Anti-social behaviour or ASB as it is sometimes called is behaviour that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person.
ASB can include the following:
- dumped rubbish
- abandoned cars
- criminal damage
- drug dealing
Innisfree Housing Association aims to stop or minimise anti-social behaviour in and around its properties. Where anti-social behaviour is reported by tenants or discovered by officers, we will take appropriate and effective action from the range of actions available. We want tenants to enjoy their homes without unreasonable interference from others.
S2 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014 states that “anti-social behaviour” means:
(a) conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person,
(b) conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or
(c) conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person.
Innisfree Housing Association responds promptly to all reports of anti-social behaviour from tenants or other agencies. Staff follow the Anti-Social Behaviour procedure which takes into account recent relevant legislation such as the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014. We publish our policy with clear instructions for residents about how to report anti-social behaviour.
Reporting in a safe environment
We offer a supportive and safe environment for people who are suffering anti-social behaviour to report it. At the same time, staff are aware that there is likely to be a different account from the alleged perpetrator and will rely on evidence to make any decisions. We take into account tenants’ vulnerabilities in the decision making process and the action we take.
Promoting co-operation and communication
We promote cooperation and communication between tenants as this can solve anti-social behaviour whilst recognising that where there is serious anti-social behaviour or the person reporting anti-social behaviour is particularly vulnerable a conversation with a neighbour could be difficult.
Innisfree will take action to stop or minimise anti-social behaviour and we will use the most appropriate remedy depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. We are able to use a number of remedies as follows:
- We can enforce the terms of the tenancy agreement through Notice and possession proceedings
- The law provides remedies such as injunction or demotion of tenancy
- There are voluntary measures we can use such as mediation, Good Neighbour Agreements, and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
- There may also be practical action that can be taken. For example, adding higher quality locks to doors, the use of anti-climb paint, and other items can also be a deterrent
Where there is evidence of serious and ongoing anti-social behaviour, Innisfree will consider transferring a tenant to a safer location. Witnesses to serious anti-social behaviour can also be protected in this way.
Where the anti-social behaviour ceases, we will cease enforcement action or use of other remedies.
All action Innisfree Housing Association takes will be proportionate to the anti-social behaviour it is seeking to address.
Innisfree Housing Association does use Starter Tenancies which makes taking possession of the property easier in the first 12 months of the tenancy.
Action taken will be based on accurate evidence which can be gathered by Innisfree staff, the tenant or other agencies. Tenants can complete diary sheets as contemporaneous evidence of anti-social behaviour. We can also take into account professional witness testimony such as Police Officers or Social Services staff.
We regularly work in partnership with other agencies on cases such as the Police, Social Services, Community Safety Teams, GP’s and other health workers, support workers, Probation Service, and Irish specific groups across various sectors. We have nomination agreements with a number of local authorities and Irish organisations who we work with to let properties promptly and sensitively to prevent anti-social behaviour where possible.
Data protection and confidentiality
All case notes, case files, and personal information will be kept confidential in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. We will adhere to the Data Protection Act and comply with General Data Protection Regulation for Sharing Personal Information to ensure that we maintain confidentiality. We reserve the right to make a referral to social services or to the police without the permission of the victim, where the situation and the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 (and any other relevant legislation) justify it.
We will monitor the level of anti-social behaviour in and around Innisfree properties and we will measure the number of cases that are opened and closed, and the type of actions taken to resolve anti-social behaviour. Innisfree Housing Association will operate the Anti-Social Behaviour Policy and procedure within equalities legislation and in particular the Equalities Act 2010. We will measure satisfaction with the way we handle anti-social behaviour cases through surveys.
Learning & Development
We are committed to staff being well trained in the area of anti-social behaviour and up to date in terms of the law relating to anti-social behaviour.
Most ASB and neighbour disputes can be effectively resolved but we need your help to do this, so please be prepared to work in partnership with us. Please contact your Housing Officer for more information.