Anti social behaviour policy
1.1 Objectives and performance monitoring
2.1 What is considered Anti-Social Behaviour?
2.2 Behaviour that is not considered Anti-Social Behaviour
3.7 Feedback, review and accountability
4.0 Roles and Responsibilities
1.0 Introduction and scope
This Anti-Social Behaviour Policy has been developed in line with Wandle’s values, which are:
- Think customer
- Build relationships
- Work together
- Aim high
- Own it
It will ensure that actions we undertake will be underpinned by our vision of:
“Homes to be proud of and services you can trust”
Wandle is committed to taking positive action with other agencies to deal with all forms of anti-social behaviour (ASB). We recognise that if allowed to persist, ASB can significantly affect the quality of life of our residents and that dissatisfaction with the living environment may have a negative impact on the way we are able to manage our homes. Tackling ASB and helping to build safer communities with our tenants is a key part of Wandle’s target operating model.
This Policy outlines how we will deliver on our commitment to ASB by working with residents, other teams and partner agencies. We will balance enforcement action and intervention with programmes which aim to prevent ASB.
We support the Respect – ASB Charter for Housing and are committed to tackling ASB and promoting a culture of respect in the communities where we work.
The Scope of this policy includes:
- Anyone who has the right to live in property that Wandle owns or manages
- Those living in any other property in the neighbourhood
- Anyone lawfully in such a property or in the locality, for example those working nearby or using local facilities.
Where cases involving domestic abuse are identified we will handle this in line with our Domestic Abuse Policy and should be treated separately from anti-social behavior.
1.1 Objectives and performance monitoring
The following KPIs will be reported quarterly to the Senior Management Team and an annual report will be presented to Board.
- 80% Satisfaction with the handling of ASB case
- 90% Satisfaction with being kept updated
- 80% of cases passing QA checks
- 95% of category A cases dealt with in response time
- 95% of category B cases dealt with in response time
30% of cases open beyond 90 days
ASB targets are subject to regular review and demonstrate year-on-year improvement.
Increasing customer Satisfaction is one of our key priorities, continued performance around ASB this objective and as such tenant’s satisfaction around ASB performance will also be reflected in this KPI.
For the purposes of this policy, anti-social behaviour (ASB) is defined as:
“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”
2.1 What is considered Anti-Social Behaviour?
The following serves as examples of types of behaviour that would be considered Anti-Social Behaviour and include, but are not limited to:
- Intimidation and harassment
- Actual violence against people or property
- Using or threatening to use housing accommodation to sell drugs, or for other unlawful purposes.
- Hate behaviour that targets members of identified groups because of their perceived differences.
- The fouling of communal/public areas, graffiti, fly tipping and nuisance vehicles.
- Persistent noise nuisance or noise nuisance outside of sociable hours.
2.2 Behaviour that is not considered Anti-Social Behaviour
The following serves as examples of types of Behaviour that would not be considered Anti-Social Behaviour and include, but are not limited to:
- Babies crying, unless we believe there are safeguarding concerns.
- Smells from cooking
- Sounds of normal day to day living such as opening and closing of doors going up and down stairs, lights being switched on or off, toilet flushes,
- Clashes of lifestyle including cultural differences
- Children playing in their homes, to a reasonable level, during normal daytime hours.
We will not typically investigate normal behaviour occurring at unusual times because of different working patterns, however we will investigate in circumstances where causes continued disturbance.
3.0 Wandle’s Approach
Our approach is based on the principles of Prevention, Support, Intervention and Enforcement and will use the full range of tools available to us as a Registered Provider. Further details of these can be found the Anti-Social Behaviour process.
We also commit to ensuring the complainants are regularly updated on their cases and that there is a strong line of communication between the complainant and case handler. We acknowledge that communication, listening to and supporting our residents is key to progressing and resolving cases.
Wandle’s policy for controlling anti-social behaviour aims to prevent such behaviours occurring by minimising the conditions which encourage it to start. We will make clear at sign up that ASB will not be tolerated, this is further set out in our tenancy agreements.
We will support improvements to ‘design out crime’ for existing housing stock and new developments and our new build homes will be built to meet Secure by Design standards.
We provide a number of resources, via or website, which provide tenant’s with information of ASB. This includes types of ASB as well as information of how to address issues with neighbours at the start of an issue as well as information and resources on where and how residents can report ASB cases.
Reports of anti-social behaviour will be treated seriously and dealt with professionally. We will provide support to the person making the report and witnesses to ensure their own well-being and that action against the alleged perpetrator is as successful as possible. We will work to manage resident’s expectation in regard to behaviour that is not defined as anti-social behaviour and offer advice and guidance and where appropriate will expect them to take steps to resolve the situation themselves. We will also communicate with complainants to understand what their expectations are when reporting a case and manage these expectations in line with the outcomes that can be achieved.
Where the primary duty and power to investigate sits with another party, such as the Police and the Local Authority, we will support these investigations by providing a point of contact where necessary and undertaking necessary supporting actions. We will take a proactive approach to gathering evidence and utilize a variety of available sources (multi-agency, non-housing management staff and contractors) to support action to tackle ASB.
Wandle will investigate cases of ASB through a variety of methods, based on the needs of the case and tenant. These include, but are not limited to;
- Collating of Diary sheets provided by tenants
- Where applicable speaking to the parties involved
Speaking to neighbours, family or other parties such as social or health workers, as identified in the initial risk assessment.
- Visits by the investigating officer.
Clear information will be provided to residents on how to report harassment, nuisance and anti-social behaviour, irrespective of tenure. This will be provided in a format that suits the needs of residents, when requested. There are multiple ways in which a tenant can report an ASB case, either on the phone, in person, by email or through our customer portal.
All reports will be treated confidentially, logged as an ASB case and formally acknowledged. On receipt of the complaint, all possible remedies will be explored including the use of warnings, mediation, Acceptable Behaviour Agreements, ASB injunctions and when required possession proceedings, and all other available legal remedies.
Often underlying causes of anti-social behaviour are very complex and this requires the policy to be flexible in its approach. Decision making will be tailored to the individual circumstances of a case.
We will log ASB reports on our CRM system and our process has been set up to ensure that once a case has been logged an appropriate action plan will be drawn up with the officer handing the case and agreed with the complainant. Complainants will be provided with a case number and we will ensure that they are regularly updated on the progress of their case and of any key developments in their case. Wandle will also provide translation or interpretation services to our residents where required.
3.4 Support and safeguarding
We will undertake appropriate assessments of ASB reports from residents to identify risk and vulnerabilities to ensure support can be provided where needed and any safeguarding issues can be identified and addressed.
During the logging of an ASB case we will undertake a risk assessment in order to highlight vulnerabilities, risks or safeguarding concerns. We will use these to ensure cases are given appropriate priority and that support can be provided where needed and any safeguarding issues can be identified or addressed.
Wandle will report incidents to the police on behalf of vulnerable victims or support such victims in doing so, where they feel intimidated to report incidents themselves and where we have the victim’s agreement to do so. Wandle will also work with other agencies, with the complainant’s consent, to address safeguarding concerns in line with our Safeguarding policy.
Where necessary we will assess the security of the complainant’s home and, where appropriate improving security by, for example, providing chains, peepholes, fireproof letterboxes and additional door-locks. Any works of this nature must be approved by a Repairs Manager, on the provision of a crime reference number or a supporting statement from an external agency, such as victim support or social services. Any reports of racist or offensive graffiti that target a protected characteristic will be removed within 4 hours of being reported to Wandle’s ground maintenance contractors.
Support to complainants will be considered at the time of the initial interview and will be agreed as part of the action plan. The approach adopted to support a complainant will depend upon the nature of the ASB and its impact.
We will also ensure when concerns raised for the mental health or wellbeing of the perpetrator that we will work with support workers and other services to ensure their wellbeing. However, we will ensure those who are suffering harm are protected by taking proportionate action as required for a case.
Wandle will provide staff with training, clear guidance, policies and procedures so that they can deal effectively with cases of ASB, use the appropriate enforcement tools, and are aware of the wider issues associated with ASB, including hate crime and safeguarding.
When we receive a complaint about ASB we will respond promptly by interviewing the complainant, investigating and assessing the full circumstances of the complaint.
This will determine our response to the complaint and any intervention measures we may take to address the alleged ASB.
The intervention action we take will be appropriate and proportionate to the nature, scale and extent of the problem.
The overwhelming majority of complaints are addressed by taking early informal action. We use a range of intervention tools, including:
Interview alleged perpetrator
A brief investigation in line with the action plan should be carried out to establish the credibility of the complaint, if necessary, we will interview the alleged perpetrator to establish their side of the story. The alleged perpetrator will not be contacted in if doing so would put other at risk by doing so or where we are considering an ex-parte injunction.
These are sent when we have evidence that the perpetrator is responsible for the ASB. The aim is to put the perpetrator on notice that unless the ASB stops legal action will be considered.
Acceptable behaviour agreements / contracts.
Acceptable behaviour agreements, or contracts, are voluntary and non-legally binding agreements entered into by Wandle, residents as well as other agencies such the police or local authorities. These agreements, usually signed for a six-month period, set out what behaviour is acceptable and what conduct is anti-social. The purpose of these agreements is to set out clearly what is expected of the perpetrator, so they understand what is required of them to prevent further enforcement action. A breach of the agreement will either lead to an extension of the original agreement or Wandle pursuing further legal actions.
Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party seeks to help neighbours in dispute to reach common ground without having to resolve their differences via court proceedings. We provide access to independent professional mediation services for tenants where both or all parties voluntarily choose it.
Management transfer can be considered in exceptional circumstances where there is an immediate risk, to allow a tenant victim to transfer outside our normal allocations or transfer process. This will be undertaken in line with our Allocations and Lettings Policy.
If our actions have failed to resolve the situation, we will take appropriate legal action as the next step. We use a range of enforcement powers to tackle nuisance and anti-social behaviour such as:
- Civil Injunctions
- Service of Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) or Notice of Proceedings for Possession (NPP) leading to
- Proceedings for possession on both discretionary and mandatory grounds,
- Forfeiture which is only applicable to lessees
We will ensure that if individuals need to attend court that they are supported, and we will liaise with the courts where necessary to minimise any distress or associated risks.
In the case of tenants, we will generally only use possession action where all other interventions and attempts to change behaviour have failed. However, we will not hesitate to pursue possession action at an early stage, including as a measure of first resort, in cases which are of a serious or criminal nature and cause upset/distress to the community, and where such action is proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances.
We will take possession action using the new absolute grounds for possession in only the most serious cases of ASB.
In the case of lessees, we will consider forfeiture action if all other measures have failed to resolve the situation. Under forfeiture the lessee loses their home. The courts are reluctant to grant forfeiture orders unless all other avenues have been pursued in the first instance. Only where a lessee has ignored such orders and is likely to continue to be in breach of their lease might forfeiture be considered.
3.6 Closing the Case
After a report of ASB has been investigated and we have taken the appropriate action, we will close the case.
A case may be closed where:
- An investigation has been concluded, appropriate action has been taken and no further incidents have occurred over a given period (this will vary depending on the nature of the case)
- We are unable to gather sufficient evidence in order to take any action.
- The complainant withdraws their complaint. However, in some cases where we have sufficient evidence we will continue to pursue the case.
We will look to close cases where appropriate and in a timely manner. Where possible we will look to consult with the complainant to ensure their case has been addressed or to explain why a case has been closed.
Should ASB resume, once as case has been closed, we will reopen the case/open a new case. We will look to act swiftly when a perpetrator has not improved and will take the appropriate course of action to seek resolution and ensure that incidents do not reoccur.
3.7 Feedback, review and accountability
When a case is closed, we will seek feedback from complainants using customer satisfaction surveys on how satisfied they were with our handling of the complaint in order to continually improve our services. Periodically we will also undertake ASB audits where we will talk to complainants whose cases have been closed to help understand where we can make improvements to our services.
We will ensure we can provide evidence of our work with tenants, tenant groups and leaders, and partner organisations to promote tolerance, balancing individuals’ liberties with their impact on others and the community (e.g. good neighbourhood agreements, tenants engaging in mediation, and restorative justice schemes).
We will take steps to prevent and manage anti-social behavior quickly and effectively, working in coordination with residents, across teams and departments at Wandle, and with multi-agencies and where necessary put information sharing protocols in place. We will work with regional and local strategic partnership groups such as but not limited to the Police, Local Authorities and provide support to prevent the reoccurrence of ASB. Wherever possible, we will ensue that there is a consortium management agreement in place that sets out clear standards and agreed approaches in multi landlord estates.
Where necessary, Wandle will share information and data with our partners. This will only occur where there is a data sharing agreement in place and there is a genuine need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our tenants. Any sharing of information will be done in line with our Data protection policy and our safeguarding policy
3.9 Categories for ASB
Anti-Social Behaviour is categorized by Wandle into the following categories based on the impact on the tenant and the severity of what was happened. Category A ASB would be considered the most severe. A category is assigned to case through our CRM based on options selected while the case is logged
Category A –Imminent risk to health or welfare, verbal abuse, harassment / intimidation, threatening behaviour, domestic abuse, physical violence, hate related (based on race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, religion, age, etc.)
Category B – Persistent noise, pet / animal nuisance, nuisance from vehicles, drug dealing, prostitution, other criminal behaviour
Category C – Are usually regular low-level disturbances that would not on their own be considered ASB.
4.0 Roles and Responsibilities
All our staff and contractors have a duty to report incidents of ASB should they witness it and will be provided with support and guidance on doing so where necessary.
The Board is responsible for setting Wandle’s strategic direction, and for establishing policies and plans to achieve key objectives. It provides sound systems of control and a framework of delegation to the Directors and employees.
Executive Director of Business Services and Transformation
The Executive Director of Business Services and Transformation is the designated Executive responsible for this policy
Head of Customer Service Delivery
The Head of Customer Services Delivery is responsible for ensuring overall adherence to the policy.
Neighbourhood Team Leaders and Homeownership Manager
The Neighbourhood Team Leaders and Homeownership Manager will ensure the policy is implemented by Neighbourhood and Leasehold Officers and promote the aims and objectives across the organisation
Our tenancy agreements clearly sets out what we mean by ASB, the standard of behaviour we expect of all residents and the sanctions that we may apply to those who behave in an anti-social manner.
Guidance notes in an easy read format will be made available in a range of formats to reflect the diverse requirement of residents.
We will reinforce these key messages at sign ups and set them out in publicity that is available to our residents.
5.0 Related Documents
|Policies||Allocations and Lettings Policy, Safeguarding Policy, Data Protection Policy, Domestic Abuse Policy|
|Procedures||Anti-Social Behaviour Process, Management Transfer Procedure , Domestic Abuse procedure .|
|Other internal documents||Wandle Tenancy Agreement|
6.0 Relevant Legislation
|Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014||Race Relations Act 1976 and Amendment Act 2000|
|Equality Act 2010||Health Act 2006|
|Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003||Noise Act 1996|
|Police and Justice Act 2004||Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993|
|Crime and Disorder Act 1998||Protection from Harassment Act 1997|
|Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994||Homelessness Act 2002|
|Dangerous Dogs Act 1989, 1991||Housing Act 1985, 1988, 1996, 2004|
|Data Protection Act 2018||Human Rights Act 1998|
|Environmental Protection Act 1990||Mental Health Act 1983, 2007|
7.0 Regulatory Standards
This Policy complies with the following relevant regulatory standards:
N1.3 Anti-social behaviour
Registered providers shall work in partnership with other agencies to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhoods where they own homes.
Wandle complies with this standard through the methods outlined in this policy. We are committed to working with other agencies, such as the police or social services in order to help prevent and resolve instances of Anti-social behaviour in the areas where we own homes.
Registered providers shall publish a policy on how they work with relevant partners to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) in areas where they own properties.
This policy sets out how we will work with relevant partners to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour. This policy will be published on our website and will be make available to tenants and stakeholders where requested.
In their work to prevent and address ASB, registered providers shall demonstrate:
(a) that tenants are made aware of their responsibilities and rights in relation to ASB
(b) strong leadership, commitment and accountability on preventing and tackling ASB that reflects a shared understanding of responsibilities with other local agencies
(c) a strong focus exists on preventative measures tailored towards the needs of tenants and their families
(d) prompt, appropriate and decisive action is taken to deal with ASB before it escalates, which focuses on resolving the problem having regard to the full range of tools and legal powers available
(e) all tenants and residents can easily report ASB, are kept informed about the status of their case where responsibility rests with the organisation and are appropriately signposted where it does not
(f) provision of support to victims and witnesses
Tenants’ rights and responsibilities in relation to ASB are set out clearly in this policy. It also sets out who is responsible within Wandle for different parts of the ASB process and how we will show accountability to tenants and stakeholders.
This policy addresses how we will look to prevent ASB from arising and there is a commitment to agreeing approaches with our tenants on how instances of ASB will be tackled. This policy sets out how we deal with ASB, using prevention, support, intervention and enforcement, including the different tools available to those dealing with ASB cases within the organisation.
This policy sets out how tenant’s can report ASB cases, through a variety of methods and set outs our commitment to effective communication with complainants throughout the life of a case. This policy includes guidance on the types of issues we would not consider ASB and our website includes guidance on how to report noise nuisance to relevant local authority enforcement if necessary.
Additional support is available to complainants and those involved in ASB cases through sign posting, resident support and joined up working with external agencies. This Policy also includes how we will support complainants, through signposting, resident support and safeguarding and joined up working with external agencies.
Tenancy Involvement and Empowerment Standard.
Registered providers shall ensure that tenants are given a wide range of opportunities to influence and be involved in:
a. the formulation of their landlord’s housing-related policies and strategic priorities
This Policy considered the views of tenant’s obtained through an ASB audit, which gathered feedback from tenant’s who had logged ASB cases with us. The main outcome of this audit was that tenant’s wanted better communication from us, this commitment has been included in the policy.
8.0 Equality & Diversity
Equality & Diversity is central to our business; promoting fairness and opportunity for customers and staff; helping provide the best services shaped by and for customers; and right for recruiting and developing our staff.
We are committed to celebrating diversity. To ensure equal access to our services is available, Wandle will comply with the Equality Act 2010 and all other legislative requirements relating to equality. We will work to avoid exclusions or restrictions that are not appropriate to the housing and support needs of our tenants and that may lead to discrimination. We will endeavour to ensure that all tenants receive a consistent level of quality service.
Under the Equality Act 2010 Wandle must consider whether our policies adversely affect our customers and/or staff.
The following table identifies whether this policy disproportionately impacts upon any individuals in regard to the key protected characteristics, as identified in the Act:
|Special Characteristic||Any impact? (Yes or No)|
|marriage and civil partnership||No|
|pregnancy and maternity||No|
|religion or belief||No|
As this policy may impact upon individuals in regard to one or more of these protected characteristics, an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) has been completed and can be found on the intranet.
 Taken from the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014