Trafford Housing Trust

Anti-Social Behaviour

We are committed to ensuring that you are able to live in a safe, secure and nuisance free environment and so will not tolerate anti social behaviour in our communities.

Our customers have a right to live peacefully, which is why we are committed to helping reduce crime levels and ensuring that everyone has the right to enjoy life in their own way as long as they don't upset people living near them.

Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) is any behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress or which causes or is likely to cause a nuisance, annoyance or disturbance to people living in your neighbourhood.

Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) can take many different forms ranging from threatening behaviour to complaints about loud music or untidy gardens. This anti social behaviour can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life and if it is not resolved quickly it can have a lasting impact on the people involved, the people living nearby and the environment.

Below are examples of Anti-Social Behaviour. These include but are not limited to:

  • Excessive noise (especially late at night);
  • Using abusive or insulting words or behaviour;
  • Using or threatening to use violence;
  • Intimidation;
  • Criminal activity such as drug dealing;
  • Nuisance caused by animals;
  • Damaging property or threatening to damage another person's property or possessions;
  • Alcohol and substance abuse;
  • Fly tipping;
  • Hate Crime;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Nuisance from vehicles; and other
  • Breaches of the tenancy conditions.

Anyone can be a victim of Anti-Social Behaviour or suffer from its effects, whether they are a homeowner or a tenant of a council, registered social landlord or private landlord.

We take complaints of ASB very seriously and will work with you and other agencies to ensure that your problems are dealt with quickly and effectively.

 Being a Good Neighbour

Now that more and more people live in housing communities, we can all expect a certain amount of noise and disturbance from others going about their normal, daily lives.

Most of the anti-social behaviour reported to the Trust involves disputes between neighbours. Here are some tips on how to be a good neighbour and avoid conflict.

If you are having a party, tell your neighbours;

  • Position your fridge, freezer or speakers away from shared walls;
  • If you have a dog, try not to let it bark for long periods of time;
  • Try to use your washing machine or vacuum cleaner during the day;
  • If you play a musical instrument, do not practise early in the morning or late at night

How to report Anti-Social Behaviour

If you want to make a complaint about anti-social behavior, you can contact us in any way detailed below:-

 Telephone our Customer Hub on 0300-777-7777; Fax - 0300 777 7778; Minicom Number - 0161 969 0720 or a 24 hour answer machine on 0161-968-0555;

  • E-mail us at asb@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk . ;
  • Report it online.  To report an issue now please click here.;
  • Visit us at one of our Local Offices or Customer Access Points ;
  • Write to us at Trafford Housing Trust Limited Head Office, Sale Point, 126-150 Washway Road, Sale M33 6AG

Office Opening Hours: For telephone queries Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm and (8am to 12pm Saturdays). For personal visits please visit the contact us section of our website.

Dealing with your Problem

Once you make contact with us, your complaint will be categorised to allow us to prioritise your complaint. We will then categorise your complaint as follows;

 High -       For example, intimidation/threats of or actual violence, Hate Crime etc. This is also where the nuisance is persistent and is occurring on a regular basis, such as everyday or 4 or 5 times a week.

 In these situations we will contact you within ! working day.

 Medium - For example, anti-social behaviour linked to drug use/dealing. This is also where the nuisance may have occurred 5 or 6 times over a 2 month period.

 In these situations we will contact you within 2 working days.

 Low -        For example, pets & animals i.e. barking, fouling etc. Your complaint may be categorised as low if this is the first time it has ever happened.

In these situations we will take full details from you regarding your complaint and recorded this on our in house system.

We will not investigate these complaints unless they become more persistent, however the Home Living Advisor and Neighbourhood Partner will be made aware of your complaint in case this links in with other issues in the area you live.

Any complaints of anti social behaviour will be dealt with by either the Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner in the area where you live. They investigate different aspects of anti social behaviour and they will provide support and warn the alleged person causing the problems (perpetrators) as part of the investigation.

The Neighbourhood Partner will investigate neighbour problems involving youths, vandalism, graffitti & untidy gardens. whilst the Home Living Advisor will investigate issues involving your neighbour such as loud music and Hate crimes and threatsof violence.

As part of our support for complainants, we also have an Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) Legal Advisor who will provide guidance and support to the Home Living Advisors and / or Neighbourhood Partners on how to deal with reports of anti social behaviour. They will also provide support and guidance when legal proceedings be instigated.

If your case is assigned to a Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner they will contact you to discuss your case. This can be at one of our offices, at your home or an alternative venue that you are more comfortable with. If you would prefer, we can also arrange for an interpreter to be present, or same sex interviews.

Once the Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner has established all the facts of the case, we will agree an action plan to help us to resolve the problem together. We will discuss with you the most appropriate action that we can take to tackle the ASB you are experiencing, this will include will a range of options such as:-

  • Consider emergency legal action to protect you;
  • Carry out a full investigation of your complaint and begin gathering evidence
  • Arrange to interview the alleged perpetrator(s) (this can be done anonymously depending on the nature of the complaint)
  • Consider interventions that may help resolve the issue, for example mediation services.
  • Work with our partners to try to resolve your case.

 Before we take any action against the perpetrators of anti social behaviour, we will seek your consent to do so. You will be kept fully updated throughout your case regarding any action that we may take.

 Diary booklets

As part of your complaint, you may be asked to complete diary booklets. Diary booklets are used to evidence what anti social behaviour you are experiencing. It is very important that you complete your diary booklets thoroughly to ensure that we know exactly what has been happening.

 Why complete diary booklets?

They enable the Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner to get a clear understanding of the type of nuisance you are experiencing. They give an indication of the frequency and severity of the nuisance.

  • They enable Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner to see if there are any patterns to the for example, it may be that someone always goes out on Tuesday and Friday nights and comes home drunk and noisy in this scenario, Noise monitoring equipment could then be installed at the most appropriate time to catch the nuisance on tape.
  • It will also allow the Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner to look at other options to witness or capture evidence of the anti social behaviour that may be occurring.
  • They enable the Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner to raise specific incidents with the perpetrators when they are visited / interviewed.

  So what type of information needs to be provided on the diary sheets? 

The diary sheets are fairly straightforward to complete and require some very basic information. The Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner will discuss how to fill these in during the interview.

 However, you will need to include:

  • The date, time and location of an incident need to be supplied.
  • You need to describe in detail what for example, If for instance your complaint is of noise nuisance, don't just put 'noise', describe the type of noise… 'it was exceptionally loud music. The bas was thumping until 2.30am'. `they were both arguing and shouting throughout the night. At one point I could clearly hear him shout 'I f***ing hate you! I'll f***in' kill you if you do that again!' It is important to note that you may not like detailing this information however you should write out in full any foul or abusive language you can hear.
  • Who is responsible for the nuisance behaviour… if you don't know the name, provide the address and a brief description.
  • Give the contact details of any witnesses to the nuisance. This may include neighbours you saw watching from windows or out in the street.
  • If you have phoned the police, make sure you ask for an incident number which you should then include on your diary sheet.
  • State how the behaviour you are experiencing makes you feel or how this has affected you or your life for example, 'it woke the children up and took me 30 minutes to get them back to sleep' or 'I couldn't get to sleep and I was tired at work all day'. 'It is making me ill and I have been prescribed tablets by my doctor.' 'I don't enjoy living here any more.'

When you have finished the diary sheets always remember to sign and date the entry.

If you are unable to complete diary sheets for any reason, you should tell the Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner during the initial interview they will be able to assist you in a number of ways.

You may not be able to write for any number of reasons, however we can supply you with a dictaphone on which you can record your complaints.

 If English is not your first language, then you can complete any diary sheets in your first language and we will get these translated into English so that we can challenge the perpetrator regarding their alleged behaviour.

Under certain circumstances your Home Living Advisor or Neighbourhood Partner may complete the sheets on your behalf and you will just be required to sign them.

Without diary sheets, the Trust will find it extremely difficult to take action against perpetrators

Please click here to link to the anti-social behaviour diary.

Remedies

We use a range of legal and preventative tools to help us tackle anti social behaviour and this is dependant on the severity of the complaint, these include eviction, obtaining an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), or taking out an injunction. Listed below are details on some examples of the tools we use.

Injunctions

  • An injunction is a civil order obtained at County Court and places prohibitions on an individual to remedy their anti social behaviour.
  • Injunctions can only be placed on adults over the age of 18.
  • Injunctions can be applied for against tenants, owner occupiers and non tenants, where conduct is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person, and directly or indirectly relates or affects housing of Trafford Housing Trust In serious cases where there have been threats of violence, actual violence or significant risk of harm, the perpetrator can be excluded from a specific area, including their own property and/or a power of arrest can be attached. This means that should the individual breach the injunction, he can be arrested and brought before the court at the earliest opportunity.
  • If an injunction is breached it is dealt with by civil proceedings and breach of injunction can result in a fine and/or imprisonment.

 Undertaking

  • An undertaking is where the individual promises not to act in a particular way and there are prohibitions in place that the individual agrees not to break.
  • An undertaking differs from an injunction because a power of arrest cannot be attached to the undertaking and because the individual has agreed or promised not to act in a particular way, the judge does not make a decision as to whether the individual is guilty or not guilty of committing the alleged behaviour.

 Possession Orders

There are 2 types of possession order, these are immediate and postponed.

Immediate Possession

An immediate possession order is granted by the court and ends your tenancy and gives us the legal power to evict you from our property. In cases of immediate possession the courts will decide a date when the possession order comes into force and this usually has a time on it of 7, 14 and 28 days from the Court date.

In cases of starter tenancies, if a starter tenant continuously broken the conditions of their tenancy agreement, they can be evicted by way of the standard assured shorthold tenancy grounds. This means that the Trust must give the tenant two months written notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

 Where the tenant fails to leave the property, the landlord may then pursue possession under the accelerated possession procedure.

 Postponed Possession

A postponed possession order is when a Court grants immediate possession, however then suspends this for a period of time, usually 1 or 2 years. The courts then place prohibitions in the court order to prevent further anti social behaviour.

If this postponed possession order is then breached within the time period set by the Courts, we can then apply back to the Courts for immediate possession based upon the breaches. However, if no breaches are reported and the Court order is maintained then the possession order ceases at the end of the time period set by the Court and no further action can be taken under this court order.

Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)

  An Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) is a non legally binding written contract between one or more agencies and an individual. The contract outlines what the perpetrator should not be doing and will reflect the behaviour that has been used by the perpetrator. The contract usually has a balance between specific conditions and general conditions.

 Any agency can lead or instigate an ABC, but they tend to be led by the local authority, police, youth offending team.

 ABC are often used with children and young people, but can be used for adults.

 Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)

 Anti Social behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are civil orders that protect the public from behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress. Orders can be made on anyone aged 10 years or over, who has displayed ASB in the previous 6 months

 ASBOs can be imposed for a fixed period, with the minimum period being 2 years. Alternatively they can also be unlimited periods of time or until a further order is made.

 The orders are not criminal penalties, however, breaches of an ASBO is a criminal offence.

© Trafford Housing Trust Limited.

Registered in England and Wales Reg No 04831118. Registered Office: 126 - 150 Sale Point, Washway Road, Sale, Manchester, M33 6AG.
Charity Reg No 1106967; Housing Corporation No L4440; VAT No 854 7727 85.

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