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ASB - Your questions answered

23/07/2013

What remedies are available to deal with ASB?

These are the non-legal remedies we can use to intervene and prevent anti-social behaviour:

  • Mediation
  • Informal warnings
  • Referring the problem to enforcement agencies such as the police or local authority Environmental Health Department
  • Partnership working with other agencies such as Social Services or Youth Services who have additional skills and powers, e.g. to organise parenting contracts
  • Support for people are vulnerable and also cause ASB to help them control their behaviour, e.g. where this is due to mental health problems
  • Physical improvements, e.g. better lighting in communal areas where appropriate
  • Community development projects, e.g. diversionary sports activities for young people
  • Acceptable Behaviour Agreements
  • Parental Control Agreements

If these fail to produce any improvement we will consider the use of legal enforcement measures including:

  • Injunctions
  • Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBO)
  • Possession Orders for tenanted homes


What are your responsibilities as a customer?

Many RHP homes are close together with shared communal spaces. Some noise and lifestyle differences are inevitable. We expect our customers to be considerate to their neighbours and neighbourhood, to be responsible for the behaviour of their household and visitors, and to comply with the conditions of their tenancy or lease prohibiting nuisance and anti-social behaviour.


How does RHP prevent ASB?

Prevention is an essential part of RHP's approach to anti-social behaviour. We run a number of initiatives and support schemes run by voluntary agencies and community groups.

These include voluntary mediation, football coaching and IT clubs for young people, joint work with the Community Safety Partnership to combat anti-social behaviour across the Borough and the provision of tenant support services for those who have difficulty maintaining their tenancy due to vulnerability.


What support is there for victims and witnesses?

Witnesses are crucial to stopping ASB. The evidence of someone who was there when an incident took place is more powerful than hearsay or professional witness statements and can cover more incidents than a surveillance operation.

Witnesses will be supported throughout the whole process, from report to court proceedings, remedy and beyond. The amount of support you need will vary depending on your circumstances and the types of ASB you have reported.

The first and most important support we offer is to reassure you that, except in some very serious circumstances, the information you give us will be kept in the strictest confidence. Our support services range from helping you to make a report or helping you give evidence in court to, in very rare and serious cases, finding our tenants a new home.

We will:

  • Keep you informed of what actions we are taking and let you know what to expect next
  • Remain aware of any potential risks
  • Give you details of an emergency out-of-hours contact
  • Let other RHP employees, such as caretakers and scheme managers, know what is going on so they can keep a ‘look out’
  • Where necessary, advise on improving your home's security - such as installing new locks on windows and doors or installing a panic button and provide you with a personal alarm
  • Put you in touch with other residents who can offer support
  • Discuss and plan every stage of any necessary legal action with you, for example when we serve papers, the exchange of witness statements and the court hearing
  • Consider applying to the court for an immediate order such as an interim injunction or ASBO (these can be served without notice and often have an immediate impact)

We may ask you to give evidence in court. If this does happen we will support you throughout the process and beyond.

We will:

  • Arrange a visit to the court in advance of the hearing so you can get to know the layout
  • Ask the court for a private waiting room
  • Arrange transport to the court
  • Make arrangements/cover the costs of any childcare or dependent care
  • Consider reimbursement for time off work, and other expenses incurred
  • Accompany you to the court hearing
  • Ask for a police presence in the court

After you have been to court we will:

  • Inform victims, witnesses, the community and relevant agencies about successful legal action
  • Recognise you for taking a stand and helping to support us and your community
  • Publicise successes through leaflets and posters, which can be effective in strengthening the community, encouraging future witnesses and helping to monitor any potential breach of orders.
  • Provide ongoing support for as long as you feel it is necessary and as long as reasonably practical

For a list of unfamiliar words that are used in court and a list of useful contact numbers, please download or request a copy of our 'Tackling ASB' booklet.

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