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ocial Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group

nuisance news The quarterly newsletter of the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group

This issue

This issue includes articles from the following:Anthony Collins Solicitors Aspire Housing

Issue 45

Mar 2008

Full steam ahead .... 2008 promises to be our busiest year yet Arrangements are being firmed up for our conference to be held in Telford at the International Centre on 7th and 8th October. In response to Member’s views we are staging it over two days but retaining the workshop format that

Atlantic Housing Bowlee Park Housing

has proved to so popular over the years. We will be able to cater for more

Coast & Country Housing

delegates and expect high profile speakers as well as a bigger exhibition.

Chelmer Housing Partnership Colchester Borough Homes Cross Keys Homes,

Watch out for more details as the programme develops but put the date in your diary.

CSHS Derby Homes

Sharon Mackley is expanding our training service this year, starting with the

Training

First Choice Homes

extremely popular workshops on Mental Health Issues and the Disability

Gateshead Housing Company

Discrimination Act [more details elsewhere in this edition]. The Regional

Hammersmith and Fulham Homes

Meetings continue to deliver a range of useful sessions for our Members and

Harvest Housing

we are also looking at ways that we can work with other agencies to deliver

Hermitage HA

training to a broader range of partners.

Hyde HA New Charter HA Newham Council New Progress HA

Accreditation Following the success of the Respect Performance Improvement Toolkit developed jointly with HouseMark, we are now investigating the possibility of

One Vision Housing

producing a service for social landlords that will give them an evaluation of

Oxford Citizens HA

the way that they tackle anti-social behaviour.

Poplar HARCA Redditch BC SHAARP

If the stand-alone regulator/OFTENANT develops in the way we anticipate,

Sheffield Homes Southampton City Council

the “lighter touch” inspections that should be part of that future regime would be influenced by the sort of “accreditation” that we are developing. At this stage we have the support of the Audit Commission, which is working with us to get the scheme off the ground. We are also fortunate to be able to

South Essex Homes South Somerset Homes

work with other partners who have similar experience, such as CSHS, ENCAMS

Swansea Council

and TPAS.

Three Valleys Housing

Wales and Scotland

Vale HA

We will be opening up better links this year with colleagues in Wales,

Wales & West HA

particularly through the Wales ASB Forum, but also in supporting individual

Whitefriars Housing Group

Groups and working on our relationship with the Welsh Assembly

Wigan and Leigh Housing

Government.

Whiteheads Solicitors


Editorial continued from page 1

bilities. Typical of this expectation is the assumption by

We are looking at ways in which we can support social

DCSF that the delivery of parenting support will become

landlords in Scotland in tackling anti-social behaviour

part of social landlords’ mainstream business, as

and we will be at the CIH conference in Aberdeen in

evidenced by the Guidance issued in November 2007.

March to improve our links and, hopefully, attract more

Perhaps nobody would argue with the philosophy

Members.

behind this assumption but the lack of a coherent

Respect

approach across Government implies that the “silo

Finally, what about “Respect”? We haven’t seen an obituary, but there doesn’t seem to be much life in the Respect Agenda. The Government line is that the work

approach” of the Government strategy to tackle ASB is leading to unrealistic expectations of social landlords and a lack of clear direction for us all.

on Respect continues, but nobody is very clear about

For our part we continue to lobby the three major

who is delivering on it. Of course social landlords

players [DCLG/DCSF/Home Office] for

continue to receive support from DCLG in the generality

some clarity and leadership.

of their work to tackle ASB, but other Government Departments [particularly the Home Office and DCSF]

Peter Jackson,

have increasingly high expectations that social landlords

Managing Director

will take on an ever- broadening range of responsiChristine

David Blunkett to address The National Sheltered and Supported Housing Congress 2008 A rare opportunity to hear the former Home Secretary in person. CSHS is delighted to announce that the Rt. Hon. David Blunkett MP will speak at The National Sheltered and Supported Housing Congress and Exhibition 2008.

Director said, “David Blunkett has a reputation for being outspoken and I’m certain he will make a memorable contribution to the Congress. As Home

As Secretary of State for Education and Employment

Secretary, Mr Blunkett urged people from ethnic

Blunkett developed the Learning and Skills Councils,

minorities to develop a "sense of belonging" in Britain;

created Job Centre Plus and launched the New Deal

it will be interesting to hear his take on our overall

which created over 100,000 jobs for young people.

Congress theme of Striving for Safe, Strong, Sustainable

He also launched the Commission for Racial Equality

Communities.”

and chaired the Equal Opportunities Commission.

The National Sheltered and Supported Housing

Blunkett led a reform of the civil services; adapting the

Congress and Exhibition 2008 will take place on the 5

role of the Home Office to meet new challenges whilst

and 6 June at the superb Oxford Barceló Hotel.

maintaining the lead in immigration, drugs, crime and policing.

2

Walker, CSHS

For more information visit www.cshs.co.uk/congress.


Member’s News

National recognition for Junior Wardens and Mentors Scheme The Bowlee Park Housing Association Junior Warden Scheme has received national recognition in a Government report recommending the scheme be copied nationwide. The Empowering People report stated how: “becoming a junior warden is a matter of pride for some people” and cited the Bowlee Park scheme as best practice.

taking pride in and respecting your community.

This hugely popular scheme is aimed at children

“A junior warden’s job is to report things like fly tipping,

between six and 12 years old and currently has 170

graffiti, broken windows, vandalism, and discarded

members. It was introduced in 2003 to tackle high levels

hypodermic syringes while they go about their day to

of youth nuisance in the area which, following research

day normal activity. So in effect they are on duty 24

by the Neighbourhood Wardens, was attributed to lack of

hours.’

provision and positive role models in the area for junior

“The scheme is so successful that most children want to

school children.

carry on their good work once they reach the age of 12

This groundbreaking initiative has attracted interest from

which led to us introducing the Junior Warden Mentors

wardens schemes as far a field as Wrexham, Liverpool,

for children 12 years and above who have also been

South London and even The Isle of White who have all

junior wardens. Since the project was introduced in 2003

introduced junior warden schemes based on the

instances of anti-social behaviour from children in this

methods developed by the Bowlee Park team.

age range has been virtually eliminated.”

The Junior Wardens have also received national publicity

Positive activities over the last twelve months have

with features on BBC One’s flagship children’s current

included a sponsored pyjama walk for Children in Need,

affairs programme – Newsround, Radio One’s Newsbeat

a Christmas hampers appeal for our elderly tenants and

programme as well as coverage on BBC Radio Four and

intergenerational poem writing with the local elderly day

BBC Radio Suffolk.

care centre based

Colin Whitley, Warden Supervisor said “Being a junior

around respect.”

Like to know more then contact:

Jeff Allen 01706 674353

warden is not just about attending activities, it’s about

Excluded from flat

Helen Scurr, Head of Housing Services at Aspire Housing, said:“We are committed to promoting positive

A former Aspire Housing customer has been excluded

social behaviour as well as tackling anti-social

from his flat after being arrested four times for breaking

behaviour. Our customers are at the heart of everything

a Court Order.

we do and we work hard to provide them with the

The tenant had been subject to a County Court

reassurance and support they need.

injunction in January 2008 preventing him from making

She continued:“This is a fantastic outcome for us. We

any loud noise between 8pm and 8am; having more

work with a number of agencies in the local

than two visitors, harassing, intimidating or pestering

neighbourhoods to empower our customers to take

any other residents in the local area.

action and

The prohibitions were ordered by a County Court

in this case

District Judge after evidence had been presented of

it really paid

noisy, drunken parties of large numbers of youths.

off.”

Like to know more then contact:

Wendy Dale, 01782 635200 extn. 4841 wdale@aspirehousing.co.uk

3


Member’s News

Hard hat hero!

heart attacks, and spent the next two weeks in hospital. The award – the first of its kind – was presented to Sean at the home of Mr Hughes by One Vision Housing Chief Executive Roy Williams. Mr. Williams said:“Everyone at One Vision Housing would like to give our most sincere thanks to Sean for his actions. By keeping a cool head and reacting quickly in this situation he has saved a life and we feel that he fully deserves this recognition as a token of our appreciation.” Mr Hughes said:“I cannot thank Sean enough for what he did. Without his help I simply would not be here right

One Vision Housing has awarded a workman with a ‘Community Hero’ award after his quick actions saved

John Quirk, Senior Operations Director for KBM said:“Kier

the life of one of its tenants.

is very proud of Sean’s actions and we try to encourage

Sean Pellett (20) from FOZ Electrical, a subcontractor of Kier, was working on the home of George Hughes (79), as part of the One Vision Housing Decent Homes

this behaviour in all our employees as Health and Safety is one of our key priorities. We’d like to applaud Sean and thank him for his great work with Kier.”

programme, when Mr Hughes collapsed and hit his head

Speaking at the presentation Sean said:“I am very

on a chest of drawers causing serious injury.

grateful to One Vision Housing for this award, however I

Mr Hughes had fallen unconscious and was barely breathing when Sean reached him. He instructed a colleague to call an ambulance and placed Mr Hughes into the recovery position, comforting him and his wife

feel that I was only doing what anyone would have done in the same situation and I am extremely glad that Mr Hughes managed to hang on until the paramedics arrived and that he is alive and well.”

until the paramedics arrived.

Like to know more then contact:

It was later discovered that Sean’s actions had saved Mr

Darren Nugent, 0151 934 3451

Hughes’ life as he had suffered an aortic rupture and two

darren.nugent@ovh.org.uk

Closure order after drugs raid

drugs raid in December. It also came after complaints from neighbours concerned about the number of people visiting the flat and smoking drugs in the

Poplar HARCA, Bromley by Bow safer neighbourhood

stairwell.

team and the Bethnal Green Police partnership unit

Acting Sergeant, Aidan Kelly, said: “This involved good

were granted a three month Closure Order from

partnership working between the safer

Thames Magistrates Court on a property in Bow .

neighbourhoods team, Crime Partnership unit and

A closure order is an order granted by the courts so that

Poplar HARCA. We will continue to act on information

the police can close a property for up to three months,

received from the local community.”

if a property is being used for suspected illegal

“Obtaining a closure order on this property is an

activities. Any visitors would be liable to arrest under

excellent result for residents who have had to endure

powers from the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003

continuous anti-social behaviour from the tenant and

During this time Poplar HARCA will apply to the court

his visitors. We would not have been able to obtain this

for a Possession Order.

result without the assistance of our partners but

The Closure Order was granted after police discovered drugs paraphernalia used for Class 'A' drugs during a

4

now and he fully deserves all the praise he receives.”

especially the residents that reported the problems they were experiencing to us.”


Members News

Highly successful training events Over 250 people attended two joint training events held in Redcar and Cleveland on training together to tackle ASB and crime. They were organised by the Police, in conjunction with Coast & Country Housing and the Council and brought together a range of front line staff who are involved in delivering Neighbourhood Policing. Neighbourhood Police Officers and PCSOs attended workshops along with Coast & Country staff, Community Safety Wardens, the Council’s ASB team and other staff. The workshops gave delegates an insight into what each of the agencies can do to make Neighbourhood Policing a success. In the spirit of partnership working, Chief Constable Sean Price, Councillor Dave McLuckie, and Iain Sim, Coast & Country’s Chief Executive opened the events jointly. Iain Sim said “Consultation with our residents tells us that their biggest concerns are crime, anti-social behaviour and environmental issues such as vandalism and graffiti and as a housing provider we cannot resolve this on our own. Our participation in delivering this event and the commitment of our staff attending the training shows that we are passionate about working alongside our partners to improve our neighbourhoods and the quality of life for our residents’” Feedback from staff who attended the event was excellent and new contacts made are being used to tackle problems and reassure residents that everyone is working together to deal with their Policing and ASB priorities. Further joint training events are planned Like to know more then contact:

Louise Harding 01642 771300 louise_harding@cchousing.org.uk

Doing something positive for their local community Young offenders are being given the opportunity to learn new skills and improve their behaviour thanks to a new partnership. FROGlife has partnered with Cross Keys Homes, Mears and Lovell to set up a new project, which will help youngsters on reparation orders to do something positive for their local community. FROGlife is a national charity based in Peterborough working to protect reptiles and amphibians. It works alongside Peterborough City Council’s Youth Offending Service and involves youngsters on a number of wildlife initiatives. This new project sees young people who have been given community service build a range of nature products including bird boxes to help protect the wildlife. All equipment, work benches and workshop space has been provided by Cross Keys Homes, Mears and Lovell. Cross Keys Homes’ director of operations, Claire Higgins said:“The workshop sessions have been designed to help us work with this group of youngsters and to help them overcome the factors which have previously led them to perpetrate anti-social behaviour. He added “We are not expecting to stop anti-social behaviour overnight but we are hoping to help these young people look to the future in a positive way by helping them to enjoy the great outdoors, its wildlife and all the other things it has to offer as well as at the same time developing new skills.” FROGlife’s reparation manager, Andy Mortimore, added:“The aim is to help rehabilitate young people so that they can feel more valued in the community. “FROGlife will use the workshop kindly provided by Cross Keys, Mears and Lovell to encourage these young people to produce a range of nature related products. They will be distributed throughout the Like to know more then contact: Peterborough area to Katie Savage 01733 385116 enhance conservation katie.savage@crosskeyshomes.co.uk areas.”

5


Member’s News

Hot topics debated in the North West Is crime out of control? Is the UK’s fear culture exploited by the media? Are we responsible for global warming or are we the victims of propaganda? Could a healthy lifestyle ever be an ethical prerequisite for entry to the social housing system? These were just some of the questions raised at the North West Communities Debate in November at the City of Manchester Stadium. The debate, hosted by broadcaster John Stapleton,

Multi-agency work is vitally important to the community

included a panel of key decision makers within the North

activity undertaken by Harvest Housing Group, who

West, including :-

organise the debate on an annual basis.



Sir David Henshaw, Chairman of NHS North West

The panel addressed the need for a long-tern plan to

Jo Rogerson , Chief Inspector - Operations, Greater

ensure sustainable communities for the future

Manchester Police,

generations and to secure the region’s economy.

Michael Oglesby, Chairman of North West Investment

Ian Perry said:“A robust long-term plan is needed but at

Company MIDAS,

the moment no one is looking beyond the next five to

Max Steinberg OBE, Chief Executive of Elevate East

six years.”

Lancashire

Sir David Henshaw agreed by adding that the fortunes of

Harvest Housing Group’s Chief Executive Ian Perry.

children need to be altered and that there is a serious









The opinions of local residents and other

6

need for more interventions early on so as to prevent the next generation of crime.

agencies were also

It was argued that a similar long-term focus is also

heard, focusing on a

required in communities to retain the next generation of

number of issues such

home owners by addressing transport systems, the

as crime, affordable

housing offer made available and the provision of good

homes, provision for

public services, so that these areas become more

the elderly and the environment and how the

sustainable with mixed communities of all income levels.

combination of these factors impacts on our

Discussion about the importance of a focus on the future

communities.

considered not only the need for a long-term vision from

Jo Rogerson opened up the debate with her take on

the Government and other agencies but also the respon-

crime and actions that need to be taken, saying: “There is

sibility that individuals need to take for their own

evidence that crime is coming down however there is

lifestyles and their impact on society’s resources.

still a lot more to do. People need to work together and

Sir David Henshaw summed up the feeling succinctly:

get involved in their local communities.”

“The way we’re living our lives today will impact on the

Michael Oglesby said:“We need to look at total

future.”

situations. We can’t just look at one issue in isolation but

The comment was supported at an environmental level

need to address the totality of the problem – the full

by Max Steinberg OBE who said: “We’re living as if we

community.”

have two and a half globes, not just one.”


Member’s News

Music to their ears Two lucky youngsters won MP3 players in a poster competition run by New Progress Housing Association. Beth Barnard and Savannah Rae, both year 10 pupils at Southlands High School, designed the winning poster to warn people about the consequences of behaving anti-socially. Over the past year, pupils at the school have been learning about criminal damage and anti-social behaviour as part of their Citizenship studies at a special series of workshops run by New Progress.

ending to a really productive year working with the school. The workshops have been a fantastic success and have generated a lot of national interest. It's great

The workshops have been designed by the association's

to see the participants being rewarded for all their hard

Tenancy Enforcement Team in partnership with

work and we are extremely proud that we are able to

teachers to help students understand the challenges

display the winning entry in our office.'

facing them once they leave home. They cover topics such as budgeting, rent arrears, dealing with anti-social behaviour, and living responsibly in the community. The poster competition marked the end of the course and the winning entry will now be framed and displayed in the organisation's Head Office in Leyland. Says Alison Morton, Tenancy Enforcement Manager,

Chair of New Progress Tenants' Forum and Liverpool Magistrate, Mr Frank McKenna JP, judged the winning entry. The course has proved so popular that it has been held up as a national example of best practice and has sparked a number of similar initiatives at schools across the country.

who delivered the workshops “This has been a great

Like to know more then contact:

Nykkie Berry 01772 450852 funded additional projects, working particularly in Alvaston/Boulton and Stockbrook/Morley Estate and Mackworth.

Providing positive alternatives Enthusiasm is an organisation that works with young people with the aim to see them fulfil their true potential. It has been established since 1992 and was borne out of a need for young people within the Allenton/Osmaston area of Derby.

Key to the success is working in partnership, in particular with the Neighbourhood Teams where issues, problems and concerns are identified, such as anti-social behaviour and they are able to act and make a difference. Pete Matthews Housing Manager has said “ “It has worked for Morely, Mackworth team because we have worked with one lad who has really be causing trouble throughout the estate. We referred him to Enthusiasm,

They tackle anti-social behaviour and aim to reduce

they have worked with him and his family and this has

crime. This is done by engaging with young people and

resulted in a total turnaround of his attitude and is

providing positive alternatives such as youth clubs,

rubbing off on his friends, even the police have noticed

education and one-to-one support.

the difference in this individual and group of youngsters

Because of its positive working relationship with Derby

that he associates

To find out more

Community Safety Partnership, Derby Homes has further

with.”

www.enthusiasm.org.uk.

7


Member’s News

Aspire’s Respect Event In November, Aspire Housing demonstrated its

Helen Scurr, Head of Housing Services at Aspire Housing, said:“’Respect’ is an attitude that is shown towards any individual’s feelings or interests and acknowledges another’s feelings.”

commitment to the Government’s ‘Respect’ Standard for

She added: “We work pro-actively with other agencies

Housing Management.

and empower our customers to take action against anti-

Customers and representatives from partner organi-

social behaviour to get where we want to be. We look at

sations attended a ‘Respect’ event at their offices to learn

prevention and early intervention as part of our delivery

more about the standard and the company’s pledge to

plan, alongside support for both victims and witnesses.”

tackle anti-social behaviour.

Aspire Housing helped to fund ‘Inspire’ youth club in

The company’s approach is to identify the root causes of

Cross Heath, which opened in June 2007.

anti-social behaviour and support individuals to modify

Maxine Hopson, Neighbourhood Officer, for the area, has

their actions. It is looking to embed a culture of respect

already noticed a positive difference. She said:“We now

throughout all of the communities that it serves. David Cockcroft, Director of Housing at EnCAMS - an organisation responsible for environmental campaigns – delivered the keynote speech. He talked about the

have around 20-30 young people that visit the club every week.” Furthermore, we have already worked with a young lady, along with the Youth Offending Service, to help disengage her from future anti-social behaviour.”

‘Respect’ agenda and the work that EnCAMS are involved in to raise people’s quality of life and their planned

The ‘Respect’ standard is about engaging central

improvements to provide cleaner, safer and greener

government, local agencies, communities and every

communities.

individual to work together to build a society in which

David spoke about the importance of agencies working in partnership to achieve excellence in local environ-

we can respect

Like to know more then contact:

one another.

01782 635 200 enquiries@aspirehousing.co.uk

mental quality and to reduce anti-social behaviour.

ASB satisfaction survey – the results are in… All complainants of anti-social behaviour who had their

8

Satisfaction levels reduce when residents were asked:

how satisfied they were with the way their case was dealt with (51%)



how satisfied they were with the outcome of their case (465).

cases closed between August and October 2007 had

In order to drive satisfaction levels up, further scrutiny is

the opportunity to take part in Hammersmith and

being done to identify those who were not satisfied.

Fulham Homes’ first ever anti-social behaviour

Specifically H&F Homes are trying to find out if there

satisfaction survey.

are groups that are particularly unsatisfied, for example

Over 50% of the surveys were returned and high levels

by age, gender and ethnicity.

of satisfaction with the ease of contacting officers to

These groups will then be invited to focus groups to

make the initial complaint (78%) and support given

discuss any particular barriers that they may be

(62%).

experiencing so a

Like to know more then contact:

They also scored very highly on being helpful,

better service to all

Kate Boulton 020 8753 4817

courteous, sensitive, responsive and knowledgeable.

can be provided.

kate.boulton@hfhomes.org.uk


Member’s News

Neighbour from hell ordered to leave Association obtained a possession order against another

It’s looking Rosy on Rose Hill

nuisance tenant who made neighbours' lives 'hell'.

New Charter’s Rose Hill estate was given a

Law-abiding residents are celebrating as New Progress Housing

The tenant caused misery for her neighbours in the Seven Stars area of Leyland with frequent episodes of excessive noise, threatening and abusive behaviour, and alcohol-fuelled violence.

wake up call by Dolores Lewis when she took over as Neighbourhood Management Officer late last year. The estate had fallen foul to criminal damage,

The mother of two also allowed intoxicated youths and adults to

anti-social behaviour and criminal activities

gather in and around her property and operated an 'open

and was attracting some very undesirable

house'.

characters.

Despite continued efforts by the association to work with her to address her behaviour, the tenant refused to change her poor

Dolores immediately had CCTV installed to capture evidence of the criminal goings-on and to act as a deterrent to those up to no

behaviour.

good. She also intervened in the normal

Working with evidence provided by local residents and Leyland

lettings process to ensure that void properties

Policing Team, the association was granted possession of her

went to those willing to respect the estate and

home.

their neighbours and to those that were willing to live within the terms of their tenancy

Community Beat Manager, John Penter said: 'We fully support

agreement. Those that continued to breach

New Progress's actions against this tenant. We will continue to

the terms of their tenancy agreement were

work with them to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour in

evicted.

our communities.'

Properties were given new fencing and

Says Bernie Keenan, Managing Director: 'We are committed to

residents set up a local Home Watch Scheme.

tackling anti-social behaviour and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the rights of tenants to feel safe in their

Due to the generosity of the local District Assembly and New Charter, the Home Watch Scheme was provided with packs full of useful

communities.'

information.

'We always offer support to any tenant who is at risk of losing

The estate benefited from a multi-agency

their tenancy to try and resolve the situation. However, when a

approach by New Charter, Greater Manchester

tenant refuses to address their behaviour and continues to

Police, local Councillors, Tameside Patrollers,

disrupt the quality of life for people in the surrounding area, we will enforce their tenancy conditions.'

Denton Town Manager, Andrew Gwynne (Denton MP) and residents to make the estate one where people want to live again.

New Progress's Tenancy Enforcement Team self-represented at

A new Residents Forum has been established

the court hearing making this their 31st 'DIY' case. Self-

and it will help carry on the good work. Cheri

representation significantly reduces the legal costs of court

Burns has now taken over from Dolores and

proceedings for both

she will also be striving for more

the organisation, its tenants, and the defendant.

Like to know more then contact:

improvements.

Nykkie Berry 01772 450852

Now Rose Hill’s future really does look rosy

nberry@progressgroup.org.uk

9


Members News

Demotion is the order of the day

Eviction for nuisance couple Residents who suffered at the hands of nuisance neighbours were celebrating after they helped evict

Wales & West Housing Association has obtained its first

the anti-social couple from their home.

Demotion Order using the skills of in-house staff.

The 29 year old female and 32 year old male of

A demotion order means a tenancy is demoted to a

Willenhall, were given 28 days to leave their

probationary tenancy for 12 months.

property after a possession order was served at Coventry County Court. Whitefriars Housing Group secured the order after the court found a breach of an injunction, made at the same court in October, forbidding the male to visit or reside at the property. The injunction followed months of complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour and noise

The staff obtained the Order at Cardiff County Court against a tenant who had caused excessive and prolonged antisocial behaviour to her neighbours by playing loud amplified music and allowing her visitors to regularly threaten and harass her neighbours, causing them distress and alarm. Any further breaches of her tenancy within 12 months could result in eviction.

nuisance, including screaming and shouting.

The association demonstrated to the Court the devastating

The injunction and the order were obtained with

effect that the anti-social behaviour had upon neighbours

the help of witness statements from residents,

and the wider community.

Whitefriars staff and the police.

Environmental Health Officers also assisted the association

This is the second eviction secured by asb4,

by providing witness statements and seizing hi-fi equipment

Whitefriars’ specialist anti-social behaviour team this

from the property.

year. Gail Cooper, asb4 business manager, said:“We are very pleased at the court’s decision. This sends the clear message out to people acting anti-socially

Residents were called upon to provide the required evidence. For those who were too afraid to attend court,

that their behaviour is unfair, unacceptable and will

staff acted as professional witnesses and presented hearsay

not be tolerated.”

evidence on their behalf.

“I would like to thank all residents and the police

The tenant defended the action, relying upon the Disability

who helped us secure this order. With their help we

Discrimination Act, in particular linking her need to lose

have been able to resolve this matter, which

herself in her music as a form of self medication. Whilst the

resulted in an eviction order. Whitefriars considers

Court was sympathetic to the needs of the tenant, it

taking eviction proceedings only as a last resort, but

weighed up the effect this behaviour had upon neighbours

on occasions where residents refuse to change their

when considering the issue of reasonableness.

behaviour we are left with no alternative.” The team, which is employed by Whitefriars Housing Group, offers a city-wide mediation service and tackles serious cases of anti-social behaviour. asb4 is the only ‘one-stop shop’ for anti-social behaviour services and remedies in the area. It

association is delighted with the outcome of this case and it has demonstrated that we are prepared to use all the tools available to us to tackle anti-social behaviour. This will ensure our residents do not suffer the effects of ASB”.

offers a full menu of resolution services ranging

The association has, to date, taken over 20 possession cases

from mediation through to emergency injunctions

to Court without instructing Like to know more then contact: Counsel and have achieved Sharon Lee, Head of Support a 100% success rate. Services on 0800 052 2526

and committal proceedings. Its aim is to allow residents to enjoy their homes in peace.

10

Wales & West Head of Housing, Lynnette Glover, said “The


News ... ocial Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group

DDA training takes off !

SLCNG members are finding that a new series of training events are really hitting the spot. It was felt that more needed to be done to alert members about the responsibilities that they have following the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act. Many provisions of the Act came into force in December

We decided that SLCNG ought to take the lead with our

2006 and a report by Sheffield Hallam University in

members and organise some training”

August 2007 highlighted the desperate need for social landlords to consider the effects that anti-social behaviour was having on disabled people.

SLCNG worked with our partner organisation, Whiteheads Solicitors, to run a series of workshops. The first two workshops were run in October and November

Given the higher rates of disability among tenants of

2007, with a further five planned for early 2008. In

social landlords there is a need for those organisations in

addition, tailored in-house courses have been arranged

a position of influence, such as SLCNG, to use their

for five member organisations.

position to help social landlords develop more sensitive polices and procedures.

“The demand has been amazing and the feedback is very encouraging”, said Sharon,“it confirms our view that

Sharon Mackley, SLCNG Operations Manager said,“ We

SLCNG is in an ideal position to provide timely training

knew from earlier reports from the National Audit Office

for its members which gives genuine value for money.”

and the British Institute for Brian Injured Children that there were concerns that social landlords might not be dealing sensitively with anti-social behaviour that affected people with disabilities or was caused by them.

Clean-up a success

For more information about the courses, contact Sharon Mackley on 0247623 1749 or Sharon@slcng.org.uk Peter Jackson, Managing Director. Alf McLean, said: “We have had a

A clean up in Cotmanhay, Derbyshire was hailed a

very successful day

success by all involved after more than 30 staff and

and we hope that

volunteers worked together with residents to tidy up the

residents are proud

area.

of what we have

While estates were being tidied by the Young Rangers

achieved together.

and the Probation Services, staff from Three Valleys

We will be working

Housing knocked on more than three hundred doors,

with local people

inspecting gardens and offering advice to residents

and Erewash

about how they could arrange for unwanted items to be

Borough Council to look at some of the issues that have

taken away.

come out of the day and look at how we can maintain

Sixteen skips full of rubbish and bulky items were taken

this standard in the future.”

away and a further 50 follow up visits were planned to

Like to know more then contact:

take away further items of household waste.

Phil Campbell, 0844 770 3500

Housing Operations Manager for Three Valleys Housing,

phil.campbell@threevalleyshousing.com

11


Feature

Stamping out ASB SHAARP successfully reclaimed possession of a property in Emsworth following persistent anti-social behaviour by a 42 year-old woman. The tenant who has a heavy alcohol dependency, had made neighbours lives a misery over the course of three years with anti-social behaviour including SHAARP is the Southern Housing

noise nuisance, arguments, shouting and littering.

Associations Antisocial Behaviour

Local residents suffering at the hands of included a neighbouring elderly

Response Partnership.

couple and young family whose mother has a terminal illness. The tenant also

SHAARP is funded by 14

has a 13 year-old son who is now living with relatives after intervention by

registered social landlords in

social services.

Hampshire, Dorset and West

SHAARP worked in partnership with Hermitage Housing Association, who own

Sussex covering over 50,000

the property, and within seven days, they were successful in being granted

properties in these areas. It

possession at Portsmouth County Court.

reports to a board of partnering RSL’s and resident represen-

Six witnesses were involved in this case, working alongside SHAARP to compile evidence and bring a successful case. Speaking after the court case

tatives. Over the past two years it has

one witness said she/he wanted to cry with relief.

also established successful

SHAARP Anti Social Behaviour Officer, Charlotte Cooper, commented:“The

partner relations with the Police,

local residents worked together to put a stop to this persistent anti-social

Youth Offending Services and

behaviour.”

ASB co-ordinators across several

She continued:“We are delighted to have finally resolved this case. The local

Community Safety Partnerships.

people put their trust in SHAARP and we are proud to have delivered a result

SHAARP members include:

which will allow them to go back to living their every day lives in peace.”

A2 Winchester

Crack house closures

Atlantic Housing Hermitage HA Home Havant Hyde HA Kingfisher HA Knightstone HA Martlet Homes Ltd Pavilion HA Portsmouth HA Raglan HA

Police have officially closed houses in Fleet and Southampton after Crack House Closure Orders was granted by magistrates under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. The order means that no-one can enter the properties for three months, and during this time, it is a criminal offence for anyone to enter the flat unless authorised by police.

Swaythling HS

A police spokesman said:“Drug-related anti-social behaviour will not be

Twynham HA

tolerated by the police and the local community and we are committed to

Western Challenge HA

making the area a safer and more pleasant place to live. “The supply of drugs affects the quality of life for everyone, particularly those

If you would like your organisation featured in Nuisance News, please contact Sharon Mackley, Tel: 024 7623 1748

Email :sharon@slcng.org.uk

12

living close by to where the activity takes place. “If you witness any drug-related anti-social behaviour, please contact the police.” SHAARP has worked in partnership with the police on these cases and are delighted there is now a positive end to this matter.


Feature

Helping to stamp out ASB

On behalf of the Kent & Medway Social Landlords ASB Group, Nic

A resident of Atlantic Housing was sentenced to 14

Haig (Hyde

days imprisonment after twice breaching an anti-social

Housing

behaviour injunction obtained by his landlords and

Association’s ASB

SHAARP.

Co-ordinator) and

The case was originally referred to SHAARP in

Anne Chapman (Maidstone Housing Trust) presented the

November 2006 after complaints that the resident had

Social Landlords category for the county’s Respect

verbally abused his housing officer. Fellow residents of

Young Peoples award 2007.

the building also confirmed they had experienced

More than 100 youngsters were honoured across six

similar problems with the resident.

categories. Among the winners were young people who

An Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction was granted in

had combated racism and bullying, a group of teenagers who had organised events to raise awareness of the tragedy of domestic abuse and others who had worked hard to build bridges between young people and their communities.

February, 2007 which included power of arrest and exclusion from the surrounding area for a period of two years. The resident then breached the ASBI on two separate occasions, firstly threatening a witness when collecting some belongings from the property, for

The awards were open to young people aged between 10-20 years old and are backed by the Home Office and supported by Kent Police Authority and Charlton Athletic Football Club's Community Scheme The winners for the Kent & Medway Social Landlords ASB Group category went to Christopher Powell, Bradley

which he received a suspended sentence of 14 days imprisonment. On the second occasion he threatened to murder his housing officer, who was attempting to deal with a possession order on the property.

Powell, Laura Amer, who devoted their spare time to

SHAARP Anti-Social Behaviour Officer Charlotte Cooper

setting up and running the Bysingwood Youth Club at

commented:“We are delighted to have a successful

Faversham and the Highly Commended certificate to

outcome in this case and resolve matters for both the

Jack Devine of the Shepway Youth Forum (pictured

housing staff and neighbours who suffered as a result

above).

of this unacceptable behaviour.”

13 year old’s evidence

aggravated threatening and abusive words and his partner was served a Notice Seeking Possession on the property.

SHAARP successfully obtained a Possession Order for a

In September 2006 SHAARP were also granted a

Hyde Housing Association property in Sholing.

Postponed Possession Order making the resident aware

The judge granted the order after hearing the

that if her partner’s behaviour continued she would be

compelling evidence of a SHAARP officer Charlotte

facing eviction. Two further incidents occurred in

Cooper and a 13 year-old resident.

September and November 2006 when the man was

The case was originally referred to SHAARP in May 2005

arrested twice for using racially aggravated threatening

after incidents of racial abuse a man towards other

and abusive words and then bailed.

residents. An Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction was

In May 2007 SHAARP were granted a Possession Order

obtained against the man in June 2005 who was living

for the property following evidence from their Anti-

at the property in with his girlfriend, a Hyde resident.

Social Behaviour Officer Charlotte and a 13-year old

In January 2006 he pleaded guilty to using racially

resident whose evidence was fundamental to the case.

13


Member’s News

Woman jailed for second time for breaching ASBO

Over £50,000 for Respect our Community schemes As a result of signing up to the Respect Standard, First Choice Homes Oldham’s newly formed Better Neighbourhoods Team is working

A Redditch woman, who has featured twice

hard to deliver new

before in Nuisance News, has been given a

initiatives that will

further custodial sentence for breaching

help improve the

the terms of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order

estates of Oldham.

The 34 year old, formerly of Winyates, was

One of these

given a four-month jail sentence by

schemes is the

Worcester Crown Court at the end of November. A two-year Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order was also imposed, which will take effect on her release from prison. She was also sentenced to 225 days in prison by Redditch Magistrates in September 2007 for breaching the ASBO. The ASBO had been granted in September 2005 following complaints from neighbours that she had been playing loud music, shouting, swearing, spitting and throwing things over her balcony. Although the ASBO initially had the desired effect, six months later complaints about her behaviour began to come in again. Despite intervention by Redditch Borough Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, the level of complaints escalated. Liz Bellaby, Anti-Social Behaviour Manager at Redditch Borough Council, said:“This case demonstrates that, in partnership with West Mercia Constabulary, we will continue to rigorously tackle anti-social behaviour, protecting individuals and improving the quality of life within communities.

“Respect Our Community Awards”. The awards have been designed to give tenants and residents a chance to improve their neighbourhood by generating ideas from within the community that will help them resolve problems where they live. First Choice Homes Oldham has invested £30,000 into the scheme and local organisations have contributed a further £22,000 in cash and a wealth of resources. The Respect Our Community Awards Coordinator, Jayne Winterbottom said,“It is vital that tenants and residents on our estates take ownership of the problems they face, who better to say what the possible solutions are than the very people that live within these neighbourhoods? We now have a ‘resource bank’ to help people realise their ideas, historically all our efforts have been focused on punitive measures.” The applications are scrutinised by a panel made up of representatives from organisations that have contributed to the scheme. These include Bullock, Connaught, Housing 21, NCHA, Keyring as well as many others. Projects can be funded up to the value of £5,000. Once a project has been approved a support plan is devised so that the applicant gets as much assistance as they need. First Choice Homes Oldham is committed to building confident communities that pull together to resolve problems that affect them. Increasing tenant and resident involvement to raise community spirit

Like to know more then contact:

01527 534007 or 64252 www.redditchbc.gov.uk

14

by encouraging them to get involved can only be a good thing. Like to know more then contact:

Better Neighbourhoods Team 0161 770 4588


Member’s News

Indefinite anti-social behaviour injunction awarded County Court in December 2007 on a Redditch woman

Out of hours operations prove a winner

following complaints by a number of neighbours about the

It is good news for Leyland as new figures

behaviour of her children.

released by New Progress Housing

The majority of complaints related to shouting, swearing,

Association indicate a reduction in

deliberately targeting properties when playing ball games,

incidents of anti-behaviour in the town.

damage to property and throwing stones at neighbouring

The organisation's Tenancy Enforcement

properties.

Team is celebrating after data collated by

An anti-social behaviour Injunction was granted at Redditch

The Anti-Social Behaviour Team endeavoured to work with the women and her children but complaints continued. It was felt that formal action was required to allow the community respite from the continued anti-social behaviour. The terms of the injunction mean that the woman and her children or visitors will not be allowed to swear or shout, verbally abuse, threaten, harass or intimidate people, play ball games in the close where they live, cause damage to property or throw stones or other objects at properties. In addition she is not to allow her garden to remain in an untidy condition.

the association and the local Police show that 'out of hours' working is paying off in their bid to deter anti-social behaviour. Working with the local Police, the team undertook out of hours operations in the weeks leading up to Halloween and Bonfire night in areas around Leyland, Bamber Bridge and Penwortham that tended to attract anti-social behaviour after dark. The prevention work, which included letters to tenants reminding them of their tenancy conditions and high presence night patrols,

Councillor Bill Hartnett, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety,

led to an overall 40% reduction in criminal

said: “The Council regrettably accepts that anti-social behaviour

damage and 18% reduction in anti-social

occurs but when it does and sufficient evidence of ongoing anti-

behaviour compared to the same period

social behaviour is received, the Council will take steps to stop

last year.

the activity which may result in court action such as this

Linda Alcock, Head of Tenancy Enforcement

injunction.“

said : “The reduction is fantastic news for

When granting the indefinite order the judge noted that there

the team, our partners and above all, the

had been a ‘long attempt on the part of the Council to deal with

local community. We are always looking to

the situation’ and he was mindful to grant the order. In addition

new ways to prevent anti-social behaviour

the judge thanked the residents for attending court.

and this is another example of how working

Liz Bellaby, Anti-Social Behaviour Manager at Redditch Borough

together really works.'

Council said: “Redditch Borough Council will continue to use the

“We are looking forward to working with

tools and powers available to deal with perpetrators of anti-

our partners to see the results of a similar

social behaviour. This injunction was obtained to stop the

initiative over the Christmas period.”

behaviour that has been

Like to know more then contact:

having a negative impact

Like to know more then contact:

on the lives of residents in

Tel: (01527) 534007

the area.”.

www.redditchbc.gov.uk

Nykkie Berry 01772 450852 nberry@progressgroup.org.uk

15


Member’s News

Community Lettings transforms estate New Charter’s lettings team took a different approach to letting homes in one of its Stalybridge neighbourhoods. Anti social behaviour in the area meant many tenants had become complacent and were not prepared to tackle trouble. The team decided to bring in seven new families - all at the same time - to fill the voids on the estate. On one Saturday, they held an an open day and invited all the prospective tenants to view their homes and meet their new neighbours. The new tenants forged friendships even before they had moved in. The open day was a great success and the new tenants really have injected a new lease of life into the estate. 

A new tenants’ group has been formed and it is working hard to make further changes to the estate and build community spirit.



CCTV has been installed to make residents feel safer.



The local Tameside Sports Trust has organised youth activities.



The once run down shop on the estate has been renovated and is now used regularly by the Neighbourhood Management Officer to hold surgeries, Tenant Participation for meetings and events, and by Tameside patrollers as a drop-in centre. The shop has also hosted a Halloween party for the children and was turned into Santa’s grotto for Christmas.

The process was so successful it will be used again when more homes become available to let. 

Care for the environment



Basic mechanics



Vehicle law



Motorcycle rider training



Peer mentoring



Employment opportunities



Parental involvement

Off Road motorcycle project

At a glance

In June 2007, Southampton City Council teamed

course

together with the Police, Fire and Rescue Service and







16

Health & Safety



Anti-social behaviour

None of the young people offended whilst on the project.

The a programme included 

All 11 either completed their Youth Achievement  Awards during or soon after the course

Tony Moto MX Parks to run a pilot scheme for 14-17 year olds.

13 young people were selected and 11 completed the



Some of the young people may return to Tony Moto Parks to train as marshals.


Member’s News

A second year of Respect in Gateshead During 2007 Safer Gateshead were involved in :

The completion of Safer Gateshead’s Respect Action Plan.



a thorough review with its members who scrutinised how anti-social behaviour is tackled in Gateshead and areas for development. The production of an easy-to-use guide for all practitioner agencies called “The Graded Response to ASB”

an innovative charter designed to offer support to crime and anti-social behaviour. The Newham Witness Charter sets out the minimum standards of service people can expect from the council, police and 23 partner agencies including most of the housing associations with property in the borough

which was commended in the national Crown

Councillor Ian Corbett, said: "Neither the council, other

Prosecution Service Newsletter.

enforcement agencies nor residents can tackle anti



Newham Council and partner agencies have launched people who are prepared to stand up in court against

Gateshead Housing Company signed up to the Respect Housing Management Standards, completed



Witnesses encouraged to take a stand against ASB

The launch of its

social behaviour in isolation. It is only by working

own Respect

together that we can make a difference.

Awards to

"The willingness of witnesses to give evidence is vital in

members of the

detecting and prosecuting offenders, as well as

community who

securing justice for the innocent. While the needs of

had tackled anti-

victims receive attention, witnesses do not get the

social behaviour

information or support they need. We all have to

effectively.

provide the same level of service that gives people

The launch of its Anti-Social Behaviour Motorbiking

confidence about taking a stand."

Strategy, with advice leaflets distributed to every

The charter includes a witness pack containing useful

school in the borough.

contact numbers for reporting incidents, report logs



Setting up its own Family Intervention Project.

that allow people to record incidents and a guide that



Becoming a national pilot area for selective licensing

explains court proceedings, what takes place, how you

for private landlords

can prepare and what happens afterwards.

Setting up a mediation service in Gateshead in

Added Councillor Corbett: "Giving evidence in court is a

partnership with UNITE

big step and one which takes courage. Those who do

Receiving an award from the North East Youth Justice

deserve the best support we can give in the run up to

Assembly for the DVD it produced for Gateshead

and after the court hearing, including protection

schools on ASB.

measures where required. They will receive advice,

 

This year their priorities are to:

 

Develop better coordinated interventions at an earlier

reassurance, consideration for the inconvenience they experience and our thanks."

stage to tackle ASB and linking this more effectively

So far 11 people have volunteered to share their

to positive diversionary activities in line with the

experiences and knowledge to support others and an

anticipated Youth Taskforce Action Plan

induction package to assist those volunteers is being

Link parenting work to tackling young people ASB

developed.

more effectively in a ‘family package’

The witness charter and the Newham approach to

Expand the number of initiatives around community

witness support has already attracted interest from the

payback and restorative justice work

Government who are keeping check to see if the model could be adopted nation-wide.

17


Members News

Homes carried out a joint raid on a top floor flat

Co-operative approach with elderly arsonist

where it was believed dangerous chemicals were

A co-operative approach in a complex case has seen South

being used and stored.

Somerset Homes recover possession from a 70 year old repeat

Chemical laboratory in flat Thanks to police intelligence, Colchester Borough

The raid also involved environmental health officers, police, fire and a specialist drug and chemical substance consultant. The tenant was arrested and taken into custody for questioning. The tenant had set up the chemical laboratory to try to invent a new cleaning product. Although the chemicals were, if mixed together extremely dangerous, there was no evidence that any illegal substances or bombs were being constructed and the tenant was released from custody.

elderly neighbours. The tenant was successfully re-housed in secure accommodation ensuring he is now able to receive the specialist care he requires. The tenant’s house, near Yeovil, had been deliberately set on fire on three separate occasions resulting in him having to be rescued from the building. His bedridden next door neighbour also had to be evacuated for her own safety. The tenant had also threatened several of his neighbours and had allowed the premises to fall into an uninhabitable condition. Following the third fire the tenant was sectioned to allow his

Colchester Borough Homes made an application

mental health condition to be properly assessed. However,

to the high court for an emergency interim

South Somerset Homes were informed that despite concerns

injunction to stop the tenant returning to the

about the tenant’s ability to look after himself, he could be

property until a specialist company could remove

released from hospital within days. They decided to apply for

the large stock of extremely dangerous chemicals.

an emergency interim injunction and exclusion order to

The injunction was awarded the same day and

protect the tenant’s neighbours and also made submissions to

served on the tenant at the police station.

the Mental Health Review Tribunal explaining why general

With his solicitor, the tenant undertook not to

accommodation was not suitable for the tenant’s needs.

store any chemicals other than those used for

Following submissions the Court granted an emergency

normal household cleaning, to pay £5.00 per

Injunction the day before the Mental Health Review Tribunal

week to cover the cost of removing the chemicals

hearing. Partially due to the presence of this Injunction and

and to allow the housing officer to inspect the

the submissions, the Tribunal decided that the tenant was not

property without prior appointment four times a

sufficiently well to be able to return to his home.

year. The Judge asked the Housing Manager and

A notice seeking possession of the property was issued at the

the Council Solicitor to remain behind after the

end of July 2007. The tenant’s mental health issues meant that

hearing and made the following comments “You

he had to be represented by Shelter on behalf of the Official

acted very quickly and responsibly in making the

Solicitor.

property and the other resident’s safe, in this very

By adopting co-operative approach the best outcome was

unusual and dangerous case, well done”

obtained to protect both the tenant, his neighbours, the

The tenant is now working with Colchester

property and staff.

Borough Homes and with support his behaviour

It resulted in the association recovering possession with the

is much improved. The interim injunction was

consent of the other parties and the tenant has now been

vital in securing a positive outcome in this case, and with support from the housing team, the tenant has sustained his tenancy and improved his behaviour.

18

arsonist who posed a significant risk to himself and to his

permanently housed in secure accommodation where he is able to receive the specialist care that he needs. Like to know more then contact:

Barbara Colby 01935 404641


Member’s News

Turning peoples’ lives around Hostel residents of South Essex Homes, Louise Jowett, 24 and Matthew Whitehair 28, have shared their experiences and feelings about how the new tenancy sustainment course has turned their lives around. The four week tailored course has been introduced by the South Essex Homes Hostel Team with Southend Adult Community College to address the underlying problems that cause residents to become homeless in the first instance.

I have been asked to go and speak to other young

Matthew and Louise, who are also expecting a baby next

people who are starting the course and share my

summer, attended the course whilst staying in one of

positive experiences with them. I have been through

South Essex Homes hostels where they have been for

hard times like others and I want to share what has been

two months, whilst currently awaiting to move into

the best opportunity given to me in a long time.“

permanent accommodation.

He added “We would really like to say thank all those

Matthew said “At first I thought the course was not for

involved for all their help completing the course and

me and I was very resistant as I didn’t think it was

encouraging me to attend. It really has turned our lives

anything new, but after only two days I wanted to go

around and we can make a new start for our new baby”.

back and felt I was really getting something out of attending. I left school at 14, with little education and for the first time recently, I felt really proud when completing a job application form and I could include the qualifications I have achieved. I recently completed a City & Guilds course as a result of attending the tenancy sustainment course and it has really opened my eyes to what education and other opportunities are on offer. It has given me the extra added incentive to go out there

Louise added;“The course opened other avenues for me and I am looking into starting volunteer work which will hopefully lead to other paid employment. We will both be looking into doing further courses, especially one that will develop our CV’s. I think every single person that attended the course walked away with something positive - those that may have had a low incentive to do anything and showed resistance have changed.“ Like to know more then contact:

and make a difference to mine and my family’s lives.

Camera tackles graffiti

Lynsey Stephenson 01702 236112 February, they painted, removed graffiti and cleaned the block on

Thanks to video surveillance equipment in an empty

Dyche Lane.

flat the block in Sheffield, four youths were identified

Before the camera was

daubing graffiti and causing criminal damage. The

installed, the walls of the

evidence was shared with South Yorkshire Police, and as

communal area were

a result the four were arrested. Two were charged with

painted and within a few days the graffiti started to

Criminal Damage and fined through Court, and the

reappear. Prior to this, Neighbourhood Wardens and

others received a final warning and a caution.

Estate Officers had reported groups of youths, graffiti

The youths were referred to Youth Offending Team

and litter. Each resident of the block was visited,

Services and were issued with direct reparation orders.

however no one

This means they will have to put right what they have

was willing to act Kerri Smith 0114 2053333

done wrong in the community. At the start of

as a witnesses.

Like to know more then contact:

kerri.smith@sheffieldhomes.org.uk

18


Member’s News

Child Safety Orders - hit or miss

seemed unable or unwilling to control his behaviour which was causing serious anti-social behaviour problems on an estate where the majority of the residents were Council tenants. This family in fact were

This article relates the experience of the City & County of Swansea Council in obtaining a Child Safety Order against a family with a nine year old child who was perpetrating extreme anti-social behaviour. Child Safety Order Under Section 11 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Magistrates Court may make a Child Safety Order (CSO) in respect to a child under the age of 10 on the

The Social Services Department were not seeking a Care Order so it fell to the Housing Department to take the initiative to try and provide relief for residents from behaviour which included verbal and physical abuse and criminal damage. CSO and Parenting Orders obtained

application of a Local Authority, if it is satisfied that one

The action was commenced in November 2006 and the

or more of the conditions set out are met. The aim of

initial interim CSO and Parenting Orders were obtained

the CSO is to place the child for a specified period not

in March 2007, but only after the District Judge (DJ),

exceeding 12 months under the supervision of a

ordered a Guardian for the child , a s37 report (CA 1989)

responsible officer and requires the child to comply

from Social Services and a report from an Educational

with such requirements that are specified.

Psychologist.

Before making a CSO, a Magistrates Court must obtain

The evidence to support the application was not

and consider information about the child’s family

contested and there was never any legal challenge as to

circumstances and the likely effect of the order on

whether the required criteria had been met in order to

those circumstances.

allow the Court to make the order. Even so the

The Court must explain to the parent or guardian of the

procedure seemed to generate a lot of work and the

child in ordinary language the effect of the order and

process seemed to take forever. Of major significance

the requirements proposed to be included in it.

was justifying the cost in the face of opposition from

The consequence if the child fails to comply with any

the Guardian and the DJ, both of whom favoured a Care

such requirement is that the Court has power to review

Order. It was, however, the only procedure that seemed

the order on the application of either the parent or

to offer a remedy to the particular problem and

guardian or responsible officer.

address both the needs of the child and that of the

When the Act was passed, a breach of the CSO would make it possible for a Care Order under Section 31(1)(a)

community especially with a mother who said “yes” but did no.

of the Children Act 1989 to be made. The other breach

Eventually in August 2007 a final CSO for 6 months was

provision was in respect of simply varying the order.

obtained, only a month away from the child’s 10th

However, in March 2005 s12 (6) of the 1998 Act was

birthday.

repealed and any real enforcement mechanism for a

Now he is 10 there is little doubt this child will soon be

CSO was removed. The remedy for a breach of the

back before the court, be it for an ASBO or on criminal

supporting Parent Order remains a fine.

charges.

The proceedings in respect of a CSO are Family

Would we do it all again?

Proceedings and the standard proof is a civil standard.

In summary, the repeal of Section 12 s.s. (6) is a real

Previously untried procedure

problem - would we do it all again? - Probably not.

This seemingly previously untried procedure appeared to the City and County of Swansea to be the only way to deal with a nine year old, whose single parent

20

living in privately rented accommodation.

Lyndsay Thomas Senior Lawyer City & County of Swansea Council Tel: 01792 636194 Fax: 01792 637477


Member’s News

From ASBI to ASBO

He was arrested in December 2007 and the case was transferred to Liverpool County Court. Due to the

A resident from the Wigan area has been sentenced to

greater sentencing options available in the criminal

five months in prison for breaching an ASB Injunction.

courts, the fact that the defendant was already in the

Additionally, he was made the subject of an ASBO.

criminal system before the initial ASBI, the association

Wigan and Leigh Housing obtained the injunction after

sought to attach an application for an ASBO on to the

taking action against a tenant for noise nuisance and

committal proceedings.

general rowdiness. This prompted the tenant’s partner to

This application was heard at the same hearing as the

threaten the main witness and damage her property. On

committal proceedings and the defendant was

hearing this and collating the appropriate evidence an

sentenced for the breaches of the Injunction, and

ASBI was sought o protect the witnesses. An ASBI was

granted the application for the ASBO in similar terms to

granted for a period of 12 months with the power of

the ASBI for 2 years. The ASBO now excludes the

arrest and an exclusion zone attached.

defendant from entering Ashton in Makerfield where he

The defendant then went on to breach the order on four

was living before

occasions by both being within the exclusion zone and

the action was

more seriously by smashing the witness’s kitchen

taken.

window and then by threatening another resident.

Like to know more then contact:

Kev Ashcroft 01942 486845 Kevin.Ashcroft@walh.co.uk

Order varied

All help refused Anthony Collins Solicitors acted for the Vale Housing

Anthony Collins Solicitors represented Oxford

Association on an injunction against a defendant who was

Citizens HA against a tenant who had been made

engaging in anti-social behaviour. This included him shouting

subject to a order for possession in November 2006.

at cars and pedestrians. He was heavily dependent upon

An application was made to vary the suspended

alcohol, his behaviour was scaring to children and he had

possession order to an outright order due to anti-

been aggressive towards a neighbour. The injunction claim was heard and the defendant did not attend. The Judge agreed to make an Injunction Order for two months with a return date a few days later to allow the defendant to seek legal advice. He directed that the claimant make all possible attempts to arrange for the defendant to attend and for Social Services to attend with him. Social Services were not prepared to be involved as he had refused support previously. At the hearing the defendant was not

social behaviour. This behaviour had largely ceased by the hearing but it was found that that housing benefit had been stopped due to fraudulently claims. In addition there was arrears of £3,500 with no prospect of them being reduced. Representations were made that the order should be varied for the following reasons:

The Anti-Social Behaviour;



Repayment of the arrears would be unrealistic as they would have to be at a minimum of £10 per

legally represented and an Injunction was made to last until July 2008 together with a Power of Arrest (on the non-violence clause). The Judge also made a costs order against him not to be enforced without a consideration of the defendant’s



The evidence suggested that the Defendant was not living at the Property.

The Judge ruled that the suspended possession

financial means. Vale Housing went to great lengths to ensure that all avenues of support were pursued but the defendant had refused them all. Therefore the Judge found that it was reasonable to make an Injunction Order.

week to be paid off within 6 years.

Like to know more then contact:

Jane Plant 0121-212-7455

order be varied to an outright order and that the defendant pay the claimant’s costs. He considered that it was not within the defendants ability to be able to repay the amount owed and noted he had not attended the hearing to put forward any defence to the allegations of anti-social behaviour.

21


SLCNG News

Regional Meetings

Getting your stories in

Wednesday 9th April 2008 – Wrekin

nuisance news

Housing Trust

The majority of the news and information in

Tuesday 22nd July 2008 – Nuneaton &

Nuisance News comes from our members. We

Bedworth BC

receive more articles than we have room to

Wednesday 22nd October 2008 –

publish and some members have asked why their

Charnwood BC – To be confirmed.

stories were not included or were sub-edited.

South West / South Wales

Little or changes

Thursday 10th April 2008 - Teign Housing

The large proportion of the news that we

Newton Abbott

receive is well written and follows the

Wednesday 9th July 2008 - Venue to be

traditional press release approach. The whole

confirmed

story is to summarised it in the first two sentences with the

Wednesday 5th November 2008 - Venue

most important parts stressed. In just a paragraph, it answers who,

to be confirmed

what, when, where, why and how.

Southern – London

Then, the news story is developed within the following paragraphs

Wednesday 16th April 2008 – Friends

and tends to be around 250 to 300 words Many are accompanied by

Meeting House – Euston Road

a well constructed and taken photograph

Midlands

Wednesday 2nd July 2008 – Friends Meeting House – Euston Road Wednesday 1st October 2008 – Friends Meeting House – Euston Road

North West / North Wales

The qua rterly new sletter of the

This iss ue

ce news

Social Lan dlords Crim e and Nui san

This issu ce Group e includes articles the follo Issue 44 from wing:Boston Mayflow er Bowlee Park Hou Great new sing Bromford s for all our HG members Calico , we have another Cambrid partner ge Cou on ncil Chelme board, Elec r Housing tronic Partners Colchest Business hip er Boro Systems ugh Hom Cross Keys Ltd es (EBS). Homes Departm ent for EBS is a Children major and Fam , Schools ilies softwar ENCAMS e compan y that dev Erimus Housing eloped Gentoo ReACT, Sunderl the awa and rd Harvest winning HG dedicate Home Offic d anti soci e al behavio Homes ur for Islin recordin gton g, Hammer smith & monitori Fulham Leasowe ng and Homes Com case man Leeds Fede munity Homes agemen We have t database worked rated HA with EBS used by Local Gov ensure for a num many of ernment the con our mem ber of year tinuing Associati Mansfiel bers. develop expert on s and the d DC advice ment of new part Maritim and guid the ReA nership e HA benefit ance on CT soft will both exis ware. We the late New Prog st develop ting and will prov ress HA the data potentia ments in ide Notting requirem l users by ASB. This ham Com ents ensu Resp of will munity the Perf ring accu Partingt ect Stan Housing ormance on HA rate com dard for Improve Housing pilation Poplar EBS men of Manage will prov HARCA t Toolkit ment. ide the for the Redditc latest new softwar h BC e develop s for Nuisance Sheffiel ments. d Homes News and clients It will also at exhibitio give advi Solihull actively ns and ce on Commun sponsor presence confere ity Hou our Grou South Esse . nces whe sing p to its x Homes re we do existing The agre South Live not have ement a major rpool Hou was sign Sovereig sing Confere ed at the n HA nce and Nationa Exhibitio Stockpo l Housing n held at If you wou rt Hom Fede ration Ann es the ICC ld like to Three Valle in Birm ual know mor advertise ingham. ys Housing e about ment on Whitehe ReACT, ads Solic the back then plea Pictured itors page or Willow se see the are Rog visit www Part Hou er Griffiths, sing Trus .e-b-s.co agreeme Chairma .uk t nt. Look n SLCNG, ing on are and Mike SLCNG, Chris Pow Steve Mac Blomer, ell ReAC ReACT, with artney, T, Peter ReACT the Jackson, Managin g Director

New pa Dec 200 rt 7 major so nership with ftware compa ny

The others In contrast, we receive news items that give headaches both to us and our editorial designers. Some either give a chronological date order of what happened when or fail to give the key facts to the story.

Wednesday 23rd April 2008 – Calico

Why not ask for help?

Housing,Bury

Many of our members have press or public relations officers who can

Wednesday 16th July 2008 – Northern

help to bring a story alive.

Counties HA

If you do not have access to specialist help, then take a look at you

Wednesday 15th October 2008 – Helena

daily or evening newspaper and see how a complex story in written in

Housing

an easy to read and understandable style.

Make sure that you share your news with us This is your newsletter and why not ensure that you

share your news on how your organisation is handling many of the complex issues of anti-social behaviour. Why not tell us about your new innovations, your success stories, feedback from your communities - just to name a few. What we need is:-



Photographs, where applicable, that support your articles. Any photographs need to be high quality to ensure they can be reproduced.



You contact details if you would like other members to be able to contact you for more details.

Next Issue & Deadline The next issue will be distributed by the 1st June. The deadline for all articles is 20th March - items received after this date are unlikely to be included. Due to space restrictions, articles received early will take



Articles, ideally around 200 to 300 words in length

priority. Please email articles, logos and photographs



High quality copy of your logo (If you are not sure or

to:-

speak to the person who handles your publicity)

22

ocial Lan Crime anddlords Nuisance Group

nuisan

sharon@slcng.org.uk

The information, opinions and conclusions expressed in Nuisance News are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent those of the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group Ltd

Editorial services, design and artwork by Glenn Marketing 0121 555 7319

Dates for your diaries.....


Our Sponsor

New Developments in Family Intervention Background Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) were introduced in 2003 as a way of providing intensive support to families who were causing significant anti-social behaviour in their communities. A number of ‘pathfinder’ projects were launched to test the principles underlying family intervention and these projects have shown demonstrable benefits. The initial areas were 

Sheffield



Manchester



Bolton



Salford



Oldham



Blackburn & Darwen

without having to grapple with complex allocations procedures. These new voluntary tenancies will be known as Family Intervention Tenancies or FITs. These FITs will be non-secure and will be granted to families whose behaviour has been sufficient to warrant possession proceedings. Families that successfully complete the programme, however, will be offered more security of tenure when they move from the FIP into other accommodation. But what about families that do not engage? It is likely that such families will not be tolerated and will risk being evicted from such accommodation with the landlord issuing a Notice to Quit (28 days) and obtaining a Court order for eviction. Clearly this will be the very last resort and it is expected that the threat of eviction is likely to act as a deterrent from committing anti-social behaviour.

Following the ‘pathfinders’’ experiences FIPs are now

One key difference that should be borne in mind is the

being rolled out on a much wider basis and may well

fact that Local Authority tenants will have a right to a

become part of the mainstream responses to ASB.

review within 14 days if their landlord decides to

They are designed around the specific needs of a

terminate the FIT. This will not be the case for RSL

particular family and a key worker is assigned to ensure

tenants.

the family is dealt with consistently and who acts as an

Please get in touch if you have any queries.

interface between the family and other service

Tel: 01257 266008 Fax: 01257 249704

providers. This worker makes written agreements with

info@whiteheadsols.co.uk

the family members which, if broken, are punishable by

Whiteheads Solicitors was

sanctions.

established in 1992 by Peter

The form of intervention depends on the needs of the

Whitehead as one of the first

family and is either based on ‘outreach’ or residential

legal practices in the UK to

support. Latest developments – the FITs

specialise solely in Social

A key issue surrounding the Family Intervention

Housing law.

Projects was the concern about the type of tenancy the

Prior to founding the firm,

family would have and new provisions in the Housing

Peter, who is currently the

and Regeneration Bill, published this month, address

firm's Principal, was a partner at one of Manchester's

this.

top generalist law firms before he decided to

One of the key problems was moving tenants between properties especially where there were different types of tenure in place. The Government has committed to legislate to give social landlords the ability to offer tenancies that are neither secure (local authorities) or assured (RSLs)

dedicate his time to growing a business that specialised in housing law. Whiteheads is a specialist firm dedicated to serving the Social Housing community. It has over 14 years' experience of working with social landlords, local authorities and police forces across the UK providing the best service and expertise available.

23



Nuisance News Issue 45