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Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

Witness Support

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ASB will be tackled not tolerated

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with the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group


Accessing our services This leaflet gives you information about Anti-Social Behaviour. If you would like a copy in large print, Braille, on audiotape or CD, please contact the Social Inclusion Team on 0161 474 2860, email: inclusion@stockporthomes. org, text: 07891 949 399 or fax: 0161 474 2869.

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Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support


Contents Introduction

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Witness and Victim Support

5

Dedicated Witness Support Officer

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Witness Buddy Scheme

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Going to Court

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After Court

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Contact Us

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Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support

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Introduction Stockport Homes recognises that all residents have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home. Equally every resident has a responsibility not to interfere with their neighbour’s right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home. Stockport Homes is committed to ensuring that residents are able to enjoy peace, quiet and security in and around their homes, and will take any action necessary to deal with problems of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). These actions may include mediation, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs), Warning or legal proceedings such as injunctions, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) or possession proceedings to name but a few.

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Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support


Witness and Victim Support Stockport Homes recognises the crucial role complainants and witnesses play in assisting to tackle ASB. The speed and success of any action is dependant on the co-operation and involvement of the complainants. Stockport Homes recognises that a proven track record of success in dealing with ASB cases is fundamental in building confidence and trust in witnesses. Stockport Homes is dedicated to providing support to complainants and witnesses throughout the whole process of dealing with a case. What support will be offered? The level of support given will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual and the circumstances of the case, and will be agreed with the complainant from the outset. In every case, each complainant will be provided with a named contact who will agree and maintain a level of contact and keep them fully informed throughout the case.

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Witness and Victim Support Other support measures available include: • linking complainants to other witnesses; • completing a risk assessment of the security of the complainant’s home and where appropriate improving security by, for example providing door chains, peep-holes, security lights and / or fire-proof letter boxes; • working with the police to install “panic alarms” to access a Police response by the touch of a button; • providing an interpreter where English is not a complainant’s first language; • informing other relevant officers (such as the Rangers) of the victims / witnesses so they can patrol and “keep a look out”; • liaising with Victim and Witness Support and / or other relevant agencies to provide additional support and / or counselling; and • temporary relocation in extreme circumstances / additional social needs points in extreme cases.

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Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support


Dedicated Witness Support Officer Stockport Homes is committed to providing excellent support to witnesses and will seek to use all the tools available to ensure that witnesses feel safe and secure when coming forward to give evidence. The evidence of witnesses cannot be underestimated, especially in cases involving formal enforcement action. Therefore, it is essential that witnesses feel supported before, during and after the case is dealt with. Witness support is a collective responsibility. However Stockport Homes recognises that some witnesses may be more vulnerable than others and therefore need more intensive one-to-one support. Stockport Homes has a dedicated Witness Support Officer that sits within the ASB Team whose role is to provide intensive support to those witnesses most in need. The Witness Support Officer will carry out needs assessments for witnesses referred to the service and agree and establish individual support plans which meet their support needs. Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support

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Dedicated Witness Support Officer Support offered includes daily one-to-one contact during office hours or at an evening or weekend if required, support through the court process including pre-court visits and moral support at any hearings. Service standards have been developed and agreed with customers for the service that will be provided by the Witness Support Officer. Once a referral has been made, the Witness Support Officer will: Standard Contact Level 1 witnesses and witnesses in CAT A (urgent) cases by telephone within 24 hours Carry out an initial visit and needs assessment of Level 1 witnesses and witnesses in CAT A cases within 48 hours Contact witnesses of all other cases by phone within two days of the referral being made Carry out an initial visit and needs assessment of witnesses in all other cases within five working days of the referral being made Agree and maintain a level of contact with the witness 8

Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support

Target 90% 90%

90% 90%

90%


Witness Buddy Scheme Sometimes the best witness support is provided by individuals who have experienced or have been through the ASB process themselves. Stockport Homes has developed a “Witness Buddy Scheme” using Stockport Homes’ customers who have volunteered to offer support, advice and guidance to complainants on ongoing cases. If you feel you would benefit from the help of a “Buddy” please contact the ASB Team on  0161 218 1498.

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Going to Court Many witnesses feel worried about going to court, regardless of whether or not they were the victim of a crime or ASB. To make the court process less intimidating and daunting Stockport Homes will: • offer to arrange a visit to the court beforehand so witnesses can familiarise themselves with the layout and court procedures; • arrange for transport to and from court; • make arrangements and cover the costs of any childcare or other dependant care; • consider reimbursement for loss of earnings as a result of attending court; • accompany witnesses at all times; • arrange for a police presence if necessary; and • arrange for a separate and secure waiting area.

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Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support


After Court Stockport Homes will continue to offer support after the court case for as long as they feel necessary and as long as is reasonably practicable. Stockport Homes will also ensure that: • you are informed of the outcome of the case at the earliest opportunity; • successful outcomes are publicised; and • partners such as the Police and the Local Authority are aware of the outcome of cases. Remember Stockport Homes will always offer victims and witnesses support, guidance and information. Stockport Homes will listen to what you have to say and be able to inform you on how things are progressing.

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Contact Us Out-of-hours reporting number  0161 217 6111 Email: antisocial.behaviour@stockport.gov.uk (For reporting only - in an emergency where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress, please contact Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on either 999 or 0161 872 5050. You can also report ASB on-line at www.stockporthomes.org To contact Stockport Homes to report ASB during office hours, please contact your Area Housing Office on the numbers below: East Area Housing Office  0161 474 4372 Fax: 0161 406 8377 West Area Housing Office  0161 474 4371 Fax: 0161 477 4879 ASB Team  0161 218 1498 Fax: 0161 480 4358

Ref: 783/February 2011

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Anti-Social Behaviour - Witness Support

ASB - Witness Support  

ASB will be tackled not tolerated.

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