Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Policy
1.1 This policy applies to all Estuary Housing Association (EHA) Customers, Residents, Staff, Contractors and Agents
1.2 This Policy sets out our commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour experienced by any person(s) where the source is a resident, member of their household or visitor to an EHA owned property or scheme
1.3 Where a non EHA resident is causing ASB and there is no link to an EHA tenancy or leaseholder we will provide advice and support. We will signpost victim(s) to relevant agencies and may seek legal recourse where the ASB affects our customers or the Services we provide.
1.4 This Policy does not cover Anti-social behaviour experienced in an area where we have no stock and the perpetrator is not an EHA customer.
2.1 The Housing Act 1996 states Anti-social behaviour is:
(a) conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to some person (who need not be a particular identified person) and that directly or indirectly relates to or affects the landlord's housing management functions, or
(b) conduct that consists of or involves using or threatening to use housing accommodation owned or managed by the landlord for an unlawful purpose.
2.2 Section 2 (1) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 sets out the meaning of Anti-Social Behaviour as:
(a) conduct has caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person.
(b) conduct capable of causing a nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of a residential premises or.
(c) conduct capable of causing housing related nuisance or annoyance to any person.
Subsection (1)(b) applies only where the injunction under section 1 is applied for by:
(a) a housing provider,
(b) a local authority, or
(c) a chief officer of police.
In subsection (1)(c) “housing-related” means directly or indirectly relating to the housing management functions of:
(a) a housing provider, or
(b) a local authority.
For the purposes of subsection (3) the housing management functions of a housing provider or a local authority include:
(a) functions conferred by or under an enactment.
(b) the powers and duties of the housing provider or local authority as the holder of an estate or interest in housing accommodation.
3.1 We will use the following legislation as part of our approach to tackling anti-social behaviour:
- Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014
- Housing Act 1985, 1988 and 2004
- Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003
- Crime and Disorder Act 1998,
- Equality Act 2010
4. Policy Statements and Aims
4.1 EHA are committed to working in partnership with our customers and other agencies to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour in order to develop safer and stronger communities.
4.2 We aim to:
- Develop measures to prevent anti-social behaviour.
- Use a variety of tools, powers and interventions available
- Raise awareness amongst residents, staff and other relevant stakeholders of the impact of ASB.
- Support those affected by ASB and where applicable carry out an assessment of the vulnerability of the complainant at the earliest opportunity .
- Deal with reports of ASB promptly, proportionately, objectively and sensitively
- To utilise equipment designed for the prevention of or evidencing ASB such as CCTV and noise recording equipment
- Work in partnership with the Police, Local Authority, Community Groups and other agencies
- Work with alleged perpetrators to change their behaviour where possible taking in account any Equality Act issue which may impact their behaviour and referring to specialist agencies where applicable.
5. Categorising Anti-Social Behaviour
5.1 EHA has adopted the Housemark categories of ASB to enable effective benchmarking with other Associations as listed below:
- Verbal abuse / Harassment / Intimidation / threatening behaviour
- Hate related incidents
- Vandalism and damage to property
- Pets and animal nuisance
- Nuisance from vehicles
- Drugs / Substance misuse / drug dealing
- Alcohol related
- Domestic abuse
- Physical violence (other than DA)
- Litter / Rubbish / fly-tipping
- Garden nuisance
- Misuse of communal areas / loitering
- Criminal behaviour
5.2 Not all reports relating to behaviour that impacts on an individual can be deemed anti-social behaviour or a statutory nuisance. The following are some examples:
- Children playing, fall outs between children or babies crying.
- Sounds of day to day living such as opening and closing of doors or going up and down stairs.
- One-off parties providing they don’t cause an unacceptable disturbance.
- Clashes of lifestyle including cultural differences.
- Differences due to working patterns.
- Comments made on social media sites.
5.3 We will work to manage residents’ expectations in regards to behaviour which is not deemed Anti-social. We will offer advice and guidance to encourage residents to deal or manage the situation themselves.
6.1 We commit to the following objectives:
- Work to prevent all forms of anti-social behaviour.
- That appropriate action is taken in accordance with legislation and good practice.
- Early intervention.
- Developing a consistent and co-ordinated approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.
- Being clear as to EHA powers and agreeing actions in conjunction with the reporting party.
- Action taken is effective and provides a long-lasting solution.
- To refer to external agencies where additional support is needed.
- To take a balanced approach and help perpetrators sustain their tenancy by addressing ASB.
- Sharing information with partners (in accordance with GDPR).
- Implement a framework for monitoring and improving our approach.
- Providing appropriate and effective training for staff.
- Raising awareness of community and other initiatives to tackle ASB.
7. Residents Responsibilities
7.1 Our agreements are clear that we expect our tenants:
- Not to cause or allow members of his/her household or invited guests to cause a nuisance or annoyance or act in such a way that is likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours or other Tenants of the Association or to employees, agents or contractors of the Association or to anyone visiting or otherwise engaged in lawful activity in the locality of the premises.
- Not to use the premises for any illegal or immoral purposes.
- Neither to commit, nor allow members of his or her household or invited visitors to commit, any bias-motivated crime, on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, class, nationality, age, gender identification, sexual orientation or disability that may interfere with the peace and comfort of, or cause offence to other persons in the neighbourhood or to any Tenant, employee, agent or contractor of the Association.
7.2 Leaseholders and shared owners are also covered by this policy and are expected to refrain from anti-social behaviour.
7.3 The Association may seek possession if the Tenant or a person residing in or visiting the premises is convicted of an indictable offence, committed in or in the locality of the Premises, or using the Premises, or allowing them to be used, for immoral/illegal purposes.
7.4 In addition to the legal responsibilities set out in the tenancy or lease agreement we will encourage all residents to:
- Take responsibility for minor personal disputes with their neighbours and try to resolve any such problems in a reasonably.
- Report instances of ASB in a timely manner.
- Report all crimes, including threats or acts of violence, to the Police.
- Where necessary engage with other partnership agencies such as the Local Authority.
- Respect others right to their chosen lifestyle and be tolerant of everyday living.
- Work and cooperate fully to resolve disputes by attending mediation, providing written or other suitable evidence and attending court if necessary.
- To show consideration to neighbours and not to cause a nuisance to them, their guests or Association staff, contractors and agents.
8. Service Standards
8.1 We aim to deal quickly and effectively with all cases to resolve them at the earliest opportunity. We will record anonymous reports, but only take action if the ASB can be substantiated and additional evidence gained.
8.2 We will ensure customers are listened to and treated fairly. Counter allegations will be logged as separate cases and action will be taken based on the evidence available.
8.3 We will seek to contact the reporting party prior to closing their ASB case. We will obtain feedback on satisfaction relating to ASB case handling and outcome.
8.4 ASB Performance information is provided to the Executive Team on a monthly basis and reported quarterly to the Customer Experience Committee.
9. Partnership Working
9.1 We will play an active role in local and regional forums which work to reduce antisocial behaviour in areas where we own and manage stock.
9.2 We will partner with the police, local housing and education authorities, social services, support providers, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) or Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs), Multi Agency Risk Assessment Committees (MARACs), Drugs and Alcohol Action Teams (DAATs), youth offending teams, probation services, family intervention projects, mediation services, voluntary sector organisations and all other relevant bodies.
9.3 We will participate in the development of effective information sharing protocols with all relevant partners, for the purposes of tackling antisocial behaviour, within the requirements of GDPR.
9.4 We will work with relevant advice and support providers to facilitate easy referrals and improve the overall service received by victims, witnesses and perpetrators.
9.5 We will work closely with other organisations to ensure a holistic and coordinated approach to dealing with problems of antisocial behaviour, avoiding duplication of effort.
9.6 We will provide advice to any Customer wishing to have their ASB case reviewed by way of a Community Trigger in line with the Local Authority guidance and will fully cooperate where a Community Trigger Panel has been established.
10. Protection of Staff
10.1 EHA acknowledges that our staff, agents and contractors are entitled to expect to work in an environment that is safe, secure and free from fear of violence, threats of violence or abuse. As such any behaviour of this nature directed at staff, agents or contractors is deemed to be unacceptable and appropriate action will be taken against those responsible.
11.0 Monitoring and Evaluations
11.1 Monitoring of ASB cases will be done on a regular basis at a local level.
11.2 We will monitor ASB case handling and outcome satisfaction levels to improve our ASB service.
11.3 ASB will be monitored against a defined spectrum of key performance indicators (KPI).
11.4 When issues of underperformance are identified, strategies will be developed in consultation and partnership with the Federation of Estuary Residents in order to rectify such matters. The Association will publish annually the KPI’s according to consultation with residents.
12. Equality and Diversity
12.1 The Association will make every effort to meet the needs of our residents when implementing this policy.
12.2 We are committed to supporting customers and staff to access information in a way that suits individual needs.