Anti Social Behaviour Service Standard

ROUPELL PARK RESIDENT MANAGEMENT CO-OP

ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

SERVICE STANDARD

WHAT IS A SERVICE STANDARD?

A Service Standard lets you know what we should be doing on your estate. It allows you to look at the service we are providing and to assess whether we are doing what we said we would.

If you understand the service we are supposed to be providing, it allows you to help us to monitor how we are doing. It therefore allows us to improve the quality of the service we provide by getting feedback direct from you. You live on the estate so it is your views that are important.

We recognise that Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) is a very important issue for all residents on the estate and can have a massive impact on the way in which they live their lives. This Service Standard therefore aims to help our tenants and leaseholders to understand what we can do for them and what they need to do for themselves.

This Service Standard was set after consultation with the residents on the estate which included holding a meeting with all the residents on the estate.

WHAT DO WE DEFINE AS ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR?

The types of behaviour that we consider to be anti social include:

  • Domestic violence and abuse
  • Physical violence
  • Hate related incidents (based on race, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief)
  • Other Harassment
  • Verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation or threatening behaviour
  • Drugs, substance misuse or drug dealing
  • Alcohol related nuisance such as street drinking
  • Vandalism and damage to property including graffiti
  • Prostitution, sexual acts or kerb crawling
  • Illegal and immoral use of premises
  • Other criminal behaviour
  • Misuse of communal areas or public spaces or loitering including playing in unsuitable areas (skateboarding or roller-blading on landings, football near windows, or in lobbies or on landings etc.)
  • Noise (e.g. persistent loud music)
  • Pets and animal nuisance
  • Nuisance from vehicles
  • Not looking after a private garden
  • Litter, rubbish or fly-tipping including leaving rubbish sacks on landings, lobbies, throwing things out of windows
  • Abandoned vehicles;
  • Businesses causing a nuisance
  • Gang-related offences
  • Parking in a way that causes obstruction to estate roads
  • Carrying out regular repairs or other work to vehicles in parking bays or the road

WHAT DON’T WE THINK IS ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

In most cases we will not treat the following as examples of ASB

  •  Household noise due to everyday living (e.g. babies crying, banging doors, flushing toilets, vacuum cleaning, slamming doors etc.)
  • Children playing
  • One off parties, BBQ’s or celebrations at reasonable times
  • Cooking odours or smells
  • DIY in reasonable hours
  • Young people gathering socially (unless they are being intimidating)
  • Minor one off car repairs
  • Someone parking lawfully outside your home
  • Civic disputes between neighbours (e.g. boundary issues).

However, if any of the above examples are found to be having a harmful impact on a person because they are vulnerable, then we will investigate the matter further.

HOW WILL WE DEAL WITH REPORTS OF ASB?

Complaints may be made in person in the office, by telephone, letter, fax or email. All cases will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.  

Cases will be responded to according to the table set out below.

Priority

Definition

Maximum Initial Response

High

Actual or substantiated threats of physical assault, serious intimidation or harassment of whatever nature, domestic violence, serious criminal activity and serious damage to RPRMC property

1 Working day

Medium

Minor criminal activity, drug dealing, verbal abuse, intimidating behaviour by groups or individuals, significant noise nuisance, dangerous dogs

3 Working days

Low

Minor neighbour disputes, domestic noise, pets, refuse, parking, property condition, gardens, subletting and fraud

10 Working Days

Non tenancy related

Non housing related matters or issues in other agencies jurisdiction. Complaints will be acknowledged within the set time span but in cases such as those relating to safeguarding will be dealt with immediately.

10 Working Days

 

In cases where there is criminal activity we will in most cases report the matter to the police and work in partnership with them to resolve the problem.

In most other cases we will meet with the complainant to agree an action plan to deal with the complaint.

 

What will we want from you?

 

In order for us to investigate a complaint of ASB we will need the following information from you:

  • A description of the nuisance
  • Details of the times and places where the nuisance occurred
  • Who you think was responsible for the ASB
  • A description of how the nuisance affected you
  • Whether you spoke to the alleged perpetrator
  • Whether you reported the nuisance to anyone else, the police, Lambeth Council noise team etc.
  • What would you like us to do about it

 

What we do next

In most cases we would ask you to speak to your neighbour(s) before we intervene. In many cases they will not know the affect that what they are doing has on you and you might be able to agree what is reasonable for them to do between you.

However if you do not wish to talk to the alleged perpetrator then we will ask you if you want us to do so on your behalf. We need to be able to do this if we are going to resolve the problem. If you do not want us to then depending on the nature of the complaint we may: 

  • Talk to them without naming you although we will only do this if the nuisance is something that may affect the whole block
  • Tell you that we are not able to investigate the complaint further.

Again other than in the most severe cases we will require evidence that the problem is ongoing. That means we will ask you to complete a diary sheet and return it on a regular basis. From this we will be able to decide if the behaviour you are reporting is unreasonable or just part of everyday living. You may need to keep the diary for several weeks or months depending on the level and type of nuisance.

Investigating your complaint – agreeing an action plan

If we think that we need to investigate your complaint further we will agree an action plan with you. This may involve:

  • Keeping nuisance diaries
  • Talking to the alleged perpetrator
  • Talking to neighbours who may also be affected
  • Talking to the police
  • Talking to other agencies such as social services, health or education if we believe that there are wider issues surrounding the alleged perpetrator that may be affecting their behaviour
  • Setting out time scales for actions to be completed
  • Setting review dates with you so we can agree progress
  • A description of the actions that are available to us

 

WHAT CAN WE DO TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM

 

Working in partnership

 

In many cases it is not possible to resolve problems of ASB on our own and we need to bring in a number of partners, for example:

  • The Police – some ASB will relate to criminality, either because it relates to issues such as drug dealing or violence, or because the level of nuisance is a breech of the peace.
  • The Council – cases may have been reported to the Council’s noise team who have witnessed the nuisance or served a notice. In addition they may be able to provide sound recording equipment.
  • Some people causing ASB will have various levels of vulnerability which may relate to mental health issues, learning difficulties or issues with alcohol and substance abuse. In these cases it is essential that we work together with their support staff to try and solve the problem. This is crucial in the event that we have to take legal action as unless we can prove what we have done then there is no chance of us being able to succeed in Court.

 

Persuasion and Mediation

 

Causing ASB is a breach of the terms of someone’s tenancy or lease. However that does not mean that resolving a complaint is easy.

In most cases resolving complaints of ASB is about persuading the alleged perpetrator to change their behaviour so that they no longer cause it. That means writing to and meeting with them so they understand the effect they are having and what the consequences of not changing may be.

We also recognise that there is often more than one side to an argument and that the alleged perpetrator feels that they are themselves the victim of nuisance behaviour. In most cases we will therefore ask both parties to agree to take part in a mediation session run by independent experts to help people come to an agreement as to what is and is not acceptable behaviour. We believe that mediation is the most effective way of dealing with most cases of ASB.

 

Taking further action

 

Where it is clear that the actions of the perpetrator are such that they will not moderate their behaviour we will consider further action. This will include:

  • Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
  • Criminal Behaviour Orders (previously ASBO’s)
  • Demoted Tenancies
  • Injunctions
  • Possession Proceedings

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Criminal Behaviour Orders will be issued by the Police working in partnership with RPRMC.

In all cases where legal action is considered RPRMC will need to look at the evidence that is available in relation to the nuisance. For legal action to be successful it is necessary to be able to convince a judge that the nature of the ASB is such that it warrants giving either an injunction or a possession order.

This will mean having significant evidence that the nuisance is ongoing, severe and that all other avenues have been pursued. In most cases this will require witness statements from the people suffering from the ASB and with a likelihood that they will be expected to attend court to give evidence.

When we take forward any complaint of ASB you need to be aware that this may be required and we will talk to you throughout the process so that you are comfortable with what we are doing and what may be expected of you.

 

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

  • When we take on a case of ASB we will:
  • Listen to what you are telling us in a supportive way
  • At all stages be open and honest about what we can or cannot do
  • Tell you if we are not going to  act on your complaint and tell you why
  • Agree an action plan with you and talk to you at least once a month so you know what we have done and to update the plan if needed
  • Unless there is serious criminal activity only take the action that you are comfortable with and agree with you if we need to share information with anyone else
  • If we feel there is nothing more we can do tell you that we are going to close the case and why
  • Ask you to complete a satisfaction survey of the way we have handled your case.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY

If you do not believe we have dealt with your complaint properly you should take this forward using our complaints policy.