ASB in a Covid -19 world
What is ASB?
ASB, is an abbreviation for anti-social behaviour and is defined as “behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person (Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014).
There are 3 main categories that this behaviour can fall under, depending on how many people are affected:
- Personal antisocial behaviour – when someone personally targets individuals or groups
-Nuisance antisocial behaviour – when someone causes trouble, annoyance or
unacceptable suffering to a community
-Environmental antisocial behaviour – when someone's actions affect the wider environment such as public spaces or buildings
- Abandoned Vehicles
-Vehicle nuisance and inappropriate use
-Rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour
-Rowdy or nuisance neighbours
-Littering or drug paraphernalia
-Misuse of fireworks
It’s important to remember that any antisocial behaviour causes distress to individuals, families and wider communities too; and the first UK ASB awareness week hopes to highlight this area and ultimately make communities safer.
Connexus and ASB - our partnerships
We take all reports of antisocial behaviour seriously and we are committed to tackling and reducing this behaviour in our communities and neighbourhoods. We take every opportunity to work in partnership with other agencies to achieve this including the Police, Local Authorities and specialist agencies across the UK. Connexus Homes Limited is represented on several task forces within the Counties, including:
-Multi Agency Task and Co-ordination Conference (MATAC)
-Serious Organised Crime Joint Action Group (SOCJAG)
-Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)
-Anti-social Behaviour Risk Assessment Conference (ASBRAC)
-The Shires Tenancy Fraud Forum
-Shropshire Hate Crime Reporting Group
This involvement allows us to access the support from other agencies, share learning, education and ultimately make our communities safer. Our work with other agencies also allows us to, where we alone do not have legal powers, access the legal support needed to ensure our communities are safe.
Our approach for victims is to offer support, education and resolve anti-social behaviour, involving those agencies we need to, to get the job done.
How has Covis-19 affected the number of cases being reported?
We live in unprecedented times, never in our lifetimes have families been asked to stay at home, for extended periods of time. Living, working, playing, home-schooling in one space 24/7. Being allowed out to exercise, shop for essentials or seek medical attention. Naturally as we all followed Government guidelines to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS noise nuisance complaints, in particular, increased across the UK. Neighbours were experiencing levels of noise they had never experienced before and were getting distressed. Normal living noise became unbearable as we were all confined to our homes, living in such a different way than ever before.
This was no different for Herefordshire or Shropshire. As noise complaints increased our teams had to think differently and ultimately distinguish between noise nuisance ASB, and normal living noise. We take every report of ASB we receive seriously and actively work with our customers and communities to resolve any ASB that is identified. Our housing teams are trained in mediation. We coach, educate, support our customers, communities and individuals as we understand this can be a distressing time. We also work with neighbours to settle any unrest and come to agreements, where necessary. We have access to specialist apps that allow us to assess noise nuisance complaints e.g. the NoiseApp allows you to record any noise nuisance that can then be submitted to a dedicated case officer at Connexus.
We frequently review our methods and, where necessary, adapt them to suit the needs of our communities. The key to resolving anti-social behaviour is a balance between enforcement, prevention, education and rehabilitation.
Please remember that an immediate threat to life, your safety, you must report this to the police directly - either through their website - , calling the emergency services on 999 or the non emergency phone line 111. Together we will create safer, more respectful communities.