged perpetrator will make a counter claim against the person making the reporter. In this case their report should also be taken seriously, and the same approach taken
The intervening techniques we use will vary depending on the type of ASB we use. When a problem first arise, we may encourage the person making the report to politely speak to the person accused of causing the problem with a view of resolving the problem amicably.
We will take into consideration the type of clients, any recorded histories to allow us in making an informed decision. If deemed inappropriate to allow the accuser to speak with the alleged perpetrator then we will interview the alleged perpetrator as part of the investigation.
We will always ensure that people who are responsible for any sorts of antisocial behaviour, including the possibilities of their home.
We carry out regular scheme inspections. We will monitor and respond to any incidents of ASB in communal areas including, untidiness, misuse of gardens and fly tipping etc.
As part of our investigations of a reported case we will review and consider the wider needs of the individuals. If a member of the team has any concerns in regards to abuse or neglect, this must and will be reported to the relevant authorities in relation to our safeguarding policies.
We will always consider non-legal actions where it is deemed possible and appropriate.
we may consider meetings between individuals from different households facilitated by a TSO to allow residents to discuss the issues that affect them and identify solutions that maybe possible.
we consider mediation in the cases where a discussion between the neighbours was not possible or did not reach a solution. This is a process that offers support to all parties to help resolve disputes on a voluntary basis. The process is often facilitated by a third party and is based on the principle of reaching solutions through communication and compromise. It allows both parties a chance to say how they feel and where possible offer or gain an apology which in some cases is enough to settle a matter.
- Noise nuisance
- Other ASB from your neighbours
- parking issues
- anything that affects your ability to live a normal life.
Warnings- Prior to terminating a person’s license to occupy or taking legal actions we will usually issue warnings and acknowledgments and copies kept on file. A verbal warning will be issued in the first instance where the individual may not be aware of the impact their behaviour caused etc. Once issued an acknowledgment of this will be placed on their file. Individuals must be told when a warning is being issued for clarity. Further warnings can then be issued when the perpetrator refuses to acknowledge the problem and or show an improvement following initial interventions and advice from TSOs
TSO’s should make every effort gain acknowledgement or proof of a warning being issued this could be via email or SMS depending on an individual’s preferred method of contact.
Sometimes instead of ASBO from the courts it may be possible to solve the issues amicably and an acceptable behaviour contract may be more suitable
An acceptable behaviour contract is an agreement between the person behaving badly and Team A5 Support
ABCs aim to ensure that people who behave antisocially to understand their behaviour and how it affects others and take responsibility for their actions and improve their behaviour and stop it.
They are warned of the possible consequences to them and their visitors, should their anti-social behaviour continue. Our priority is to stop the bad behaviour. During the ABC interview, we may be able to refer the individual to mentoring or counselling programmes or other agencies or groups that may be beneficial to their needs. We want to assist individuals in moving away from causing problems and towards a better lifestyle.
ABCs usually last between 3 to 6 months
We consider legal action where there is sufficient evidence. There are different types of evidence which could be used. A Fair and reasonable belief could result in further actions depending on the issue.
- Racial abuse or Harassment of residents or neighbours or passers by
- The verbal abuse of others.
- Criminal damage to properties etc.
- Noise nuisance
- Engaging in threatening behaviour in large groups
- Alcohol and or Substance misuse
They are not legally binding however breaches could result in termination of a person’s license to occupy as it forms part of the evidence
- Legal notices
- Possession orders where applicable
- Notice to terminate a license
We will also work with the local councils to issue; CPNs issued by local authorities and or police.
Premises closure orders for premises where drugs are used unlawfully or where there is a high level of persistent disorder by working with police. This could mean that not only you, but other individuals lose your home particularly where individuals fail to disclose specific perpetrators and the issued is then applicable to the project in general.
We will work with the local council, the police and the courts wherever possible to ensure that breaches are enforced quickly and appropriately as appropriate.
After a report of ASB has been investigated we move to close the case. We will consult the person that made the report and explain our reasons for now considering closure. We will listen to their feedback and any reasons they have as to why we should not close the case and advise accordingly.
- We involve them in discussions about the action plan to resolve the issues.
- We keep them informed on developments and progress ● We will refer them to appropriate services where necessary.
- Providing them with the contact details of or information on other agencies such as the environmental health department, police and local authority.
- Offering mentoring services
- Where possible offer support with travel expenses for court attendance and court preparations.
- Ensuring the property is safe through practical advice and solutions.
- Alternative housing options may be considered as a last resort where there is a risk to the residents that have made the report. Our priority is stopping the behaviour rather than transferring individuals elsewhere.
Sometimes the victims maybe an owner-occupier of another property or a tenant of another landlord where possible we will work with the police, partners to support and protect the victims of ASB and offer advice and support to those experiencing ASB caused by our residents.
We consider legal action where there is sufficient evidence. There are different types of evidence which could be used. A Fair and reasonable belief could result in further actions depending on the issue.
An investigation was concluded, appropriate action has been taken and no further incidents have occurred over a given time period (the period may vary depending on the case or type of ASB)
We were unable to gather sufficient evidence in order to take action.
If a person makes a report and then withdraws it, we may close the case. In some cases where we have sufficient evidence, we may be able to continue to pursue the case without the victim’s involvement.
The person that made the report will be notified in writing that the case is closed and that they should and can contact us should the issues reoccur in the future. On closing an ASB case you should seek the views of the person that made the report and ask how satisfied they were with the handling of the case. Customer feedback will be used to improve our service where possible.
We recognise and appreciate the fact that us solely may not be able to solve the problems of ASB in the communities. Therefore, at Team A5 Support, we will adopt a multi-agency approach where possible to prevent and stop ASB.
We will work positively with
The police, community support officers, safer neighbourhood teams.
Environmental health departments
The probation services
Substance misuse agencies
A local authority, social services, including children and adult services Floating support agencies.
Our work should be both strategic and operational using community initiatives and feedback to inform policies and put practical steps in place to ensure they are adhered to and followed.
The community trigger is one of the resources available to support communities in dealing with ASB in accordance with the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (also known as the ASB case review) is a process which allows members of the community to ask the council, police or housing association to deal with persistent antisocial behaviour (ASB). The trigger cannot be used to report new incidents of
ASB. You can activate the trigger if you (as an individual) have reported antisocial behaviour to the council, police and/or housing association three times about separate incidents of antisocial behaviour in the last six months and you consider that the reports have not been appropriately addressed or there has been no action taken.
We will participate in the procedures adopted by any council where we have properties.
A designated person will be appointed to take the lead with the case and liaise with the relevant parties to respond and oversee the implementation of any response made.
The community trigger does not affect your right to make a complaint to the council.
You will also have and maintain the right to complain to the Local Government
Ombudsman or Independent Police Complaints Commission or the Housing
Ombudsman. If you are dissatisfied with how it is being handled.
You can activate a community trigger online via the council websites. For Croydon, you can also email Community Trigger@croydon.gov.uk, or call them on 020 8726 6000
The Power under the under section 115 of the crime and Disorder act 1998, the Data Protection act and Article 23 allows the disclosure of information for the protection of the individual, or the rights and freedoms of others; or the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences;
Where appropriate will aim to have signed information sharing protocols so that information can be shared with other agencies for the purpose of preventing ASB or crime. Any information exchanged must be compliant with the Human Rights Act 1998.
We are committed to maintaining confidentiality
Interviews and discussions with customers about personal and sensitive matters must be conducted in private. The identity of victims, reporters and or witnesses should only be disclosed to third parties with their express permission. However, in some cases, residents or reporters need to be aware that it may be apparent to the alleged perpetrator who reported the incident.
Staff should, however, make every effort to safeguard this particular where a request to remain anonymous has been made. Please refrain from discussing issues in a house meeting for example if you feel you cannot maintain confidentiality and speak to your line manager for advice.
We will consult with our residents and neighbours etc on ASB strategies to develop action plans that tackle ASB in partnership with those that use or are affected by our service. We attend forums etc to allow individuals to provide their views.
We will provide/publicise reports where possible to allow customers to know how we are dealing with ASB issues.
At house meetings and our Resident Panel meetings, individuals will be given the opportunity to feedback on proposed changes to policies.
We publicise our views and approaches to ASB in our resident house meetings, on our websites, via leaflets and posters and in annual reports.
However, we may not disclose action against perpetrators.
We have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse against our staff and or contractors we will take appropriate action against anyone that is physically or verbally abusive which could result in the police being called and charges being filed.
We are committed to ensuring the safety of our staff;
Staff should be trained in
Confidently identifying and investigating ASB reports
To cope with difficult and dangerous situations
Keep up to date with current legislations and best practice guidelines including adult safeguarding and protection from abuse.
Our staff are required to record all incidents of ASB, KPIs may be used to monitor our performance
We will tailor our service according to client feedback and performance reports
To improve services, we may monitor various diversity points of those that conduct or report ASB to improve understanding.
It is our view that this policy does not directly or indirectly target a particular group of individuals.
Data Protection Policy Lone working Policy Information and Legislations
Tackling anti-social behaviour- Tools and Powers for social landlords
Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014
– httpss://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-g dpr/exemptions/
Home- Office – More effective responses to antisocial behaviour
Croydon council website
The terms of behaviour should not be too much to overwhelm the individual, be specific where possible as too many general points could create misunderstandings as to what exactly is covered and too specific could result in easy evasion. Ensure the language used is simple and can be easily understood by the individual.
The aim is to prevent further misbehaviour and not be a punishment. For example, if the ASB is not done at night then there is no need for a curfew but if it is then there is. If it is in regard to a particular area then it may be necessary to consider exclusions from certain parts.
Address the underlying issues.
I will not:
damage property verbally abuses passers-by write graffiti throw stones or other objects
congregate in groups of four or more climb on public or private property spit smoke (if under 16) set fire to things damage the environment or smash a glass
Or they can be positive examples such as; I will attend an anger management programme
Attend AA, counselling etc.
Clearly, it is possible to include a general term such as “I will not behave in an anti-social manner”, but that can have two drawbacks:
if it is difficult for the perpetrator to grasp where the boundary lies between what is and what is not acceptable, he/she might be more reluctant to sign up to the agreement as a whole;
a general prohibition is difficult to monitor and will lead to more disagreements over compliance, which is counterproductive for a tool aimed at bringing about positive, long term behavioural change.
Forms of Anti-Social Behaviour
- Harassment of residents or Passers-by
- Verbal abuse
- Criminal damage
- Noise nuisance
- Writing graffiti
- Engaging in threatening behaviour in large groups
- Racial abuse
- Drinking alcohol while under age
- Substance misuse
- Throwing missiles
- Vehicle crime
- Criminal acts i.e. theft, burglary.
Serious breaches of the ABC may lead to enforcement action. This may include applying to the court for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.
If there are minor breaches, a meeting will normally be held with the resident to reiterate the terms of their contract and decide whether any further action needs to be taken.
Taking action: using ABCs to tackle disorder in a scheme or area
A letter is sent to all residents within the scheme outlining the aims and objectives of the ABC scheme. The letter discusses the problems caused by anti-social individuals living within the scheme and includes a general description of the unacceptable behaviour occurring. It invites residents to record the details of all problem behaviour experienced or witnessed and to complete incident record books that can be used for evidential purposes. The local authority housing department, police and other agencies are also encouraged to monitor activity and gather evidence to identify the people involved.
It is worth thinking about where the meeting should take place. It may be possible to use police premises. However, whilst the use of police premises may reinforce the importance attached to an ABC, it is important that care is taken to ensure that the interview is not misinterpreted as being part of a criminal investigation. housing or local police officers and any other interested party such as a social worker or friend may be present if it is considered appropriate.
If the individual who is to become subject to an ABC does not attend without either notification or good reason, further attempts, by letter or a visit, should be made to contact them. If this fails, their non-appearance can be documented and used at any future proceedings if the inappropriate behaviour is repeated. Written warning of this should be sent to the person concerned. The meeting where the contract is signed does not constitute legal proceedings
Publicise the scheme locally prior to holding the meeting so that those concerned are aware of it and its aims Make the interview less formal to avoid intimidating the family Choose a spacious room and only invite key stakeholders Involve other agencies prior to this meeting, for example, youth services and schools Hold a pre-meeting with key stakeholders to share relevant information. This will help to keep attendance at the actual interview to a minimum Allow adequate preparation time.
Special educational needs, disability and mental health difficulties of a perpetrator may of course be highly relevant to his/her behaviour. Where he/she has a disability, mental health difficulty or learning disability, practitioners with specialist knowledge of the circumstances ought to be involved in the assessment, to help determine what form the intervention should be applied to the situation. Agencies should ensure that those with disabilities, mental health difficulties or Learning disabilities are not excluded/discriminated against and are able to access the same quality and level of support and have their support needs met. Experts familiar with the perpetrator or with his/her presenting conditions ought to be involved in the ABC process in order to ensure appropriate support is in place.
At the end of the contract If the subject of the contract/agreement has successfully complied with it over its entire length, then it would be appropriate for the other signatories to send him/her a letter of congratulation. This would help reinforce the message that the contract/agreement was preventive, not punitive, in nature.
See also suggested Do’s and Don’ts of the ABC meeting below.
The action taken should be determined by the seriousness of the incident. Early intervention techniques can be applied, and a structured approach taken leading eventually to legal action if the behaviour does not cease and it has become obvious that the situation has gone beyond the ABC approach.
Such a structured approach may involve:
written warnings (however this assumes a good level of literacy and visits may be more appropriate); an interview to discuss and reiterate the contract terms. This will also help to identify why it was broken and enable agencies to provide additional support that may be required to prevent further examples of noncompliance.
The purpose of this is to bring home to the perpetrator how his/her subsequent behaviour has gone against what he/she signed up to in the original ABC. ABCs are about enforcing as well as setting boundaries. Of course, it is open to either side to withdraw from the agreement at any time (and agencies should always put the victims’ interests first and opt for more formal action if the continued misbehaviour is serious), but a structured approach to dealing with continued incidents has the advantage of keeping the perpetrator engaged. It is important therefore to be seen to allow him/her to put his/her side of the story. In cases where the witness evidence is disputed or where the perpetrator is adamant that he/she has not acted in a prohibited manner, it is worth referring the case to a multi-agency ASB panel.
Agencies nonetheless should always be robust in regarding persistent and baseless appeals as evidence of bad faith that should lead to a withdrawal of the agreement. If the behaviour is persistent, then it is important to follow it up with formal legal proceedings, eg. for an anti-social behaviour order, or a possession order. This will ensure that victims and the wider community can continue to have confidence in local agencies’ ability to tackle these problems, which in turn impacts on confidence and reassurance. Agencies such as the Local authority and the local police department should be involved to identify appropriate measures to address the continued unacceptable behaviour. However, where the community is facing ongoing anti-social behaviour, legal action should be considered.
Even if an ASBO seems appropriate it is worth trying to make an ABC because this can be used as evidence of positive engagement or non-engagement when applying for the ASBO.
An example of an Acceptable Behaviour Contract
THIS CONTRACT is made on [date] BETWEEN [name and address of lead agency/agencies] AND [name of individual].
[name of individual] AGREES to the following in respect of future conduct –
- I will not damage any property in and around the [specify area or address of scheme].
- I will not congregate in groups (specify number) in communal areas of [specify the area], i.e. stairways and walkways.
- I will not invite 4 or more guests at any one time to the scheme 3. I will not enter any other prohibited areas.
- I will not throw anything at residents or passers-by in or around the scheme or through the windows
- I will not threaten or abuse residents or passers-by (specify area). This includes swearing.
- I will dispose of my rubbish correctly.
- I will not allow my visitors to cause any noise nuisance within or outside the property- loud noise, music etc.
[FURTHER [name of individual] enters into a commitment with Team A5 Support not to act in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons, not in the same household.]
If [name of individual] does anything which he/she has agreed not to do under this contract, and which Team A5 support or members of external agencies consider amounts to anti-social behaviour, an application may be made to the magistrates’ court for an ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR ORDER to prohibit [name of individual] from acting in a manner likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household.
SIGNED ________________________________________ Police Officer [name of police officer or EHO, for example] DATE………………
SIGNED ________________________________________ Housing Manager [name of housing officer, for example] DATE………………
DECLARATION I confirm that I understand the meaning of this contract and that the consequences of breaking the contract have been explained to me.
SIGNED ________________________________________ [signature of individual]
SIGNED ________________________________________ [signature of support worker/ carer or guardian] DATE………………