Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can happen anywhere and in any tenure type; however registered providers of social housing are expected to have a role in dealing with it.
At Black Country Housing Group we are committed to working with residents and other agencies to reduce and tackle ASB. We have a clear policy in place and we will help find ways to assist you with problems you are experiencing. Behind the scenes we also prevent ASB, for example in screening new applicants and designing out problems on housing estates where we can.
What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
ASB is any act – deliberate or not – which could harass, alarm, distress or interfere with the peace, safety or comfort of an individual or group. It can take many forms such as abusive language, dropping litter or drawing graffiti on walls.
ASB can cover a wide range of behaviour it is anything that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person.
Our expectations of Residents
We want you to enjoy living in your own home while allowing other people to enjoy theirs. This means being considerate to your neighbours by:
- Limiting noise late in the evening and early in the morning
- Giving neighbours advance warning of occasional late night parties;
- Doing building work or noisy housework, such as washing and vacuuming, at a time that would cause least disturbance
- Keeping a careful watch on the activities of your children, pets and visitors.
- Parking sensibly and making sure your vehicles are taxed and roadworthy
- Not using your home for illegal purposes.
- Keeping your home clean and your garden tidy
- Complying the obligations you signed up to in your tenancy agreement.
How can to report Anti-Social Behaviour?
Contact us on 0121 561 7934 or email us through myhome.bchg
How we deal with ASB
When you contact us, we will carry out an assessment and give a first response within the timescales below. In some instances we will be able to give an initial response at the first point of contact. Providing you have given sufficient information we will create a log on our system and give you a reference that you can use to contact us again.
High - We consider domestic abuse and hate incidents as high risk and aim to offer a face to face meeting within 24 hours. With all high risk incidents we will offer initial advice within 24 hours.
Medium - We will respond as soon as we can within 7 days
Low - We will respond as soon as we can within 14 days
Our Offer is to:
- Listen, give advice and log the matter on our system.
- Deal with incidents in accordance with our policy
- Agree an action plan with you, including who is going to what and when.
- Offer mediation in suitable cases
- Help identify opportunities for self-help
- Intervene if that is what is going to help
- Take enforcement action where it is necessary to do so.
We expect you to:
- Work with us to resolve disputes and issues
- Take responsibility for minor personal disputes with neighbours and to try to resolve any differences in a reasonable manner
- Respect other peoples’ right to their chosen lifestyle and be tolerant of everyday and/or reasonable levels of disturbance
- Contact other agencies we ask you to and deal with them too, keeping us up to date. This includes reporting criminal activity to Police who are easy to access through http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-local-police/index.aspx
- Co-operate with us if you are a victim or witness and enforcement action becomes necessary.
We will discuss a plan of action with you and in most cases some of the action points will be with you – Examples being to report it to Police, speak to your neighbour, or even set up a neighbourhood watch scheme. We will keep to any timescales agreed and expect you to do the same. We will expect you to do your part to help resolve a case or gather any evidence.
Where intervention is needed we will seek to resolve your concern by discussing the issues with the other people involved. We hope that most concerns can be resolved without taking further action however we will use an appropriate legal remedy should that be necessary to deal with the anti-social behaviour. Depending on the case some of the options we have are:
- Home visits to investigate
- Warning letters
- Possession proceedings
- Other agencies can take the lead such as a Noise Abatement Notice by Environmental Health or a criminal prosecution by Police.
When a case has been dealt with we will contact the person who reported the concerns to us so that they know. We will close cases for a variety of reasons and these could be that the person reporting the concerns did not co-operate, we intervened and resolved, the case was settled with mediation, no action was available to BCHG, there was no evidence of ASB, it was a one-off incident, one person moved away or it was referred to another agency. When closing a case we will be clear with you why it is being closed and we will periodically carry out surveys to find out how we did.
We cannot deal and tackle anti-social behaviour on our own and we will work with a number of partners to address anti-social behaviour in the areas where we have properties. These include:
- Residents/Community Groups
- Councils – Anti Social Behaviour & Environmental Health Teams
- Victim Support
- Other Housing Providers
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Social Services
- Mental Health teams
- Support agencies such as Options for Life, Mind, Social Services, Headway and Compass
A Note about Fly Tipping
Fly tipping rubbish and unwanted items in communal bin areas is also an aspect of ASB. Fly tipping is expensive to clear up and the cost of clean ups is ultimately passed on to our residents. If you see a neighbour fly tipping please contact us and send us a photo if you can. We promise to keep your identity confidential and to approach the person you have seen fly tipping.