According to Resolve ASB polling by YouGov, more than one-third (35%) of the UK public had experienced an increase in ASB in their local area, with just 1% believing that the problem had ‘decreased a lot’.
Following the end of Covid restrictions, it is likely that the situation will continue to deteriorate.
ASB is not a low-level crime, it devastates communities and has a profound impact on victims. But just as everyone can be impacted by ASB – everyone can also play a role in tackling it too.
Our tenancy and estates officers do a fantastic job in tackling ASB in the communities we serve, and we are proud to have a great relationship with the partners we work with.
Below you can read some of the great outcomes we have had on ASB cases over the last two years.
Case Study One
Rita Langston – Tenancy and Estates Visiting Officer
“We worked with West Suffolk Public Health & Housing following reports of loud music from a games console. An Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) was written and agreed with the tenant to reduce the noise levels. However, the noise was transmissible due to there being no carpets which meant the sound echoed on the floorboard. We agreed to support the installation of carpets through our Tenants’ Forum Hardship Fund to help reduce the impact of the noise.
The tenant had a hearing impairment, so I worked with Sensing Change. They will support our tenant to liaise with audiology to get a newer hearing aid and fit adaptions into their home so that his lights flash when his fire alarm/intercom rings to notify him of the alert. We have also signposted them to the Bury St Edmunds Deaf Society to meet people with similar vulnerabilities and build external relationships to support them outside of the home more.”
Case Study Two
Darren Woods – Tenancy and Estates Duty Officer
“This complex ASB case began in April 2021. It ran until April 2022, with a positive outcome for all parties as its conclusion.
We received several complaints regarding a tenant who was causing significant amounts of issues that related to noise nuisance, drug-taking, unwanted visitors and all the ASB that came as a result. During the early stages of the subsequent investigation, the tenant responsible would not engage with any agencies attempting to support him and manage the impact of the behaviour.
There was brief respite from reported issues as the tenant was absent from the address, but the case remained open and attempts at contact continued.
During the second half of the case, the tenant returned to the property, and issues initially resumed. We established a multi-agency team that included representatives from many different outside agencies.
We worked together with Bury St Edmunds Safer Neighbourhood Team, West Suffolk Council Temporary Homeless Navigator & Bury South Integrated Delivery services to establish routine engagement with the tenant. As a result, the tenant signed a comprehensive Acceptable Behaviour Contract, which set the stage for a significant and progressive improvement in the behaviour. Members of the team and other agencies maintained almost daily contact and encouraged the tenant to attend all of the support meetings that were set up. We regularly visited the tenant’s home, and a positive rapport was established. As a result of the trust built up and the intensive engagement generated, the issues were resolved, and the case was closed.
This was an excellent example of multi-agency work at its best and highlights that change is possible, even when presented with the most challenging situations.”
Case Study Three
Steph Lay – Tenancy and Estates Visiting Officer
“An example of a positive outcome and fantastic partner agency working would be when we worked with the Bury St Edmunds Safer Neighbourhood Team to execute a double closure at two of our flats, within the same location.
We received reports of ASB from May 2021 between two blocks of flats, which were not always linked. We conducted routine tenancy reviews with the police to understand what was happening. With the help of our complainants, whom we were in regular contact with and who kept giving us the evidence we needed, we built up a case to create statements along with the police that was worthy of granting a double closure order at both properties.
This meant that no one was allowed to go in or out of the flats for three months, which meant the ASB came to a grinding stop, and the perpetrators were temporarily displaced. Great outcome for all, giving residents the respite, they truly needed!”
Case Study Four
Emma McDougall – Tenancy and Estates Visiting Officer
“We were having a few problems with one of our tenants and I was assigned the case to work closely with the complainants and the perpetrators.
We already had an injunction in place with the power of arrest attached to it, and the police could arrest our tenant for a breach of the injunction.
The injunction was designed to be a preventative method to stop our tenant from acting in an antisocial way and manage their tenancy without impacting others. The consequences were that they could lose their home or be given a prison sentence.
Unfortunately, ASB continued, and the tenant was aggressive during the arrest. Working with the Bury St Edmunds Safer Neighbourhood Team, we got a proven breach of the injunction. This gave us the power to apply for possession under mandatory grounds. Several police officers provided us with witness statements to support our applications to the court.
We had a hearing for possession at Bury County Court. The judge granted us outright possession, given the large amount of evidence we had gathered between ourselves and the police. Another outcome of his most recent arrest was the police obtaining an exclusion order at the Magistrates Court. This gave residents peace of mind that our tenant couldn’t return before we had possession.
We are still waiting for a confirmed date for the warrant to be executed, and the tenant has now left prison.”
You can find out more about ASB awareness week on Resolve’s website here.