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ocial Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group

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

Ministers revive Respect agenda with plans to extend community justice

Issue 49

March 2009

(Louise) Casey, former head of the Respect unit, was not retained in the Home Office but was moved to the Children's Department soon after Gordon Brown became prime minister. As a result the government lost focus on antisocial

Not our words but the headline on page 1 of the Guardian on 2 January 2009. The article went on to say, among other things:

behaviour,” Smith argues. SLCNG would never say “ we told you so”, particularly to the Home Secretary. However, we

“Offenders face public vote on punishments”

have been as frustrated as our members about the

“The government is preparing a green paper which will

ineffectiveness of the Youth Taskforce in their promised

look at giving the public a greater say in the handling of

development of the Respect Agenda.

low-level crimes such as disorderly conduct, possibly

At the SLCNG conference in October 2008, Sue Strickland

through local votes on punishments such as clearing

from the newly formed Neighbourhood Crime & Justice

graffiti. The green paper, due to be published by the

Group understood what we were saying about the need

Ministry of Justice in the spring, will also propose to

for social landlords to have clear leadership within

increase the number of community courts, bolster court

government on ASB and the benefits to us of having an

monitoring of community orders and give the public

all-encompassing “Respect” banner to wave. In response

easier internet access to court decisions.”

to our probing she simply said “Watch this space.”

“The green paper is another sign that the once sidelined

SLCNG can only report on recent evidence but it is very

Respect agenda to tackle antisocial behaviour is again at

clear that the Home Office is showing more leadership

the centre of government thinking.”

on ASB in the past few months than we had seen for the

“(Jacqui) Smith told the Guardian it was wrong that

previous twelve.

First ASB conference in Scotland for SLCNG

“tackling ASB is a top priority for government. Landlords are very often in the front line” and that it was “really good and positive that this group has been

The Conference co-hosted by the Social Landlords

formed.” She called on all relevant organisations to

Crime and Nuisance Group and Glasgow Housing

follow the lead of social landlords warning that “all

Association, was well received by over 80 delegates

agencies must put ASB at the top of their agenda.”

from 38 organisations from all over Scotland.

Reaffirming the government’s commitment to tackling

Nicola Sturgeon MSP & Deputy First

anti-social behaviour, she said,“it is unacceptable for

Minister welcomed the ‘coming

people to feel afraid or intimidated.”

together’ of Scottish Social Landlords.

We will be looking to hold another event when the

Addressing the delegates, Ms.

Scottish Government review of the National ASB

Sturgeon told the Conference

Strategy has been published.


SLCNG

In this issue SLCNG

Respect agenda revised First Scottish ASB conference Looking afeter our intersts Editorial Representing You

Looking after our interests! 1 1 2 3 4

Sponsor Features

Tolerated Trespassers ReACT

News

Challenging Young People Sarah Castro awarded MBE Deborah Illot

Members News

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6 6 6

Drum Housing 7 Glasgow HA 7 Homes for Islington 7 Birmingham City Council 8 Derby Homes 8 Calico 8-9 South Shropshire HA 10 Walsall HG 10 Fosseway Living 11 Riverside Group 11 H&F Homes 11 One Vision Housing 12 Walsall HG 12 Riverside Group 12 Tarka Housing 13 Sheffield Homes 13 Rykneld Homes 13 Birmingham City Council 14 Stockport Homes 14 Whitefriars Housing 15 New Charter Housing 15 Castle Vale Community HA 16 Broxbourne HA 16 West Kent 17 Servite Houses 17 Knightstone HA 18 Sevenside Housing 18 Colchester Borough Homes 18 New Progress HA 19 Hartlepool Housing 19 Luminus Housing 19 New Progress HA 20 Kirklees Neighbourhood 20 Hyde Housing 20 Havebury Housing 21 South Liverpool Housing 21 Derby Homes 22 New Charter Housing 22 Moseley & District Churches 22

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Members are probably blissfully unaware of the important role that our Directors play in the running of SLCNG. As SLCNG is a Company limited by Guarantee, the Directors are charged with ‘acting in the best interests of the company’ and bear personally the legal responsibility for ensuring the company is well managed, governed and trading lawfully. They are accountable to the Membership and make the difficult budget decisions, recommend new fee levels and otherwise decide on the future direction of the Group. Our Directors are clear about the need to separate governance from day-to-day management and policy development. The level of delegation given to the staff means that the organisation is able to respond to pressures and external demands of the media and Government, for instance, without the need to refer things “up the line”. Similarly, the development of the Policy Advisory Group , with the involvement of 36 representatives from member organizations, has also resulted in a much more “inclusive” approach to the policy direction of SLCNG. The Governance structure that’s now in place is a far cry from the where SLCNG started. Meeting every six weeks, our Board currently comprises nine Directors. Many have served as Directors since SLCNG was formally constituted in 2000, so they deserve long-service awards! Recent additions to the Board of Michael Cowie (Gentoo) and Bryan Healy (Glasgow Housing Association) have been welcomed and have helped broaden the Board’s perspective, particularly in respect of Scotland and the north of England. The full list of Directors is: 

Roger Griffiths, Group Chair, West Mercia Housing Group



Debbie Griffiths – Central Boarders Group



Sue Sewell – Greenwich Council



Peter Morton – Paragon Group



Ian Simpson – Rykneld Homes



Alison Parsons – Birmingham City Council



Trevor Lincoln – St Leger Homes



Michael Cowie – Gentoo



Bryan Healey – Glasgow Housing Association

The Board is concerned about continuity and succession planning. Staff have been tasked with canvassing for potential Directors. SLCNG’s constitution means that new Directors can only be invited to join the Board from among the Company category of membership. Currently we are actively discussing potential Directorships with two Company members. However, we are always keen to hear from Company members who would be interested in becoming Directors. So any budding Board members out there should contact Sharon Mackley for more details.


SLCNG Community payback

Editorial

Fair rules for strong communities In December 2008 SLCNG was invited to a meeting in Newham, London which Gordon Brown had called to promote the new government initiative “Fair rules for strong communities”. As well as the Prime Minister, the presence of the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, and the Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, ensured that security was tight. I guess the Beckton Community Centre had never seen such an event! Genuinely open discussion Chaired by Louise Casey the 60 strong meeting was a genuinely open discussion about crime and anti-social behaviour. There were some faces familiar to our members in the audience, notably Alison Parsons from Birmingham, John Farrell from Liverpool and Paul Dunn from the Metropolitan Police, a number of local police officers and, significantly, a large number of tenants and community

Speaking of community payback he said that “it should be a lesson for those people who have indulged in antisocial behaviour that this is not tolerated” and that “we take account of the needs of victims and witnesses”. When challenged about the lack of leadership within Government on ASB issues, Jacqui Smith promised that she would “take up the challenge of leadership” and made reference to the impact of the Respect and Together campaigns. So what does this mean for SLCNG? The key issue for us is that the focus of the PM’s event was very much about anti-social behaviour, and not just crime. We need to remember that the police are newcomers to the ASB agenda and we all need to keep reminding our police colleagues that social landlords have been dealing with it for at least three decades and have the skills, knowledge and powers of persuasion that even the police don’t possess! Specific request to attend SLCNG was at the meeting at Louise Casey’s specific request. Louise is well aware of the track record of SLCNG and social landlords in developing the ASB agenda and enthusiastically taking up her Respect and Together challenges in the past.

activists from many parts of the country.

Opportunity to be at the forefront

How anti-social behaviour is affecting communities

It is clear that social landlords have the opportunity

Not surprisingly, the PM heard very passionate comments from residents about how anti-social behaviour is affecting them and their communities. Not all of the tenants who spoke were complimentary

again to be at the forefront of this new Government initiative to support communities. I have no doubt at all that, once again, social landlords will rise to the challenge.

about their landlords! As a consequence, at least one RSL is being invited to join SLCNG ! We know that the “Fair rules for strong communities” agenda recognises the need to deliver on the commitments made in the Casey Review and the Policing Green paper, and the evidence is coming through of delivery on many of those commitments, but

Peter Jackson

the PM’s personal commitment was clear.

Managing Director

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SLCNG

Representing You With over 300 member organisations, representing more than three million tenancies, the SLCNG is uniquely placed to make our members voice heard where it matters. One of the ways we do this is to respond to consultations and announcements by Government and other key bodies.

On the Tolerated Trespassers:

Contributing to official guidance

Successor Landlord Cases

on “Safeguarding”

consultation paper

commissioned by the

SLCNG said

Department of Health

“The SLCNG supports the proposal that secondary legislation should be enacted to apply, as fully as is possible, the provisions of Part 2 of Schedule 11 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 to those

SLCNG said “Social landlords accommodate within their general needs housing many vulnerable people (including HIV

situations where there has been a change of

sufferers, persons with mental health issues, recovering

landlord since the termination of the original

alcoholics and drugs misusers in addition to victims of

tenancy.

violence and abuse).

This view is based on the SLCNG’s belief that

Many of these ‘customer groups’ are disproportionately

Tolerated Trespassers of successor landlords should

susceptible to the effects of crime and anti-social

have the same opportunities as other Tolerated Trespassers by being provided with the nearest equivalent tenancy and associated rights to that

behaviour as are the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in which many social landlords operate.

which they lost. To do otherwise would be

Social Landlords are very keen to foster improved joint

inequitable.“

working with ’social care’ agencies. Whilst there are many examples of excellence, the situation nationally appears

Commenting on the extension of local crime maps to all 43 police forces in England and Wales, SLCNG said “The maps would help communities understand the

to be patchy and inconsistent. In particular, there is a need to develop a shared and comprehensive understanding of: 

supporting communities; 

scale of the problem and help to allocate resources.

behaviour” and expressed concern that “assessment

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the range of tools and powers available to housing officers to help them tackle anti-social

We would urge the police not to forget the role social landlords play in tackling anti-social

the role played by housing agencies in

behaviour; 

the role of ‘social care’ agencies in the sharing of

just by the police is likely to give a significant

information with partner agencies and

under-representation of the actual level of

contributing to multi agency work within the

anti social behaviour.”

community.”


Sponsor

Tolerated Trespassers …a final word? Lords support the government’s approach This topic has been covered to the ‘Nth degree over the past few months. However, just before Christmas, the House of Lords decision reiterated the stance taken in the Housing & Regeneration Act which became law last year. Just to summarise this decision which took into account 1 a number of cases including the high profile Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) & White case, where the tenant (White) was a secure tenant who became an assured tenant following a stock transfer, retaining her Right to Buy. She fell into arrears and Possession proceedings were issued. An SPO was made but was breached and a warrant was applied for, however this was suspended. Mrs White still refused to comply, however she served a notice in order to exercise her (preserved) Right to Buy. KHT contended that she had no tenancy and could not exercise this right and this view was upheld by the court in the first instance and at appeal. Despite this, the House of Lords overturned the decisions of the lower courts and held that Assured Tenancies under the Housing Act 1988 Act do not end until a warrant is executed or the tenant otherwise leaves the property. Where does this leave us? In essence, the outcome of the Lords’ decision will be that, for Assured Tenancies, Tolerated Trespassers no longer exist and they should be wiped from our collective memory. But what of the other tenancies? Although we all know that the status of Tolerated Trespasser will disappear, the above decision, along with the Housing & Regeneration Act, now leave us with three types of (former) Tolerated Trespasser. Secure tenancies – from the commencement date (expected in April 2009), those tenants who became Tolerated Trespassers under the secure regime, will get a Replacement Tenancy courtesy of Schedule 11 of the Housing & Regeneration Act. Although called a ‘Replacement Tenancy’, the terms of the tenancy will be the same as those in the original Secure Tenancy and any existing court orders will apply to the new tenancy. Assured tenancies – although these tenancies were also covered in the Housing & Regeneration Act, the House of Lords decision means that instead of the tenant getting a

Replacement Tenancy, the original tenancy will be considered to have never ended. Provisions were also made in the Housing and Regeneration Act for tenants whose property was sold to a new landlord. These are called Successor Landlords and they will have the same rights and responsibilities as the original landlord. Transferred trespassers – the recent legislation failed to take into account those occupants who have transferred from Local Authority (Secure) to RSL (assured). Prior to any Stock Transfer, these occupants would have been considered as Tolerated Trespassers, however the legislation failed to consider the impact on this group and therefore a Communities & Local Government consultation on this issue was concluded in December 2008. Although no decision has been made with regard to this issue, it would be expected that Stock Transfer occupants will be included under identical or at the very least similar provisions to those dealing with secure tenants in Schedule 11 of the Housing & Regeneration Act. Dates As a reminder, one important thing to note is the date on which secure tenancies become Replacement Tenancies. In most cases, the start date will be the date immediately following the ending of the original secure tenancy, however the court has a discretion as to when the replacement tenancy should be regarded as starting. Circumstances in which this could be the case are: 





Where there is a Disrepair claim by a former Tolerated Trespasser Where there is a claim for possession for anti-social behaviour Where there is a claim for possession based upon some other breach of the tenancy agreement

Conclusion Clearly there will be a few bits and pieces here and there to iron out and some cases where you may want to take further action but the central message is that, pending the implementation of schedule 11 and a decision on Stock Transfer tenants, Tolerated Trespassers are no more, they are deceased, demised, defunct and gone! (Courtesy of Messrs Cleese and Palin). Paul Lloyd, Director 1

Other cases included Honeygan-Green v London Borough of Islington; Porter v Shepherds Bush Housing Association

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News

£13m to help Challenging Young People

between now and 2011 meaning that up to 3000 young people are expected to benefit by the end of this period. Beverley Hughes, Children and Young People’s Minister, said: “These projects aim to help parents who often don’t

£13m will be shared between 20 areas to help them to

know where to go or who to turn to next to help them

set up Intensive Intervention Projects that will challenge

tackle the problem behaviour of their child. They are

and support youngsters in trouble, Beverley Hughes

sometimes unable to get the support and help they

Children and Young People’s Minister announced on a

need from local services.

visit to Haringey, one of the successful areas.

“The focus of these projects is on prevention and

Evidence has shown that these types of projects are

support. It’s non-negotiable and so we will intervene

effective in turning around the lives of young people and

early to stop young people getting into a situation where

their families through a highly targeted package that will

their bad behaviour can spiral out of control and

both challenge young people (and their parents if

enforcement has to be used. But where enforcement is

necessary) to do better, as well as support them in

necessary it will be used and that will be made clear from

overcoming their problems.

the outset if young people don’t cooperate.”

The projects will be set up in 20 areas across the country

Sarah Castro awarded MBE

was responsible for the award winning wardens service.

Tower Hamlet’s resident Sarah

absolute honour to receive this MBE. It is testament to

Castro has been awarded an MBE

all the excellent community safety partnership work

in the 2009 New Year’s Honour

going on in Tower Hamlets. I am delighted for myself

List. Sarah is the Community

and my colleagues are getting national recognition for

Safety manager for the housing

what we have achieved.”

Sarah worked previously on the Ocean Estate where she

Commenting on her MBE award Sarah said:“It is an

association Poplar HARCA and was awarded the MBE for her success in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. Since joining Poplar HARCA Sarah has been instrumental in developing strong community safety partnerships with Tower Hamlets Council, the police, other local housing associations and residents. Initiatives she has worked on include : 

The launch of the Respect Agenda which all local housing associations and the Council signed up to.



The introduction of new computer software to improve information sharing amongst all community safety partners across Tower Hamlets .



The launch of the Good Neighbourhood Declaration on Poplar HARCA estates



Introducing new services like Family Support Workers to prevent anti-social behaviour problems proactively

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Deborah Illott Deborah has contributed some thought provoking and readable articles over the past year. With her insight and experience she has been able to give readers a fresh insight into a number of key issues, including the Youth Taskforce Action Plan, the Casey Review and our 2008 conference. Deborah has now taken up a post with the Tenant Services Authority. Congratulations to Deborah on that and we wish her well in her new role. The sad news is that, understandably, the new job precludes her from continuing in her “roving reporter” role for Nuisance News. In the meantime, we are actively pursuing other potential journalists from among the membership. Watch this space!


Members News

Back in school

Recognised for excellent customer service Glasgow Housing Association’s efforts to ensure its tenants are given excellent customer service have been recognised nationally. The organisation has become the first accredited ‘Vanguard’ centre in the UK thanks to its major improvements in designing its process around the customer.

Following on from successful working with secondary

Martin Armstrong, Executive Director of Housing and

schools in the area, Drum Housing Association is going

Customer Services said:“GHA is committed to delivering

into junior schools to talk to the children about social

customer-focussed services which put our customers at the

and environmental awareness.

heart of everything we do. The skills, expertise and support

Working in partnership with East Hampshire District Council and the local PCSO, Petra Norris, Housing Manager and Sara Chivers, Housing Consultant for the area went to Bordon Junior School to discuss with the children about their actions and whether they had a positive or negative impact on their communities. The children were shown photos of vandalism, graffiti, and fly tipping and were asked how they felt and what impact the nuisance had on them.

of Vanguard have enabled us to successfully turn our systems around to move towards excellent customer experience in a very short space of time. The successes so far now act as the perfect foundation from which we can build further process and system changes which deliver excellent customer service and customer focussed thinking across the organisation.“ The endorsement comes after GHA has overhauled a number of services in a bid to deliver considerable improvements for tenants and owners - in both customer

Petra said “We feel working with young children is a vital part of our community responsibility. If we can help them see how their actions can either have a positive or negative impact on our communities, then we are making a To find out more Petra Norris 01730 403005 constructive difference pnorris@drumhsg.co.uk for the future”

Every child matters Islington won a prestigious award at the 2008 UK Housing Awards for its Every Child Matters project. The project provides positive activities for children and young people resident on Islington council estates

service and business performance across the organisation. Working in partnership with Vanguard Scotland, GHA began to see its operations through its customers’ eyes. In record time, GHA set up staff teams who worked with Vanguard to carry out reviews of its systems so that they could be redesigned for the benefit of tenants and owners. estates is about more than just improving homes it is about providing opportunities. I’m delighted that this work has been recognised and it highlights the benefits of local agencies working together.” A wide range of activities is currently delivered including sports coaching five nights a week in football, baseball,

managed by Homes for Islington (HFI). Delivered by a

cricket and netball for 8-19 year-olds, plus homework

range of partners the project offers opportunities to

clubs, IT and multi-media training. The programme also

enjoy and achieve outside school, stay healthy and tackle

improves the environment by upgrading outdoor spaces,

antisocial behaviour.

providing new sports facilities and bringing empty

Adam Borrie, chair of HFI’s board said that:“Managing

spaces back into use.

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Members News

Celebrating Local Heroes The United Streets of Birmingham Taking a Stand Awards, now in their third year, are a celebration of the work and commitment of individuals and community groups who have taken a stand against antisocial behaviour and made a difference to their

Family Intervention Project -a magic wand Elke Leen When I started working

communities in Birmingham.

with the Anti Social

This year, in total there were short-listed nominations of

Behaviour Team, I was

individuals and groups representing over 200 residents.

problematic family. After

short-listed nominees attended the ceremony held at the Council

my initial encounter with

House that was hosted by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Randall

the family, I was inclined

Brew. The short-listed nominees received a certificate of

to agree.

recognition and the category winner received £1,000 to spend in

The case regarding the family had been

their community.

ongoing for a number of years and the

The winner in the Individual Category was Ms Rachel Bullock from

tenant had been taken to court for rent

the Hodge Hill area of the city. She was recognised for her brave

arrears and acts of ASB, they were already

stance in giving evidence in court. Despite suffering severe

subject to a suspended possession order and

harassment and intimidation, she was the only witness prepared

as further complaints had been made, I felt

to give evidence against a gang storing weapons. She was also

there was no option open to me other than

instrumental in setting up a residents association which has

taking the case back to court for full

helped to unify the community.

possession.

The winner in the Group Category was Jackie Mulveen and the

Luckily, before the case went back to court, I

Allenscroft Project; Kings Heath. Jackie is a domestic violence

had a conversation with the Respect

victim who set up a drop in centre for similar victims; she works

Manager who told me about a new project

with them to help build their confidence and helping to

called FIP (Family Intervention Project) which

empower them to work with police and Birmingham Anti Social

would work with families for as long as it

Behaviour Unit to obtain injunctions against violent partners. She

took to help them.

regularly gives talks to Police and other agencies about domestic

Working with FIP was in essence the family’s

violence and has produced a DVD of her life story.

last chance to stay together and to stay in

Runner-up for national award

one of our properties. Initially the family were very sceptical about engaging with FIP as they saw them as just another agency who would tell them what to do and then

Julie Walker, Derby Homes’ Community Watch

disappear as quickly as they had arrived.

Patrol Supervisor, has been named runner up

But as FIP was their last hope, they finally

in the Public Servant of the Year Award 2008,

decided that they had a lot to lose if they

organised by the Guardian newspaper.

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told that I had inherited a

This year’s awards were supported by West Midlands Police. All

didn’t give things a last try.

The aim of the award was to recognise and

If I am to be totally honest, I was probably as

reward the outstanding achievements and

sceptical about FIP as the family were, but

individual efforts of people working in public

before I go on, I would like you to take a

services. Service users and other members of the public were

minute to read a very special story.

asked to nominate the individuals whose contributions shone

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will

out, and a team of judges drew up a shortlist of five nominees.

begin….


O

Members News nce upon a time there was a little girl who lived in Burnley with her brothers and

sisters and her Mummy and Daddy. But the little girl worried that her Mummy and

Daddy didn’t love her as much as her brothers and sisters, which made it hard to feel safe at home.

So the little girl lost herself in her schoolwork, and she excelled. She came top in every subject and joined the St John’s Ambulance with dreams of becoming a nurse. Then one day her Mummy died, and the world changed.

The little girl found herself drinking and using drugs to change her sad feelings, and soon she was sent to prison for burgling a house in the dead of night.

While the little girl was in prison, she discovered that she was expecting a baby, and the world changed

again - in time the little girl became a Mum, and lived for a time at a Mother and Baby Home. Mum had

two more babies and she loved them.

One day Mum met a Handsome Prince and they were married. In time they had more babies, and they all lived together in a lovely cottage with roses around the door; the babies were always happy, the family laughed together and the sun always seemed to shine. Then one day the Handsome Prince’s brother

arrived at the cottage - the Wicked Uncle - and he was very wicked. Not long after this, the Handsome

Prince’s mother died. He had loved his mother very much and it felt as though the pain would never go

away.

The Wicked Uncle introduced the Handsome Prince to a strange magic potion which made all the sad

feelings go away and changed the Handsome Prince’s personality. Soon the Handsome Prince would do anything to get the magic potion - he would steal and tell lies, which hurt his family.

Life changed for the little girl who had become a Mum - the roses died around the door and she took the children to live in a smaller cottage in a deep dark wood. Mum became so sad that even more babies

couldn’t cheer her up and in time she took herself away to the highest room in the tallest tower. The

Handsome Prince was taken away to the castle dungeon, there to stay for a year and a day, and the

children were left to fend for themselves.

The other cottagers nearby were angry that Mum locked herself away and didn’t stop her boys from

running wild- they complained to the Landlord. The Landlord was thoughtful and sent the most Trusted

Servant at the castle to visit Mum in the highest room of the tallest tower. The Trusted servant spoke with Mum and found that she was so sad that she couldn’t cope - Mum felt as if she had been cursed. The Trusted Servant asked a Wise Woman to visit the sad Mum.

The Wise Woman went to the small cottage and asked Mum what she could do to help. Mum asked for a

magic wand that with one wave would make everything go back to how it was when the sun always shone,

and the babies laughed instead of cried, and the milk was always fresh.

The Wise Woman told Mum that we need to be realistic - as we all know, life is not a Fairy Story and no

one has a magic wand! The outcome

in child care studies.

FIP and Calico have worked together along with other

There have been no complaints of ASB for a long time

partner agencies to help the family, and nearly 18

now, and as a result of this, after five years, I have been

months on, I am thrilled to say that the family have

able to close the

gone from strength to strength, mum is taking driving

case file.

lessons, all the children are attending and doing well at school, in fact the eldest daughter is doing her degree

To find out more Elke Leen 01282 686 457 eleen@calicohousing.co.uk

9


Members News

getting smart on crime notice to inform them about Smartwater and how it works.” Sergeant Lindsey Etheridge from West Midlands Police added “We have been working closely with whg and SmartWater to develop a fast and efficient process to deal with the increase of lead thefts in the area. If anyone tries to steal lead or valuables from properties and are caught, we will know exactly where the offenders have been and they will be dealt with through the criminal justice system. We aim to protect and reassure our community and we will not tolerate criminal activity in our area. Scrap yards are also on board with this scheme and will report back to us if any A number of our members, including South Shropshire

person tries to sell on stolen items.”

HA and Walsall HG are actively involved with their local police in providing coded phials of Smartwater which residents use to mark their belongings – everything from small pieces of jewellery to their cars. SmartWater can simply be dabbed onto valuable items, marking the object with its unique forensic code. Warning labels are then displayed in the customer’s windows and doors to let the criminals know that their property is protected. Thanks to its unique numbering system, property marked with SmartWater has its own forensic fingerprint, which is even more individual and robust than DNA and can be analysed and identified down to a billionth part.

South Shropshire HA Sheltered Housing Officer Julie Fowler with resident, Jack Andow and Community Support Officer Julian Greenway

When touched, the liquid is naked to the invisible eye. If offenders have touched property marked with SmartWater it can remain on the skin and clothing indefinitely as it cannot be washed off. Officers will be equipped with the appropriate kit to identify any offenders and they will be prosecuted. Ludlow local Police Constable Tony Sewell said : “Smartwater is the DNA of all property marking. It assists the police in the recovery of stolen property. There are also Smartwater sprays that can be used against trespassers. The spray solution does not come off clothing or skin. Everyone taken into custody is put into ultra violet light rooms to see if they have any Smartwater spray on them and they are then handed a

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Ranjit Kaur of whg , Sergeant Lyndsey Etheridge, and Nicky Day of West Midlands Police at the launch of the SmartWater initiative.


Members News

Neighbourhood agreements Fosseway Living is increasing its use of neighbourhood

Bid to rule out antisocial behaviour

into their new homes. This gave them an opportunity to

Following the recent assault on an eight-year-old Merton Bank Primary School boy, police in St Helens are working with local landlords to drive home the message to children that anti-social behaviour can have serious repercussions.

meet their new neighbours, the Housing Manager, the

Riverside Housing and Arena Homes funded

chance to talk to them about community issues and to ask them what they would like to see in the neighbourhood

stationery that reminds youngsters of the issues of bullying, race hate crime, and keeping themselves

agreement. As the customers were involved they were able

safe.

to flag potential issues specific to their area. This ownership

Local newspaper reports of how Leon Hatton was dragged along the ground and kicked in the head by up to six boys raised alarm bells for the local community. As a result, police and landlords are targeting children as young as six years old with messages about behaviour.

agreements as a tool to prevent anti-social behaviour. On a recently completed new scheme in Tetbury, customers were invited to a meet and greet session before moving

and responsibility for their own agreement meant all customers signed up to the agreement. It is felt that the agreement will help prevent many of the low level complaints around refuse disposal, parking, and children’s behaviour, whilst encouraging the tenants to feel part of the community. The neighbourhood agreements will now be extended to cover smaller existing developments.

Estate to get it’s own Police patrol base Residents of an estate in Fulham, West London were pleased to welcome some new tenants into a vacant concierge office in December 2008. H&F Homes and the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team got together to try to alleviate fear of crime and ASB in the local area and decided to ask residents what they wanted. The locals said they would feel safer if there was an increased Police presence, so it was decided to try to set up a patrol base on the estate. Two officers will be stationed in the Clem Atlee Estate Community Patrol Base for up to two hours at least three times a week. The officers will spend one day at the weekend and two weekday evenings in the base as part of their regular patrol. Residents will be able to drop in and report crime or ASB. This is the first time police have had a Community Patrol Base in an H&F Homes property and if the scheme is a success officers are keen to look at

To find out more expanding it to other Kate Boulton 020 8753 4817 kate.boulton@hfhomes.org.uk estates.

PCSOs Alan Range, Donna Beardsworth and Lesley Chin held an assembly for children in years three to six. They handed out pencil cases, rulers and yoyos to warn of the dangers associated with speaking to strangers, and talked about the seriousness of bullying and race hate crimes with children at the Fingerpost school. Tanya Marsh is neighbourhood housing officer at Riverside. She said: “We are targeting younger children to deter them from misbehaving and to make sure they understand about keeping safe. We want to influence children at an early age to dissuade them from misbehaving now before they hit their teens.”

11


Members News

Witness support service makes national waves A new witness support service, supported by Riverside Housing, called Making Waves, has dramatically increased the number of people reporting crime, says a report by John Over 60 tonnes of rubbish has been cleared from

Moores University. Merseyside Police are using the training

the streets of Netherton, Merseyside in clean up

developed by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR)

day organised by One Vision Housing. Volunteers

to help witnesses around the UK.

from the association were joined by represen-

Over 35% more people, compared to last year, found the

tatives from local organisations as part of the

courage to report crime and anti-social behaviour to Making

national ‘Big Tidy Up’ event. The streets were

Waves. Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood

blitzed of dumped mattresses, discarded

Community Centre set up the project part-funded by Riverside

household goods, broken toys and general rubbish

Housing, to support witnesses or victims of crime.

by the enthusiastic team. A number of gardens

The scheme runs from a community centre where people

were also picked clean of rubbish to help improve

confidentially get help and break the silence around violent

the overall appearance of the streets.

assault, drug dealing or gang crime. Making Waves provides

Witness support group

professional advice, protects properties with locks and bolts and brings together a number of community agencies, to reduce the fear of crime in the neighbourhood.

A group of whg customers have joined forces to

Mervyn Parry, Waves Co-ordinator, said,“No one should have to

create a support group for others experiencing

live in fear of attack - especially if they have witnessed or been

anti-social behaviour. The Witness Support Group

a victim of crime. We provide local, confidential and reliable

consists of 12 whg customers who have

support for people who are trapped in situations where they

experienced anti-social behaviour first hand. They

feel vulnerable. I can’t encourage people strongly enough to

hope that by drawing on their own experiences

come forward and get the

they can support other customers in similar

help they need to live in

situations.

peace.”

To find out more Phoebe Rowell 0151 295 6227 phoebe.rowell@riverside.org.uk

Established in July, the group now plans to meet quarterly along with whg colleagues from the Community Safety Team, who have recently received qualifications in Victim and Witness Support. Annette Harpin, Community Safety manager at whg, said:“We are hoping that by working closely with the Witness Support Group we can help more people who are experiencing anti-social behaviour. Customers may prefer to speak to others who have gone through the same as them and get their advice rather than just speaking to colleagues. We feel that the group is a To find out more huge step forward to Perry Buck 01922 426811 perry.buck@whgrp.co.uk tackling ASB.

12

Julie Clouder, Ministry of Justice presents Mervyn Parry Making Waves Co-ordinator with the report from John Moores University to celebrate the success of the pilot Making Waves project,


Members News

Thank you from the Prime Minister

Voice of Youth Survey Tarka Housing have been working in

Louise Casey visited Sheffield and met up with a witness from an

partnership with Torridge Prince’s Trust

anti-social behaviour case. This witness had given evidence in Sheffield

‘Team 59’ to investigate issues facing more

Homes application for an Injunction and Possession Order against her

than 300 young people in the area.

neighbour. The witness had suffered anti-social behaviour from her

The volunteers in Prince’s Trust Team

neighbour for almost four years and attended court on numerous

designed a "Voice of the Youth Survey",

occasions. The subject of the complaint was evicted from his property

Bideford College supported the project

and injunction was granted, as despite numerous warnings he failed to

and approached students from classes in

modify his behaviour.

each year to take part. As a result more

Louise Casey acknowledged that our witness played a major part in this

than 300 surveys were gathered. Most

result and thanked them for their bravery and willingness to attend

questioning was around what facilities

court and give evidence. Following this, she invited our witness and

young people would most like to have

staff from both Sheffield Homes and Sheffield CC to attend the Prime

locally, and whether they knew of, could

Minister’s speech on “Fair rules for stronger communities” in London.

get to and could afford the variety of activities on offer.

Unfortunately, the evening before the event our witness had a fall and fractured two bones in her foot so was unable to go. Gordon Brown

It is hoped that the information gathered

had requested to meet the witness in person along with four other

can be used to help develop a Tarka Youth

witnesses from across the

Forum. Activities with the most appeal

country to ask them about

To find out more

were sports,‘hanging out’ and music.

their experience of the

Sarah Marshall – 0114 2734040

Young people had a low opinion of what is

justice system.

Sarah.marshall@sheffieldhomes.org.uk

currently on offer in the area. Fast food, ice

The Dreamscheme

skating, leisure centre and youth club were the four most popular improvements suggested. Drugs and alcohol rated as the perceived greatest problem for young locals.

Rykneld Homes’ Community Involvement Team worked alongside members of the Holmgate community, near Chesterfield, to set up their very first Dreamscheme!. This scheme was originally

Tarka

developed by an inspirational lady named Kate

Housing

King who lived on a Sheffield Housing Estate. She

showed their

had a dream that young people could work, earn

appreciation

points and then be rewarded with a trip of their

to all of the

choice .

volunteers who worked so hard on the project by presenting them with a certificate and gift voucher. Nigel Barnard, Managing Director of Tarka Housing, is shown presenting the volunteers with their certificates and vouchers. To find out more Vanessa Gray 01803 217560 vanessa.gray@westwardhousing.org.uk

The Holmgate project concentrated on a brook that had become severely overgrown and neglected over the years. There was illegal dumping and large amounts of litter. The young people worked to clear the brook and improve the surrounding area whilst learning new skills and encouraging them to take a greater interest in their local community. As the project was such a success Rykneld Homes also ran a Dreamscheme project over the October half term for hard-to-reach young people in a community gardening project. The young people were rewarded with a trip for their hard work and commitment shown to their local area.

13


Members News

Wipe-out for Screen Washers An area of Birmingham is now safer thanks to the efforts of Birmingham Anti Social Behaviour Unit who obtained ASBO’s against a group of young people who were causing problems for motorists in the Newtown area. They were running out onto the dual carriageway when the traffic lights turned red, spray car windows and demand money for cleaning them. If they did not receive any money they would get aggressive and would kick vehicles. Many motorists, especially lone women, were changing their route home from work to avoid them. The Police had received numerous complaints and following consultation with Birmingham Anti Social Behaviour Unit (BASBU), they picked up the case. The problem was twofold; the first was to stop the alarm, harassment and distress caused to motorists and the second to stop the youths running up and down the dual carriageway, placing them at risk of being injured or causing an accident. Several police chases had taken place, where the youths had ran down the duel carriageway the wrong way to get away, thus endangering both themselves and the Police officers. After consultation it was decided that ASBOs would be the best course of action. BASBU officers visited the location with police officers and it was soon established that the group consisted of six Romanian nationals. It was important that the correct names and addresses of these individuals were identified. Therefore the Police escorted them home one evening and checked all their passports to ensure the correct information was gained. It turned out that the ringleader of the group was a girl of 15 years old, who was also five months pregnant and her parents were in back in Romania. Other members of the group were another 15 year old boy and a 16 year old boy. The other three were 17, 18 and 19 years old. This caused BASBU further problems because of the young ages of three of the group, plus the 15 year old pregnant young girl who was not receiving any pre-natal care, there were child protection issues. These issues needed to be addressed before legal action could commence. As numerous motorists had contacted the police, there was enough evidence to commence legal action and five full Anti-Social Behaviour Orders were obtained which has ceased their screen washing activities.

14 12 10

Safer Stockport Partnership triumph Last year, a drugs warrant was executed by Greater Manchester Police who discovered stolen property and Class A drugs at a property in Offerton, Stockport As a result, a closure of premises notice was issued under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, 2003 against the tenant. Superintendent Alison Fletcher of Greater Manchester Police was satisfied that the property was associated with the use, supply or production of Class A drugs and that there was associated nuisance and disorder. A Closure Order Hearing took place at Stockport Magistrates Court and the tenant did not oppose the application and accepted the allegations. The closure order was necessary to protect the public, in particular local residents from further disorder occurring at the property. The success of this operation has only been possible due to the actions of staff from numerous organisations across the Borough, from the Safer Stockport Partnership including Greater Manchester Police Legal Services. It has demonstrated how effective and efficient partnership working has resulted in the removal of a tenant who was allowing anti-social behaviour and drug use to continue at her property. Their actions have impacted upon the lives of local residents, and this positive result highlights the important work of the Safer Stockport Partnership.


Members News

Anti-social resident pens own eviction The writing is on the wall for one anti-social Coventry resident, after his landlord used a handwriting expert to secure his eviction. Following reports of ongoing anti-social behaviour by his neighbours, the tenant was evicted following action taken by Whitefriars Housing Group. To convince the court of his guilt, Whitefriars employed the services of a graphologist to analyse threatening and abusive graffiti which had been posted in the area. The expert’s view that the handwriting matched the sample provided by the 37 year-old, was taken into consideration by Coventry County Court, when it chose to authorise the eviction. In addition to abusive graffiti, his neighbours also suffered threats and noise nuisance. He also made a number of abusive threats to Whitefriars staff. Experts from Whitefriars’ specialist anti-social behaviour team, asb4 with the support of Shoosmiths, also secured an injunction forbidding him from entering the area for one year after his eviction Gail Cooper, business development manager at Whitefriars’ asb4 team, said:“We are delighted to have secured this result on behalf of local residents. The tenant was given ample opportunity and warning to change his behaviour and it is only as a last resort that we were forced to head to court to ensure his neighbours were free to enjoy their homes in peace. It is not acceptable that a resident’s anti-social behaviour causes misery for others and I’d like to thank those people who helped us secure this result. By reporting the problem, and helping us gather evidence, the residents can enjoy a quieter start to 2009.” Yetunde Dania, Partner at Shoosmiths who had conduct of the matter, said “This was an excellent result for Whitefriars. The case demonstrates the Courts are prepared to make appropriate Orders and even allow possession, where the supporting evidence (no matter how out of the ordinary), supports the remedy sought.”

Downing Street surveillance success Underage drinkers found there was no hiding place from New Charter’s cameras. And the adult who bought lager on their behalf was also caught on camera and arrested. Concerned neighbours had reported problems in the area around Downing Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. Young people were seen drinking alcohol, causing minor damage to property and being abusive to passers-by. New Charter’s tenancy enforcement team realised that restricting supply could improve behaviour and restore peace in the area. Secret surveillance cameras recorded youths repeatedly approaching adults as they entered a local offlicence. When one man got out of his car and appeared to take money from the youths before going into the shop, the filming caught the drinks being handed over, and the registration number of his VW Golf. With the evidence gathered, staff contacted police officers in the area who traced the youths, confiscated drinks and informed parents. Greater Manchester Police then viewed the evidence collected by New Charter. As a result, the driver was traced and arrested, and accepted an £80 fixed penalty fine for supplying alcohol to the youths. New Charter Homes’ Managing Director Tony Powell said: “The positive news is that many adults approached outside the premises while we were filming refused to assist. And we and the police need help like this from the community if we are to change behaviour of some young people. Drink was clearly at the root of some of the neighbourhood nuisance. Using our technology, we supplied the police with what they needed to take successful action.” Neighbourhood Beat Manager Neil Coulson said:“The driver was helping underage drinking, and his action could have led to an evening of misery for those living nearby. The shock of the arrest and the £80 it cost him should be a warning to To find out more others to say “no”. Alan Kibble 0161 331 2338

15


Members News sentence suspended on compliance with the Injunction. She breached the Injunction again in August 2008.

Abusive phone messages A Castle Vale Community Housing Association tenant has been sentenced to 28 days imprisonment for breaching an Injunction Order prohibiting her from phoning the

In November, she admitted the breaches and was sentenced to 28 days immediate imprisonment for the recent breaches of the Injunction and 28 days for breach of the terms that is a suspended sentence. The 28 days were ordered to be spent concurrently.

offices following her tirade of abuse at staff. The

Counsel for the Defendant described her to the Court as

defendant breached the Injunction on three evenings

being in an “emotional, irrational, obsessive state”. She

leaving between 20 and 30 phone calls each time.

said that she had been caught up in an “emotional

The tenant had launched a campaign of abuse against

maelstrom, a frenzy”.

her landlord employees, her ex-husband and children in

The Judge at Birmingham County Court told the

the locality.

defendant that he was giving her a light sentence

In May 2007 she gave an undertaking to the Court not to engage in such behaviour. She breached this and was given a one month custodial sentence in October 2007. She again breached the Order in March 2008 by leaving 29 abusive phone messages.

because it was “the fact of the sentence, not the length” that was important. He took into account her age, physical condition and difficult circumstances of her life and passed what he described as the lowest possible sentence he could.

She was sentenced to a further three month custodial

New approach survey of victims and perpetrators Broxbourne Housing Association is taking a new approach to creating safer communities by surveying both the complainant and the perpetrators of ASB Their new initiative means that once an anti-social behaviour incident has been resolved, their Safer Communities team send out a survey to gather feedback from everyone involved, not only the victim. By surveying perpetrators as well as complainants, the team measures their performance as well as finding new solutions to the problems anti-social behaviour creates. The scheme started in April 2008 with just over half of all those surveyed returning their form. The association hopes this new approach will not just improve the service they offer to residents, but make a permanent difference to their communities. Senior Safer Communities Officer Brian Cooke said, “We didn’t want to take a band-aid approach to ASB. Our survey looks at how our residents find their housing in general. We offer the perpetrator a range of solutions to

16

bring their tenancy back in order. This can mean getting involved and focussing not only on the perpetrator, but on the whole family, through parenting advisors, diversionary activities and liaising with schools to increase attendance. We take a holistic approach – and so far the feedback has been positive.” It is this approach which led the team to help one young boy who was caring for his alcoholic mother. They got him involved in a young carers association and arranged for his mum to get help. Each survey is dealt with on a case by case basis by the Safer Communities team. At the end of the year they will collate the information, to see if there are any service improvements which can be made. Brian says:“It is important to find out the causes behind the complaint and go in with an open mind. Recently we visited a resident who had several complaints made against him. It turned out that the complaints against him were in fact unfair and that this man had suffered harassment. Without this kind of personal approach, some of the families the team have worked with may have lost their To find out more homes.” Pippa Gavaghan 01992 453 778 pippa.gavaghan@broxbourneha.org.uk


Members News

Exclusion Order on tenant with mental health problems West Kent Housing Association has successfully obtained an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction and Exclusion Order against a tenant restricting him from returning to his home, which led to him terminating his tenancy. The tenant, who has a history of mental health problems, repeatedly caused problems for residents and a children’s nursery. This included discharging a firearm in the direction of the nursery and criminal damage to property and residents’ cars. His threatening, abusive and intimidating behaviour resulted in one resident feeling so scared that she got into a stranger’s vehicle while he was trying to follow her along the street. Following his arrest by the police, he showed signs of abnormal behaviour and was sectioned under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act and admitted to hospital for

This was a complex case, as while there appeared to be no immediate risk of harm to residents and neighbours while he was in hospital, the association received information he was planning to appeal against the sectioning and there was a significant risk he would be allowed to return home. The tenant’s capacity needed to be explored to ensure he was able to understand any anticipated court proceedings, which included having medical evidence to support this; a court would have to be satisfied that the tenant had the requisite capacity to make an Injunction and Exclusion Order. Working closely with solicitors, Batchelors, the police and social services, an application was made for an Injunction and Exclusion order on a Without Notice basis obtaining an urgent hearing. The application was successful. Local residents and the tenant’s care-worker attended court to give evidence in

To find out more Suzanne Smith 01732 749409 Suzanne.smith@wkha.org.uk

support of the proceedings.

assessment.

Brothers banned Lambeth County Court has granted Servite two AntiSocial Behaviour Injunctions banning two brothers from entering onto Servite’s Church Manor Estate in Brixton for a period of two years.

the estate and the injunction prevents them from causing further nuisance to residents on the Church Manor

The ban includes the roadways, paths and car parks

Estate. I hope that

forming part of the overall estate and not just the

the relationship

communal areas of each block of flats.

between us

The injunctions contain a power of arrest so that should

continues to

the brothers ignore the ban, they can be arrested by the

flourish”.

Police, held in custody before being brought back

Alex Wrigley, Estate

before Lambeth County Court for contempt of Court.

Manager added,

They could face a fine or imprisonment for such breach.

“Obtaining such comprehensive injunctions against two

The brothers, who did not live on the Estate, had been

prominent perpetrators of crime and anti-social

terrorising the Estate with their anti social behaviour

behaviour is a real victory for the residents of the

and criminal activity for several years and the current

Church Manor Estate.

Estate Manager, Alex Wrigley worked hard together with

The community had to endure years of nuisance at the

PC Steve Murfin, the Local Beat Officer to get these

hands of these two brothers. Incidents included drug

orders in place in order to protect residents.

dealing, vandalism, threatening behaviour and criminal

PC Murfin said “This is an excellent example of

damage.”

partnership working and the benefits from this. These individuals cause widespread anti-social behaviour on

To find out more Christine Steele – 020 8871 3260 csteele@servitehouses.org.uk

17


Members News

Eviction secured Over three years imprisonment

evicted, thanks to joint action between Severnside Housing and West Mercia Police.

Knightstone Housing Association has

The tenant was ordered to leave his home after an order was made at

carried out the eviction of a drug dealer

Telford County Court. The action was taken after complaints were

who was trading from his own doorstep.

received about alleged drug dealing at the premises and unwelcome

The tenant was jailed for more than

visitors attending his address throughout the day and night.

three years after spy cameras, organised

Following the receipt of intelligence, including witness statements and

by Knightstone, gathered evidence

diary sheets, a search warrant was issued under the terms of the Misuse

against him.

of Drugs Act. This was carried out by West Mercia Police with Severnside

Knightstone employed private investi-

Housing officers also in attendance. As a result of the drug dealing and

gators from Cheltenham-based Integrity

the anti-social behaviour a notice seeking possession was served on

Ethical to carry out a surveillance

him.

operation after some of its residents

Nicola Robinson, tenant services manager at Severnside Housing, said:

complained about his drug dealing. The

“We are delighted to have secured this result on behalf of the residents

camera recorded about 20 people a day

of Meole Brace. Eviction is always a last resort, but in this case the level

calling at home to buy heroin.

of anti-social behaviour and evidence of criminal activity meant the

The police then arrested him after 20

toughest action had to be taken.“

further days of their own observation confirmed he was selling drugs every day from his home.

Witness efforts pay off

The 32 year-old, of Churchdown near

Colchester Borough Homes has evicted a tenant who caused massive

Gloucester, was jailed for three years and

disruption to the lives of people who lived near to her.

seven months after he admitted having

The resident had been living in a flat in an estate in Colchester since

heroin with intent to supply, being

2005. But for years the neighbours had to put up with a range of

concerned in the supply of the drug and

problems, including an excessively large number of visitors and noise.

possessing cannabis.

The Police also carried out several raids on the property, suspecting that

Gina Cutler, Senior Housing Manager

drug dealing was going on at the flat.

responsible for Nuisance Prevention,

Housing Officer, Rebecca Johnson, said “We realised there was a problem

said:“We are very proactive when

quite early on. However, one of our difficulties was getting witnesses to

dealing with anti-social behaviour. In

come forward, so we could tackle the situation. They needed encour-

serious cases, and when neighbours are

agement and support from us to feel confident enough to feel able to

frightened to come forward, we will take

start taking steps to deal with this issue.

whatever action we think is necessary to

A large number of residents contacted Colchester Borough Homes

gather evidence, which includes the use

about the problem, but they were not prepared to keep diaries of what

of professional witnesses.

was happening at the flat. It was only because of the work of housing

This case is a positive example of what

officers in the specialist Tenancy Enforcement and Support Team and an

we are able to achieve through

Essex Police Community Support Officer that a few residents were

partnership working. We're delighted

convinced to come forward. They started keeping evidence diaries in

with the result.”

May 2008.

To find out more Nicol Binns 01934 524317 Nicol.Binns@arcadiahousing.co.uk

18

A resident who made the lives of his neighbours a misery has been

By November, enough evidence had been collected, and an eviction order was given by the County Court at Colchester.


Members News

Name and Shame New Progress Housing Association has unveiled a new initiative that will name and shame nuisance tenants in its properties. It is following the lead of the Home Office’s Together and Respect Campaigns that are getting communities involved in the fight against ASB. The new initiative has been unveiled with the news that they have successfully obtained a record five-year AntiSocial Behaviour Injunction against a former tenant. The four-page flyer shows a picture of the former tenant and lists the offences carried out by him that resulted in the injunction. It also warns tenants of the acts he is capable of. The flyer outlines the terms of the injunction and appeals to tenants to come forward with any information they might have about him breaching it. This information could lead to his arrest and a possible custodial sentence.

estate, the leaflet also shows a map of the estate and the areas that he is banned from entering. The New Progress Tenancy Enforcement Team are now considering to reinforcing every ASBI with a leaflet naming the recipient and detailing the same information. New Progress Housing Association’s Managing Director, Bernie Keenan, said:“We have an important role to play in tackling anti-social behaviour. Tenants, as well as others living in a neighbourhood, rightly expect their housing association to act swiftly to stop behaviour that makes people’s lives a misery. We believe that in naming and shaming known perpetrators of anti-social behaviour, we are giving the community a chance to follow our lead, and help us make their communities a happier, and safer,

To find out more

place in which to

Emma Elson 01772 450 676

live.”

eelson@progressgroup.org.uk

Delivered to all New Progress tenants on the Kingsfold

Clampdown on Domestic Abuse The commitment of staff at Housing Hartlepool’s Tenancy Relations and Enforcement Team has led to a number of successful injunctions in relation to domestic abuse. The team work in close partnership with other organisations to tackle domestic violence. Staff make all attempts to engage with the victim and offer support, target hardening and legal advice. In cases where Housing Hartlepool can prove that the domestic abuse affects the Housing Management function, they work with partners, obtaining relevant evidence and will apply for an ASBI, with an exclusion order when possible. Housing Hartlepool will not tolerate domestic abuse and is determined to help people end the fear and distress of this type of abuse which cannot only affect the family involved but surrounding neighbours. A Support Officer appointed to provide victim/witness support before, during and after court hearings, has proved to be invaluable. Between April and December 2008, the team responded to 128 incidents of domestic abuse, provided target hardening to 16 properties, obtained four ASBI’s related to domestic abuse, 11 breaches of which resulted in suspended and custodial sentences.

Disability no excuse Luminus Housing obtained an outright Possession Order against a tenant whose neighbouring residents made numerous complaints regarding his noise nuisance, confrontational, threatening and aggressive behaviour, foul and abusive language, fighting and harassment. Incidents included the tenant attacking a neighbour at a bus stop, spray painting the word ‘Poof’ on a neighbour’s door and throwing faeces out of a window. Various unsuccessful measures were taken to curb the tenant’s behaviour, including an ABC. The tenant relied on supposed disabilities of epilepsy and psychiatric conditions as an excuse for his behaviour, although this was not pleaded as a defence. The tenant arrived at the final hearing several hours late due to allegedly suffering from an epileptic fit that day. However, the medical evidence, disclosed by the tenant at the trial, revealed that he was not, in fact, suffering from a disability, or in fact epilepsy.

19


Members News

Lucky to have supportive landlord

fuelled anti-social behaviour had resulted in violent attacks on people visiting the Wade Hall Estate and significant damage to the association’s property.

New Progress Housing Association has been granted an

Judge Appleton, commented:“Not every landlord would

Injunction Order for 12 months and a Possession Order

be so supportive and adopt such an approach that has

postponed for 18 months against a Leyland tenant. The

provided for such a sensible resolution to this case – you

ASBI Order was granted after she admitted breaches of

are a lucky girl.”

her tenancy agreement. She admitted that on several occasions, her alcohol

Prison for breaching court order A Kirklees Council tenant who threatened housing staff has been sent to prison for breaching a court order. In May 2008, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing took a resident, to court for anti-social behaviour and rent arrears. The Judge ordered him to adhere to his tenancy agreement, particularly the nuisance section. However, he continued to breach his tenancy agreement by not paying rent and was evicted in September. When removal men went to clear his flat in October, he attempted to punch one of them and forced them to put everything back. The association went straight to court for an emergency anti social behaviour injunction which carried power of arrest if he broke any of its conditions. However, in October and November he went to the landlord’s office in Ravensthorpe, where he kicked doors and threatened to kill staff. He was arrested and brought before Dewsbury County Court, where he was found guilty of breaching his injunction and sentenced to six months in prison. The judge, whilst taking into consideration his personal circumstances, said the offences were serious and that the Court had a duty to protect housing officers going about their public duty. He also expressed the Court's outrage at the defendant’s behaviour. Paul Buckley, Director of Neighbourhoods, said:“We welcome the judge’s tough line in this case. When we obtain anti-social behaviour injunctions on behalf of its partners and the residents of Kirklees, people need to know that they will be enforced and that the courts regard the breach of To find out more a court injunction as Penny Allison 01484 416440 a very serious penny.allison@knh.org.uk matter.”

20

To find out more Emma Elson 01772 450 676 e: eelson@progressgroup.org.uk

Nightmare neighbours evicted The eviction of a family of seven who terrorised their community has left a corner of Waltham Forest relieved. Under the watchful eye of police officers, Hyde Housing’s contractors moved in to board up the property. In doing so they brought to an end five years of misery in the neighbourhood. Amid a catalogue of complaints investigated by police and the association, the evicted family have been accused of spitting at neighbours, throwing stones and bricks at homes and throwing a bag of urine through an open window. The family (mother and six children ranging from toddler to teenager), were given notice to leave, but when they failed to do so, the possession order was enforced. The neighbour and her four children moved in next door to the problem family, in August 2006. She said:“It’s been a complete nightmare ever since, but one of those nightmares you cannot seem to wake up from. That family terrorised this area. I am so glad they have been evicted.” Another neighbour who lives with his wife and two teenage children said “A great day for the whole community. Anybody and everybody around here was getting abused, spat on and beaten up. It was anti-social behaviour at its worst. But as a community the rest of us got together because we had simply had enough. Hats off to the police and Hyde Housing Association who have been really helpful”.


Members News

Police evidence key in possession case

Getting tough on youth ASB

Havebury Housing Partnership has been successful in

South Liverpool Housing obtained tough final Anti-

obtaining an outright possession order against a couple

Social Behaviour Orders against members of a teenage

whose disruptive behaviour was causing problems on an

gang, which terrorised a south Liverpool shopping

otherwise quiet estate in Bury St Edmunds.

parade.

Problems were first reported in September 2007. The

Six youths including two cousins agreed to two-year

couple had what they admitted to be a turbulent

ASBOs after evidence showed how they brought fear

relationship. Very frequent arguments, damage to their flat, drunken behaviour, accumulation of rubbish and the need for frequent Police attendance were all causing disturbance to neighbours.

to the streets of Speke. The younger members of the gang were also given Individual Support Orders and their parents were ordered to attend parenting classes for 12 months. Assaults, criminal damage and racist abuse meant the

After an injunction order, obtained in July 2008, had

shops in The Crescent were out of bounds for many

been breached by each defendant, Havebury pressed

members of the public.

ahead with possession proceedings. An approach had

One of the youths is serving four months in youth

been taken to issue the injunction within combined

custody after breaching his interim ASBO seven times.

injunction/possession and demotion proceedings.

The ASBOs ordered on 27 October at Liverpool

The claim for possession finally came to court in

Magistrates' Court prevent the gang members going

December 2008. The case was brought mainly on Police

into a designated area or associating with named

evidence, although the past breaches of injunction

individuals.

weighed against the defendants. The defence admitted

They are banned from using abusive, insulting,

that the grounds for possession had been made out and

threatening or intimidating language or behaviour in

the court was required to spend much of the one-day

a designated area. They are also forbidden from

hearing considering evidence as to whether it was

throwing eggs and stones at people or property or

reasonable to make a possession order. The police were able to give details of over 140 calls to the property by the emergency services over the previous twelve months. The Court also heard evidence, which was challenged, that the defendants had previously refused to engage with support services. This

carrying aerosols or paint in a public place. A police spokesman said:“It was virtually impossible for people to get to the shops in Speke. There would be groups of 10-15 hanging around shop doorways and hurling abuse and there was a lot of vandalism and graffiti. Since we obtained the interim ASBOs in July there has

was key in demonstrating a reluctance to address their

been a huge improvement. The shops have been able

problems and so improve their behaviour.

to make improvements and people can get to the

John Feveyear, Havebury Neighbourhood Manager, said:

shops and feel safe. The community has supported

“The defence counsel placed a lot of emphasis on

this application by providing statements.”

whether Havebury had considered one defendant’s

South Liverpool Housing chief executive Julie Fadden

mental health problems. We were able to demonstrate

said:“This recent action is an excellent example of

that despite recent case law on the Disability

what can be achieved when social landlords, the

Discrimination Act (Lewisham LBC v Malcolm) we had still considered the issues around this.”

police and most importantly the residents all work together”

21


Members News

Derby Homes has taken action against a tenant who breached an

Anti-social behaviour order against a 17yr old tenant

injunction that prohibited her from causing noise nuisance at her

A male resident at a scheme, which provides

city centre flat. The injunction was originally granted in April of

self-contained flats to young people, had

this year and Derby Homes has been monitoring the tenant’s

become aggressive towards scheme staff and

behaviour since then to check whether she was sticking to the

another female resident. He verbally insulted

terms of the court ruling.

and threatened staff at the scheme and

Unfortunately, the injunction was breached when the tenant

assaulted and a female resident - he hit her in

continued to play music at her flat so loudly that it caused

the face, spat at her and held a knife to her

significant distress to her neighbours. As a result, Derby Homes

throat, making threats to kill her and her

took the tenant back to court, where she was given a 28 day prison

family.

sentence, suspended on condition that she does not play any

The female resident was left very frightened

music at all and does not approach the witnesses involved. Derby

and was supported in moving to alternative

Homes have also offered support services to the tenant, as well as

accommodation for her own safety and

advice and information about other services available to support

well-being. The male resident was arrested,

her.

however he was later released on uncondi-

Enforcing action against noise nuisance

“This tenant’s behaviour was causing significant problems for her neighbours, so we secured an injunction to stop her from playing loud music,” said Maureen Davis, Housing Operations Manager. “When the terms of that injunction were broken, we followed

tional bail. On his release, the resident returned to the scheme with a hockey stick and walked around the grounds in an intimidating manner.

through to enforce the action to protect the interests of the other

Moseley & District served a Section 21 Notice

residents living in the same block of flats and make sure they

requiring possession of the resident’s

could enjoy peace and quiet in their homes and not have to suffer

property. The resident was too young to be

the anti social activities of others.”

subject to an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction and so Anthony Collins sought an Anti-Social

Nine months in jail

Behaviour Order (ASBO). An Interim without notice ASBO was obtained

A woman who turned an area of Tameside Greater Manchester

which, amongst other things, prohibited the

into a party zone has been sent to prison for nine months. She

resident from entering the locality in which

was already subject to an injunction granted in September to curb

the scheme was situated. Only two weeks

her anti-social behaviour.

later the resident breached the ASBO by

But Tameside County Court heard that 17 breaches had been

entering the grounds of the scheme.

catalogued since, including several all-night parties. Neighbours

Following this breach, he was arrested,

who complained were subject to verbal abuse and threats of

prosecuted and sentenced to a 20-hour

violence. In one breach, the accussed and a friend screamed

Community Order.

obscenities and simulated sex acts towards neighbours.

In October 2008 Birmingham Magistrates

She had been in court on two previous occasions and had been in

made a final two year ASBO against the

custody for 10 days when she finally admitted all 17 allegations

resident. This is despite the fact that he

and agreed to end her tenancy of the flat. But her attempt to

vigorously defended the proceedings at the

plead for leniency failed.

Trial and that two of Moseley & District’s

To find out more Alan Kibble 0161 331 2338

22

witnesses failed to attend Court, due to their fear of him.


Sponsor & SLCNG

Make sure that you share your news with nuisance news ocial Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group

This is your newsletter so why not ensure that you share your news on how your organisation is handling many of the complex issues of nuisan anti-social behaviour. c ocial Land Crime and lords Nuisance Gro

terly new sletter of the

up

Social Land lords Crim e

Annual Conferen ce An

outs event tanding

e news

and Nuis ance Grou p

Issue 48

“An excel lent confe rence, extre with lots mely well of posit run and “The peop ive pass ion.” le atten ding reall difference y want to make and learn Two exam a from othe ples that rs.” typify the delegates feedback to this year’ from Exhibition s Conferenc held at e and the Inter 7th and national 8th Octo Centre, ber. Incor ‘Delivering Telford porating over Results’ the SLCN Awards G’s for the first time, Putting the Tenants Conferenc first e and Making every tenan Exhbition t matter was not coordinate and deliv only the “bigg d services ering est ever” needs are that truly but deal with central with an to the new excellent local peop to the new spea agenda le’s line up regulatory whether and a comp ker Servi system in relati ces Auth established rehensive on ority or and chall by the Tena policing the furth enging reforms er deve programm nt lopment and their and the e, it really of the focus on local. did deliver the neigh something bourhood For socia Very impo for everyone. l landlords’ rtantly, the Conf part there to that socia use erence the skills will be l landlords reinforced and intell an incre to work are maki making the realit asing need igence with othe ng a huge communitie from front y rs to contributio -line work provide s feel safer Tackling sustained neighbour ers n to the fear and are success hood solut achieving of crim in tackl through Addressin e ing anti-s ions. an intell g peop ocial beha igent mix le’s worr and rehab behaviour viour of preve ies abou ilitative is argua ntative, t crime interventi bly the enforceme and anti-s Paul Harv The Conf key chall ons. ocial ey [ipso nt erence enge for s-mori] was timel importanc everyone. impressed of the Flana y coming e of “mak upon deleg gan Revie as it did ing sure doing on w of Polic ates the Action on the people these back Plan, the know what ing, the issues” Youth Crim Youth Taskf you are Report, and e Actio orce the Polic n Plan, demonstra ing Gree the Case Regenerat n pape ted clear y r and the ion Act. ly that the The impli Housing better of these cations and , and more informed and key , were exam aspects people of all the are, ined in less they detail. worry. continued on page 2

Nov 200 8

Tell us about your new innovations, your success stories, feedback from your communities - just to name a few.

Annual Conference and Exhibition Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 October 2009 Telford International Centre

Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour Strategies into Action

Next Issue & Deadline

The deadline for all articles is 2nd April 2009 - items received after this date are unlikely to be included. This will be our Harrogate editions - so make sure you share your news. Email your articles, logo and photographs to:-

nick@slcng.org.uk

www.slcngconf.co.uk

Editorial services, design and artwork by Glenn Marketing 0121 555 7310

The quar

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

23


Nuisance News Issue 49  

Newsletter of the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group

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