Anti-social behaviour policy

Part of the Trust’s ASB & Hate Crime Framework Level 2 policy approval

1. Purpose and Scope

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to outline the principles for managing and addressing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). It provides a framework which will enable staff to work positively with customers and external agencies to effectively address ASB.
1.2 The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust is committed to tackling ASB. We recognise the detrimental impact ASB can have on customers and the community.

2. Definition

2.1 The Trust will adopt the definition of ASB provided by the Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, as follows:

  • conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person.

  • conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or

  • conduct capable of causing housing –related nuisance or annoyance to any person.

2.2 However, the Trust recognises that this is a very wide definition and there are certain acts or omissions that will not be considered as ASB under this policy. These are generally issues where it would be unreasonable for the Trust, in its capacity as Landlord, to be expected to address, including, but not limited to:

  • Inconsiderate parking

  • Cooking smells

  • Reasonable living noises, such as children playing, washing machines and using the stairs

  • Wheelie bin placement

  • Overgrown gardens, hedges and trees

  • Boundary disputes

3. Policy Statement

3.1 We will:

  • Seek to limit the escalation of minor ASB, such as noise nuisance or pets fouling, by encouraging the parties involved to discuss the matter between themselves before formally involving the Trust, supporting them with this if appropriate.

  • Aim to focus on sustainment of tenancies by balancing prevention initiatives and enforcement actions whilst ensuring that the victims of ASB are at the centre of our approach.

  • Investigate all reports where the matter constitutes ASB against or caused by our residents. However, the Trust reserves the right to decline to investigate reports of ASB where the complainant is vexatious or the complaint is clearly malicious.

  • Accept reports of ASB received through our Contact Centre, offices, key partners and via our staff.

  • Provide relevant training to our staff to give them the support and confidence to deliver the ASB service effectively.

  • Deal with all cases of ASB in accordance with the Trust’s Equality and Diversity and Safeguarding policies.

  • Provide support and advice to victims and witnesses engaging with and making referrals to external agencies where appropriate.

  • Adhere to and follow the Trust’s Potential Violent Persons Procedure when staff or contactors are subject to ASB.

  • Attempt to resolve ASB through prevention, early intervention, working with our customers and in partnership with other agencies and we will pursue fair, reasonable and proportionate enforcement actions to effectively tackle ASB.

  • Where appropriate, agree information sharing protocols with external agencies to enable us to prevent or resolve ASB issues or where individuals are at risk or there is a safeguarding concern in line with GDPR legislation.

  • Give consideration to the use of a range of enforcement tools available by way of the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014, and related statute, dependant on the type of issues presented. This includes but not limited to civil injunction, possessions action and the use of mandatory grounds, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and mediation.

  • Adhere to the relevant Local Authority’s policy on the Community Trigger, a process by which victims of repeat anti social behaviour who feel that no one is dealing with the problems that they are experiencing can request that their case is reviewed. The victim may have made reports of anti social behaviour to various agencies including relevant Local Authorities, the Police, The Trust or health provider. If the criteria to invoke the trigger is met, once requested, the relevant agencies will come together to discus the Community Trigger and work together to review the case and decide if any further action can be taken to resolve the anti social behaviour being experienced

  • Record, monitor and evaluate ASB reports and actions and take into consideration customer feedback in order to improve and develop the service.

4. Equality and Diversity

4.1 The Trust will ensure that in delivering our services we continue to be inclusive and representative. We will ensure that this is achieved through the delivery of the Trust’s Equality and Diversity Policy.
4.2 The Trust will ensure that the Policy is widely available at the Trust’s office and on the website. The Policy can be made available in large print, Braille, on audio tape on request. Translations into other languages will be available
4.3 This policy will be applied to all residents regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partner status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation.

5. Value For Money

5.1 Addressing ASB through efficient administration and partnership working will ensure cases are dealt with efficiently and effectively and the service delivers value for money.
5.2 One of the policy’s key aims is to act swiftly and decisively when ASB is reported. This swift action ensures that victims receive a consistent service.

6. Consultation

6.1 A group deriving from the Residents’ Forum has reviewed the amended version of this policy.

7. Implementation

7.1 The Housing Services Manager is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of this policy.
7.2 Regular training of staff, case reviews, performance monitoring and reporting will be carried out by the Housing Services Manager.

8. Outcomes and Monitoring

8.1 Regular monitoring of ASB service performance will be conducted by the Housing Services Manager. Our ASB Customer Commitments will be reported to the Executive Management Team and the Trust’s Board.
8.2 We will on a quarterly basis benchmark against other service providers gather and submit the following information to Housemark :

  • Number of closed successfully resolved cases of ASB

  • Number of closed unresolved cases of ASB

8.3 We will, on a quarterly basis, undertake satisfaction surveys, seeking the views of customers who have used the service. Our surveys will be carried out by an independent body. Feedback received by way of these surveys will be used to shape future ASB services.
8.4 In addition on an annual basis. the Housing Services Manager will provide a report for the Directorate Management Team a wide range of indicators will be collected and reported on, most notably:

  • Number of cases per 1000 homes.

  • Percentage of cases successfully resolved

  • Percentage of cases not resolved

  • ASB case types

  • Percentage of tenants satisfied with the way their case was handled.

  • Percentage of tenants satisfied with the outcome of their complaint.

  • Diversity of complainants and perpetrators.

  • Cost of service provision.

9. Period of Review

9.1 We will review this policy when a business need arises and in line with the relevant Policy Framework. Our review programme is driven by service improvement initiatives, changes in legislation, regulation, practice or as a result of feedback from key stakeholders. Typically we review policies on a three year cycle.

10. Related Policies

  • Domestic Abuse Policy

  • Hate Crime and Harassment Policy

  • Equality and Diversity Policy

  • Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy

  • Safeguarding Adults Policy

11. Key Legal and Regulatory References

  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998

  • Housing Act 1996

  • Human Rights Act 1998

  • Data Protection Act 1998

  • Freedom of Information Act 2000

  • Equality Act 2010

  • ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014

Policy author details
Author Heledd Williams
Job title Assistant Director of Housing
Email Heledd.Williams@vaht.co.uk
Phone 01296 732633
Publication audience Public

Anti Social Behaviour Policy, Version 2, VAHT ASB & Hate Crime Framework, FINAL Approved 25 February 2020