Introduction

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) in your neighbourhood can make life miserable. It is unacceptable behaviour that comes in many forms – such as noise, abusive behaviour, littering, or illegal drug use – and once encountered, it’s good to know who to report it to.

It isn’t always straight-forward to know who can help. That’s because many local organisations – including the police, local authorities, and The Pioneer Group as a social housing landlord – have different powers, roles and responsibilities to help and support victims.

This information aims to make it easier for you to know how to get help to tackle anti-social behaviour. It sets out the powers, roles and responsibilities of the different local organisations so you know where to get help in their situation. We would always encourage tenants of The Pioneer Group to talk to us if you are experiencing ASB so we can discuss your options and agree with you an action plan to address it.

What is anti-social behaviour (ASB)?

Anti-social behaviour includes a range of nuisance and criminal behaviours which are causing distress to others. Whether someone’s actions can be classed as anti-social behaviour relies heavily on the impact it has on other people.

Behaviour that is more frequent or persistent is more likely to be considered as anti-social behaviour. The type and intensity of the behaviour also matters.

Landlords, the police, and local authorities consider all these factors when deciding how best to deal with reports of anti-social behaviour. Each report is looked at individually by considering the suffering of the victims and the impact on the wider community.

The Pioneer Group has policies for dealing with domestic abuse, for which there are separate legal protections, and which is not regarded as ASB. Please contact us straight away if you need support with domestic abuse.

Examples of anti-social behaviour can include:

Noisy and/or Abusive Behaviour

Vandalism

Graffiti

Intimidation

Public Drunken Behaviour

Littering

Fly Tipping

Illegal Drug Use

Pet and Animal Nuisance


Untidy Gardening

Some behaviour, even though it may cause nuisance to individuals, may not be regarded as ASB.

For example, this can include:

One-Off Parties and Barbecues

Infrequent and Occasional Noise or Disturbances

Children’s Play

Occasional Dog Barking

Excessive Noise from Domestic Appliances (e.g. Washing Machines, Vacuum Cleaners)

Minor Vehicle Repairs

Gossip

Escalated Disputes

Your first steps when faced with nuisance or disturbance

If you are made to feel uncomfortable or inconvenienced by the behaviour of others around your home, where it is safe to do so, you should first try to approach the other party involved to explain to them how their actions are affecting you and ask them to change their behaviour. Sometimes, other people may not be aware that their behaviour is causing distress or nuisance and letting them know may help.

If you feel threatened, intimidated, or witness a crime, you should always contact the police first. You can contact the police by calling 999 to report emergencies or by calling 101 for non-emergencies.

Reporting anti-social behaviour

If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour and haven’t been able to resolve the situation, you should contact us for help and advice. Depending on the type and intensity of the anti-social behaviour you may be asked to also report the incident to the police or the Council.

It is helpful to keep a record of the type of behaviour involved and its frequency. This could include a written list of dates, descriptions and photos if it is regarding fly tipping. However, you shouldn’t photograph or video other people unless you are asked to do so by an agency (like the police or the Council) involved in your case. The agency supporting you will be able to advise how you should do this if it is necessary.

We may need to involve and work with other partners to help you and provide you with the most appropriate help and support.

Peoples’ safety must always be the priority. If threatened, or if you believe your or others safety is being put at risk by someone’s behaviour, contact the police first. You should then notify us as we may also be able to take action or help you.

The information below sets out a pathway to obtain help.

Are you experiencing or witnessing nuisance or intimidation which you think may be anti-social behaviour?

Has a crime taken place?

If so, if the crime is happening now and someone’s life or property is at risk contact the police by calling 999, otherwise call 101.

If a crime has not taken place – can you resolve the situation yourself?

If you can, please attempt to do so safely. If not, then contact us for advice.

We can help with:

  • Neighbour noise
  • Intimidation / harassment
  • Drug use /drug dealing
  • Pet or animal nuisance
  • Domestic abuse
  • Graffiti and vandalism
  • Fly-tipping/fly grazing
  • Littering
  • Nuisance from vehicles
  • Misuse of public areas
  • Obstruction of parking areas

This list is not exhaustive.

To help you, we may need to work with the Council or the police, who have different responsibilities to landlords and specific legal powers to tackle some of the ASB issues.

Anti-social behaviour case review – The Community Trigger

Anyone experiencing persistent anti-social behaviour has the right to initiate a multi-agency review of their case where a local threshold of at least three qualifying complaints within a six month period is met.

Who to Contact?

We have a responsibility to prevent anti-social behaviour by keeping the neighbourhood and communal areas under their control safe and clean.

We will make it clear what information we need from you, and what help we can provide, and keep you updated until your case has been closed.

Help is available from other agencies, such as your Council or the police, and we will support you to approach them if you need help. This is because other agencies have different powers and responsibilities to help. We can also put you in touch with services such as Victim Support, if needed.

What can we do to help?

There are two approaches we can take:

  • using non-legal solutions:
    • advising people their behaviour is unacceptable and must stop
    • issuing direct warnings
    • acceptable behaviour agreements
    • referral to mediation or other support services, such as the Supporting Families programme that supports vulnerable families.
  • using legal remedies such as:
    • civil injunctions
    • possession proceedings

Tenancy agreements set out our expectations about the behaviour of tenants. We can take action against people who do not comply if we can gather evidence, and we have the right to seek to evict a tenant in serious cases.

If we decide to take legal action, you might be asked to help by providing evidence or to attend a court to give evidence in person. We will support you through this process. Alternatively, we may be able to use a professional witness to provide evidence in court on your behalf.

Civil injunctions

We can seek civil injunctions through the courts to stop people engaging in acts of anti-social behaviour in a specific location. Some injunctions can be given without notice, but they are only available if there has been a threat or use of violence.

Possession proceedings

In serious cases, we may be able to evict the perpetrator of anti-social behaviour through the courts. We are expected to take this action as a last resort only, where all other reasonable steps to stop the behaviour have failed. In these cases it is up to a Judge to decide if there is enough evidence to evict a tenant and the courts have the final decision.

Local authorities can help if anti-social behaviour is happening in buildings or on land that we as a landlord does not own or control, or the problem has an environmental impact (e.g. air quality, contamination of land, noise pollution).

You can use the links below to report the following issues directly to your local authority if they happen on land or buildings that are not owned or controlled by us:

The police are a key partner for us and local authorities in tackling anti-social behaviour. They can act as a highly visible deterrent to perpetrators and their presence can also provide reassurance to affected communities.

The police’s core responsibilities include protecting life and property, preserving order, preventing the committing of offences, and bringing offenders to justice.

The police may need to work with us and local authorities to:

  • arrest perpetrators
  • prevent and deter incidents from taking place
  • support victims
  • protect people from the impact of anti-social behaviour.

Locally, police officers have the responsibility for working with partners at the community level to develop sustainable solutions to anti-social behaviour issues. They are often supported by Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who provide a visible patrolling presence to deter crime. They can be approached by anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour or crime in their area.

You may be able to report anti-social behaviour directly to your local police force via their online portal. Find information about contacting the police

We will work with partners, especially the Council and the police, using powers available under The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

These powers include:

  • Criminal Behaviour Orders– issued by a criminal court against a person who has been convicted of an offence and is causing anti-social behaviour.
  • Dispersal Powers– this allows police officers to order a person who is causing harassment, alarm, or distress to leave a specific area for up to 48 hours.
  • Community Protection Notices– local authorities, the police, and sometimes social landlords can issue Community Protection Notices to address a wide range of problems such as littering and noise nuisance.
  • Public Space Protection Orders– used by local authorities to prevent behaviour and nuisance that is persistent, unreasonable and/or detrimental.
  • Closure Orders– a court order which closes down properties that are causing a serious nuisance, disorder, or criminal behaviour. This means there is a temporary ban on occupying the property.

Before making a referral to another partner, we will tell you why this is necessary and agree with you that this is the right course of action.

Noise from neighbours is one of the most common anti-social behaviour complaints.

Sometimes people don’t know they’re causing a problem, so it’s well worth speaking to them directly, if it is safe to do so, before you get anyone else involved.

We may be able to work with you to solve the issue if our tenant is causing the problem.

Local authorities have specific powers to deal with noise pollution. Their environmental health teams can investigate noise complaints and take action to help, including issuing noise abatement orders or community protection notices, which set out what the person causing the noise must do to stop the nuisance. If they do not comply, they could face further legal action. Sometimes, a visit by your local authority’s environmental health team, and/or a warning letter, can solve the problem.

Hate incidents or hate crimes can be acts of anti-social behaviour, where the behaviours are felt, by the victim or others, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Landlords should have procedures for dealing with hate incidents within their overall approach to anti-social behaviour.

How to report hate incident or hate crime

If you are the victim of a hate incident, hate crime, or have received a serious threat of this nature you should report it to the police, either by calling 101, 999 in an emergency or online at the hate crime reporting website True Vision www.report-it.org.uk. True Vision allows you to report hate crime as a victim or witness online without the need to visit a police station. The Pioneer Group acts as a hate crime reporting centre, so you can report hate crime at any of our offices whether or not it relates to your housing situation. You do not need to be a customer of The Pioneer Group to report a hate crime.

Find general information on hate crime

Victims of persistent anti-social behaviour, who don’t think they have had a satisfactory response to their reports of ASB, have the right to ask for a multi-agency review of their case. Certain thresholds must be met for cases to qualify for ASB case reviews, which are also known as the Community Trigger. If you are concerned about The Pioneer Group’s response, you do not need to wait for this to happen – you should use our complaints procedure to tell us of your concerns.

During an ASB case review, agencies will consider the action taken so far and will come together to try to find a solution. Agencies taking part are known as responsible bodies. They include local authorities, the police, NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in England, and registered providers of social housing (mostly housing associations).

The review body (normally your Council) must keep applicants informed of the progress of the case, including:

  • the decision on whether the threshold is met for the review to go ahead;
  • the result of the review; and,
  • any recommendations made as a result of the review.

More information on the community trigger can be found here.

What is the threshold for a case review?

You can apply for an ASB case review, but your local authority will decide whether the review will take place.

They will look at things like:

  • the number of incidents you have reported and the frequency of reports to agencies, such as the local authority, police or your landlord
  • the effectiveness of their responses
  • and the potential harm of the anti-social behaviour to you or the victim.

A national threshold means a review is likely to go ahead if you have made three qualifying reports within 30 days of incidents, in a six-month period. Some local areas have a lower threshold, but they are not allowed to have a higher one. The number of reports matters, not the number of responses received.

Requesting a case review

You can ask for an anti-social behaviour case review by contacting Birmingham City Council. Requests for a review may come directly from the victims or from a third party (with the victim’s permission), such as a family member, friend, or a local elected representative (e.g. your councillor or MP).

If your case review application is successful, Birmingham City Council and the relevant agencies must consider the impact of the anti-social behaviour on you and decide whether the threshold has been met. The person who requests the ASB case review must be informed of the outcome.

Outcome of the review

Once the panel has ended its review of your case, you will be informed of the result. Where further actions are necessary, an action plan will be discussed with you, setting out timescales for actions that have been agreed.

You can appeal to the review body if you are not happy with the way the review process was carried out or with the decision on whether the threshold was met.

Please talk to us if you need further advice. You can call us on 0121 748 8100 or email us at contactus@pioneergroup.org.uk

You can also get further help and advice from a range of different organisations such as:

Powers Available to Differing Agencies

Parts 1 to 4 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provide six powers for use by local agencies, summarised in the table below. Taken together, these options provide a broad enforcement regime which local partners in most circumstances.

Local Authorities must investigate complaints about issues that could be a “statutory nuisance”, a nuisance covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Community Safety Partnerships consist of five ‘responsible authorities’ – police, local authority, fire and rescue authority, probation provider and Clinical Commissioning Groups and are under a duty to assess local community safety issues and draw up a partnership plan setting out their priorities.