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anti social behaviour policy

Anti-Social Behaviour and Hate Crime Policy

Date of Issue: January 2020

Issue Number: 

Date of next review: January 2023

Halton Housing is committed to involving our Customers in influencing, shaping, challenging and making decisions about the strategic and operational processes of our organisation.

Our approach is to deal with ASB professionally, protect our communities, prevent anti‐social behaviour and promote a safe living environment. We expect our customers to behave with respect to others and in a manner, which does not interfere with the comfort or well‐being of other customers, individuals or groups in our neighbourhoods.

We recognise that if left unchallenged, anti‐social behaviour can have a significant negative effect on the quality of life of individuals and groups within our neighbourhoods and can impact on the welfare of communities. For that reason, we aim to tackle what are often diverse and complex issues around anti‐social behaviour using a range of tools including prevention, support and enforcement with the objective of delivering a proportionate and flexible response to the challenges that anti‐social behaviour presents.

We aim to respond to the recent changes in legislation brought about by the Anti‐Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 by embedding the new legislation and guidance in the operational delivery of protecting our communities, preventing anti‐social behaviour and promoting a safe living environment.

The tools and powers introduced by the Anti‐Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (including, but not limited to, civil injunctions, criminal behaviour orders, dispersal powers, community protection notices, public spaces protection orders, closure powers and absolute orders for possession) will form part of the operational delivery of this policy by ourselves and/or in conjunction with our partners. At the beginning of any tenancy we will inform our customers that they are responsible for their own behaviour and for the behaviour of their household and visitors to their property.

Policy Statement

Halton Housing views an effective approach to addressing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and Hate Crime as a vital part of the housing services function, which ensures excellent customer service by preventing and dealing swiftly with all forms of ASB.

Customers are at the heart of Halton Housing’s approach to ASB and Hate Crime and are actively encouraged to report incidents in order to maintain sustainable neighbourhoods where people want to live. We will focus on the impact ASB has on the victim as this is likely to vary from one individual to another and to respond appropriately given the severity of the impact. The ASB team actively supports the victims of ASB to ensure that the services we provide meet their needs. Our approach to ASB and hate crime is:

1. To manage customer expectations of the action we can take and to ensure we aim to achieve the best outcomes as possible for all involved parties.

2. Being committed to identifying potential problems at the earliest possible stage and in making positive intervention to prevent situations becoming more serious, including the use of mediation where appropriate.

3. We take an active role in preventing ASB but where this is not preventable, we will take swift and effective action to address and resolve any incidents, working collaboratively with partner agencies to ensure a joined-up approach utilising the strengths and powers available to each partner.

4. To ensure we have comprehensive policies and procedures in place that are compliant with the current legislation and best practice, yet, remain flexible to the needs of the community we serve.

5. To ensure that all ASB and hate crime complaints which directly or indirectly affect our housing services functions are dealt with in a non-discriminatory way.

6. To provide leadership in tackling ASB, doing so effectively, and in a timely and appropriate manner and where possible, look to modifying behaviour through support, persuasion and legal sanction rather than moving or displacing ASB through eviction or re-housing.

7. Where appropriate, consider the use of relevant legal interventions, as provided for in current legislation, including obtaining injunctions against the perpetrators of the ASB, seeking possession of perpetrators’ homes, and asking partner agencies to make use of powers available to them, including dispersal orders. The use of Ground 7a of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 for absolute possession will be considered in circumstances where a court has already found a tenant or member of their household guilty of ASB or criminality in the locality of their property.

8. To encourage our customers and people living, visiting and working in our neighbourhoods to report ASB and hate crime and we provide a range of ways to report these activities: • Website via Incident page • Email • Webchat • In writing • Telephone • Self-Serve App (for Halton Housing Customers)

9. Risk Management – ASB and hate crime is a key responsibility for housing, care and support providers. Halton Housing will seek to mitigate business risk through this policy. However, the risk is not just to the business – the first and most crucial risk is to customers. Where it is practicably possible, we will always try and safeguard children and adults at risk who live in our homes or receive our services.

10. We will ensure staff are managed on their performance on dealing with ASB and Hate Crime cases through; one to one’s, the annual appraisal process and being fully informed and trained on all relevant legislation in relation to ASB.

11. We will provide a cost-effective service for all customers with agreed identified budgets for the prevention and resolution of ASB. When using external services, we will market test to ensure value for money is obtained and we will ensure that our costs are open and transparent.

Roles and responsibilities

The Director of Customers has responsibility to ensure this policy is followed within Halton Housing and managed appropriately.

The relevant Senior Managers have responsibility for ensuring that Halton Housing are compliant with Legislative / Regulatory requirements and good practice.

Responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy rests with all staff and contractors working on behalf of Halton Housing, whether that work is paid or voluntary. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Halton Housing employees
  • Agency Staff
  • Managing Agents
  • Contract Staff –e.g. contractors working in Halton Housing owned or managed homes.
  • Volunteers – when working by agreement for or on behalf of the organisation e.g. providing assistance at social occasions or during consultation events
  • Third parties who are engaged in providing a service at the request of Halton Housing

(This list is not exhaustive)

If any member of staff has any concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a child and/or adult at risk, they must immediately follow Halton Housing’s ‘Safeguarding Policy’ and related procedures.

Regulatory and/or Legal Compliance

  • Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
  • The Care Act 2014
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Housing and Regeneration Act 2008
  • The Children Act 1989 & 2004
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Crime and Security Act 2001
  • Criminal Justice Act 2003
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • General Data Protection Regulation 2016
  • Housing Act 1996
  • Housing Act 1988
  • UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST

Diversity Considerations

An initial screening checklist has been competed on this policy which confirms that a full Equality Impact Assessment does not need to be carried out.

Links to Strategies, Policies and Associated Documents

The policy underpins the following prioritise within ‘Our Direction’ OD3 document:

  • Customer Focus
  • Places to be proud of
  • Brand & Reputation

The policy is linked to the following strategies policies and procedures:

  • Domestic Abuse Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Property Pool Plus Allocation Policy.
  • ASB Procedure
  • Customer Engagement Policy
  • Starter and Demoted Tenancies and Mandatory Grounds of Appeal Policy
  • Abandoned Properties Procedure
  • Hoarding Procedure

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