Anti Social Behaviour Procedure
Anti-Social Behaviour Procedure
Below sets out how we as Connexus manages reports of Anti-Social Behaviour and the procedures we will follow if you report any issues to us.
We have included how we will record, support and close ASB cases and would really like your feedback on how you think this works for you?
Does it make sense? Have we covered everything you would expect? Have we missed anything?
Giving us your feedback helps us shape our services to suit the needs and expectations of you and ensures your voice is heard throughout the business.
This procedure has been developed by Connexus Homes Limited.
The aim of this procedure is to provide a clear framework for Connexus and its employees to deter and respond to incidents of anti-social behaviour.
This procedure covers all residents of Connexus; tenants, licensees, leaseholders and shared owners.
The procedure should be used by officers in their response to dealing with all instances of anti-social behaviour.
Connexus will work in partnership with other agencies and the wider community to prevent, tackle and resolve anti-social behaviour (ASB). We will use the best practice ‘triple track’ approach to case work, combining early intervention/prevention, support and enforcement, where necessary.
Connexus defines nuisance as any behaviour that unreasonably interferes with the complainants’ rights to use and enjoy their home and community.
Connexus has adopted the definition of anti-social behaviour as detailed in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Please refer to the Connexus Anti-Social Behaviour Policy for further detail.
Where possible, we aim to prevent ASB from occurring in the first place. Examples of preventative measures we use, include:
Assessing and signing up new tenants
Any new letting of a home will include a pre-tenancy assessment with the perspective new tenant. The pre-tenancy assessment will consider applicants past history of ASB, any current risks in rehousing the applicant and whether it is appropriate and proportionate to continue in letting a home to them.
The Connexus Lettings Policy allows the withdrawal of offer or ability to refuse accommodation to individuals who have perpetrated anti-social behaviour. Where an offer of a property is not made to an applicant due to a previous history of unacceptable or anti-social behaviour this will be done in line with the Connexus Lettings Policy.
Where an offer proceeds, at the sign up, the relevant officer will explain to the new tenant what ASB is, how to report it and what action can be taken to tackle it. The officer should also set out Connexus’ expectations around acceptable behaviour and conduct in relation to their own tenancy.
All new tenants should be provided with details of our website and directed to the Tenancy Support section, which will include further information on anti-social behaviour; https://connexus-group.co.uk/tenancy-support/my-tenancy/anti-social-behaviour
Receiving and recording a report of anti-social behaviour
Reports of ASB can be made by anyone either directly or via a third party, such as the Police, MP or Local Authority. Reports can be made via the telephone, in writing, in person or via the Connexus website.
|5.2||The initial log of the complaint should contain the following information:|
Once the above information is collated it should be logged on CX as an ASB case and assigned to the relevant officer. If the case is serious then it should be responded to within 1 working day. General cases will be responded to within 3 working days.
Supported Housing Schemes
Where the complainant and/or perpetrator is a resident within a supported housing scheme any reports of ASB will initially be sent directly to the officer responsible for managing the scheme (Independent Living Co-ordinator/Housing Co-ordinator etc).
Such reports should still be logged as an ASB case on CX as indicated at 5.3. Where there are persistent ASB issues or individuals do not moderate their behaviour then guidance should be sought from a Housing Officer or Enforcement Officer. A case should only be referred to a Housing Officer or Enforcement Officer when the officer responsible for managing the scheme has tried to resolve the issue(s) without success. It will be necessary to share relevant information relating to the ASB complaint with the Housing or Enforcement Officer.
|5.4||Reports Received From A Third Party|
|5.4.1||Where a report is made via a third party, no information on the individual’s circumstances will be shared with the third party without confirmation of consent gained from the individual or in line with the information sharing protocol.|
Where a person reporting ASB wishes to remain anonymous the officer dealing with the report should:
|5.5.2||If the person reporting ASB still wishes to remain anonymous the officer should explain the limitations it imposes to investigating the complaint and that we will be unable to provide any feedback on our investigation and action taken. The details of the ASB report should still be logged on CX as per 5.3 of this procedure with the complainant recorded as anonymous.|
Responding to the report of Anti-Social Behaviour
Once a report of ASB is received the responsible investigating officer will assess the risk of the case. The risk will be assessed using a range of information and will be based upon:
|6.2||Any case assessed as high risk must be responded to within 1 working day. All other cases have a 3 day response time.|
|6.3||Where a crime has been committed, the investigating officer should advise and encourage the complainant to report the incident to the police|
|6.4||There may be occasions where is it appropriate for the investigating officer to make a report to the police themselves, such as instances of criminal damage to Connexus property. The officer should seek guidance from their manager in such circumstances|
|6.5||The investigating officer should advise the complainant of the next actions they will be taking and any actions required by the complainant themselves, such as completion of diary log sheets or use of Noise App. The agreed actions should be recorded within the ASB case. Where the actions have been agreed verbally, it is good practice to confirm these in writing by either letter or CX email communication to the complainant.|
Interviewing complainants (including witnesses)
The investigating officer must carry out an interview with the complainant in order to gather the full facts of the incident(s). This interview can take place either by telephone or face to face, within the appropriate timescale.
In making arrangement to meet the complainant(s) the officer should give consideration to the most appropriate place to meet. The location for meeting should be mutually agreed between the officer and complainant. The officer should also consider anyone else who should be included, such as an advocate or friend so that the complainant is adequately supported during the interview. Any specific needs, such as requirement for interpreter or sign language, should be accommodated. Family members under the age of 18 should not be used as interpreters for cases of ASB which include any sensitive or inappropriate information.
The interview should cover the following points
Any further actions should be agreed with the complainant during the interview. All notes should be dated, timed and recorded on CX as part of the ASB case. Notes should be recorded using plain English and without the use of abbreviations or slang words. Any further actions should be confirmed in writing to the complainant.
Where there has been no success in contacting the complainant, after 2 attempts, a letter or email via CX should be sent out outlining what action can be taken. Every effort should be made to investigate the complaint and take appropriate action, where possible. Where there is no further contact from the complainant or no further complaints are made the case should be closed, please refer to section 16.1 of this procedure for guidance on closing the case.
|7.7||Safeguarding and support|
Where any additional support requirements are identified and agreed the investigating officer should ensure that the relevant referral(s) is made
|7.7.2||Any concerns relating to the safeguarding of the complainant or their household should be discussed between the officer and their manager and responded to in line with the Connexus Safeguarding Policy and Procedure.|
Interviewing the alleged perpetrator
The investigating officer should contact the alleged perpetrator in order to arrange an interview with them. The interview can take place either by telephone or face to face, within the appropriate timescale. The alleged perpetrator should be informed that the purpose of the interview is to:
Detailed notes of the interview should be taken and recorded against the CX ASB case. Notes should be recorded using plain English and without using abbreviations or slang words.
Where appropriate, an action plan should be agreed with the perpetrator. They should be
reminded of the requirements of their tenancy agreement and that legal action may be taken
where breaches are identified.
If there are counter allegations, a new case should be opened and investigated according to
|8.4||Safeguarding and support|
Where any additional support requirements are identified and agreed the investigating officer should ensure that the relevant referral(s) is made.
Any concerns relating to the safeguarding of the perpetrator or their household should be discussed between the officer and their manager and responded to in line with the Connexus Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
|9.1||It is not always possible for alleged perpetrators to be identified when a complaint is made.|
In such circumstances, the investigating officer should gain as much detail from the complainant(s) as possible. Consideration should be given to the following ways to identify the alleged perpetrator:
Gathering evidence and investigating the case
All evidence should be gathered as quickly as possible to ensure that timely action is taken
and that witness accounts are as accurate as possible. The evidence should be appropriate,
relevant, factual, cost effective and respectful of confidentiality. Information provided by
complainants or witnesses should be done so with informed consent.
Reports need to be investigated in order to establish the facts of the case. Where reports are made by a sole complainant it is particularly important to attempt to seek evidence to corroborate the report. Depending on the type of report and alleged anti-social the investigating officer will use a number of different methods to gather evidence, these can include:
If cases of domestic abuse are reported, mentioned or suspected during the investigation of an anti-social behaviour complaint, these should be dealt with separately and in line with the Connexus Domestic Abuse Policy and Procedure.
Any safeguarding referral(s) should be made in relation to the domestic abuse alongside ensuring the victim is signposted and/or referred to the most appropriate agency(s) for further support.
|12.1||Any colleague should determine whether there are protocols in place before sharing information with partner agencies.|
|12.2||Multi-agency working is always encouraged as it can often increase the success of a positive outcome through providing tailored support, different expertise, knowledge and resources in addition to sharing of relevant evidence and information.|
|12.3||Multi-agency and partnership working can be facilitated in a number of ways. This may include professional relationships with local stakeholders, such as Local Policing Teams and support services, as well as more formal meetings such as MATAC, MARAC or Serious Organised Crime Joint Agency Group (SOCJAG).|
Non legal remedies
Non-legal remedies should be considered and used where appropriate. Non-legal remedies could include:
|13.2||Where a complainant refuses to engage in non-legal remedies to facilitate self-help and/or early interventions they will be informed that this may impact on how the case progresses.|
When taking legal action, the investigating officer should demonstrate that they have considered and explored the use of non-legal remedies to resolve the matter, where it is appropriate to do so. The exception to this is where any person(s) is at risk (e.g. violence or threat of violence) or we have evidence of criminal acts (e.g. drug activity) within the property. In such instances, legal action should be considered as a first response to the matter.
The types of legal action that could be taken are:
|14.3||Serving notice for breach of tenancy/to commence legal proceedings|
|14.3.1||The type of notice served upon a tenant in order to commence legal proceedings for possession of the property will be dependent on the type of tenancy or agreement the individual holds. The officer preparing and serving the notice should give due care and attention to the agreement type and required notice. In most cases, it will either be a section 8 (Notice Seeking Possession) or a Section 21 Notice that is required. If the officer is unsure of the type of notice required then guidance should be sought from a manager before serving.|
|14.4||Assessing Proportionality and Equality Impact|
Before commencing any formal legal action the investigating officer should complete a proportionality and equality impact assessment within the ASB case as a task. The purpose of doing this is to ensure that the action being taken is appropriate and that any vulnerabilities or protected characteristics are taken into account when commencing action against the individual(s) concerned. A template for this assessment is available at Appendix 2 if required – if not completed within CX then a copy should be saved against the case.
|14.5.1||Where legal remedies are sought Connexus will be required to seek the necessary order via an application to a court.|
|14.5.2||Where required, witness statements or affidavits will be provided to the court in order to share the facts given by victims and/or witnesses. This may include other colleagues.|
|14.5.3||It is good practice to ensure that any person providing a witness statement for the purposes of legal enforcement action has had ample opportunity to read their statement, understand its content and are happy that their statement reflects their views and account of the situation before signing it.|
|14.5.4||Statements should be in a format that is clear to understand and in line with civil procedure rules guidance.|
Where witnesses are required to attend court the officer should ensure that the person is fully supported in this process. This could include:
|15.1||Communication should be maintained with all parties throughout the life of the case. The complainant should be contacted regularly (at least fortnightly) on a timescale agreed with them. The format of communication should be in a format they prefer (telephone, letter, email, in person). The agreed communication type and frequency should be recorded against the ASB case|
Closing the case
A case should be closed where:
Where the case has been closed because the nuisance has ceased and/or there have been no further complaints, the case should be closed as resolved.
If a case is closed but further complaints are received relating to the same alleged perpetrator a new ASB case should be opened. If the closed case relates to the newly opened case (i.e. same or similar complaint/nuisance being caused) then any relevant notes should be copied to the new case to maintain accuracy and continuity moving forwards.
Connexus believes, where appropriate, that publicising information related to success in dealing with incidents and complaints of anti-social behaviour can restore public confidence that poor behaviour is tackled and taken seriously. This may also act as a deterrent to individuals whose nuisance impacts on the quality of life of others.
|17.2||Published information may be related to individuals who are subject to a court order, such as an injunction, possession order or closure order.|
|17.3||If a person who is under 18 is involved in any proceedings then advice must be sought before publishing any information.|
|17.4||The confidentiality of complainants in any legal proceedings will be preserved in accordance with the access to information, confidentiality and data protection policies.|
|17.5||Officers should consider, in consultation with a Team Leader or Housing Services Manager, whether publicity is appropriate. Where it is deemed appropriate any communication will be done through our Marketing and Communication Team who will advise on the most appropriate form of communication and content. Residents in the affected community may also be sent a letter detailing the action taken and outcome.|
|17.6||All information will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act.|
|17.7||Reporting restrictions may be put in place by a court in some circumstances. In these instances, Connexus will observe and adhere to such restrictions.|