Hastoe recognises that antisocial behaviour can have a significant impact on the lives of residents. This policy is designed to provide a clear and effective commitment to tackling antisocial behaviour so that staff, residents and partners understand the approach we take. Hastoe believes that tackling the causes of antisocial behaviour is key to creating sustainable communities. We will ensure that our customers are made aware of their responsibilities and the support available, that staff are equipped to deal with cases and that we work in partnership with other agencies to deliver a joined up and consistent approach.
This policy covers Hastoe’s tenanted properties. Our role in tackling antisocial behaviour is different where it does not involve our tenanted properties. For owners, leaseholders and shared owners one of our partners (e.g. Police or Local Authority) will be responsible for leading any action required.
The policy applies to all employees as well as those employed by and providing services to Hastoe. This includes temporary agency workers, contractors and consultants. It also covers situations where these workers experience anti-social behaviour while carrying out their duties.
There is no one definition of antisocial behaviour. Antisocial behaviour can be anything from low-level, persistent nuisance to serious violent behaviour. It includes all behaviour that impacts negatively on our customer’s quality of life in and around their home.
The following are the types of behaviour that we deem to be anti-social behaviour:
Hastoe recognises that harassment may occur in a range of circumstances and may be linked to the protected characteristics identified under the Equality & Diversity section below.
Acts of harassment include (but are not limited to):
- Racist behaviour or language
- Hate crimes
- Actual or threatened violence
- Abusive or insulting words or behaviour
- Actual or threatened damage to another person’s home or possessions
- Writing threatening, abusive or insulting graffiti
- Behaviour that interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of others
Hastoe defines domestic violence as an actual or threatened act of harassment, assault or abuse (mental, physical or sexual) against any person living in the same premises. We recognise that domestic violence can occur in all sections of society and can impact upon children, family and the community.
Other anti-social behaviour includes (but is not limited to):
- Verbal or physical abuse
- People being drunk or rowdy in public places
- Nuisance neighbours or problem families
- People using or dealing drugs
- Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to property or vehicles
- Noisy neighbours or loud parties
- People being insulted, pestered or intimidated
- Abandoned or burnt out cars
- Inconsiderately parking or parking on gardens
- Persistent repairing of vehicles that causes a disturbance
- Nuisance caused by pets
- Leaving rubbish or litter lying around
Dealing with anti-social behaviour
We will work closely with a range partners using prevention, early intervention, enforcement and support, thereby giving our customers confidence that anti-social behaviour will be tackled. Our staff will be well trained and will be familiar with all preventative and intervention measures that are available. Where minor neighbour nuisance is occurring we do normally expect that a resident will initially seek to resolve the problem by speaking to their neighbour.
Hastoe recognises that one of the most effective ways to tackle antisocial behaviour is to take a preventative approach. We will use a range of preventative measures which include links to our lettings procedure; property/estate design and maintenance; resident involvement including community strategies and using a multi-agency approach.
Taking action against people who commit antisocial behaviour sends a clear message to other residents that we will not tolerate such behaviour and provides support for victims. We will use a range of measures to deal with antisocial behaviour. The options we choose to take will vary from case to case. These measures will include early intervention such as a warning letter, home visit and mediation, through to partnership approaches to enforcement action if the antisocial behaviour does not stop. There may be some cases where following investigation we do not have sufficient evidence to take further action and this will be explained to the resident reporting the problem. Legal enforcement will normally be used as a last resort after all other action has been exhausted. However, where incidents are of a serious nature this may be required at an earlier stage.
Respect: ASB Charter for Housing
Hastoe has signed the Respect: ASB Charter for Housing and it influences our approach to managing anti-social behaviour. The key to the charter is accountability to residents. We will therefore publicise our policy towards anti-social behaviour and make it clear how seriously we take it.
Equality & Diversity
We are opposed to discrimination on any grounds including those identified as protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, or any other unjustifiable criteria.
We will provide support to our customers who have difficulty in managing their tenancy due to particular needs such as mental health problems, learning difficulties and other disabilities. Where necessary, Hastoe will engage with other service providers to ensure that additional support is given.
Hastoe will collect diversity information on all complaints of antisocial behaviour and this information will be used to actively identify if any particular groups are more likely to suffer incidents of antisocial behaviour and action will be taken to remedy this.
Robust monitoring is implemented to ensure that the impact of the policy can be assessed annually, that customers are satisfied with our approach and a formal review occurs at least every three years. Residents will be consulted as part of this review to ensure the policy meets customer needs.