Nottingham City Homes: Risk Assessments
“We’ve banned the words ‘low-level ASB’ from our office.” Heather Fry, ASB Manager at Nottingham City Homes
Nottingham City Homes is a Housing Association that has chosen to listen to government advice to put victims first. The ASB team felt categorising noise complaints as ‘low-level’ was undermining the significant impact on a victim, especially when there were repeated incidents.
Nottingham City Homes has trained its staff to do a risk assessment on each ASB complaint at the point of receiving these calls, even when it is through a Call Centre. The team has worked closely with Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Police so that they are all working to the same risk assessment process and can share information effectively to get results for victims.
The Housing Association also rewards good behaviour and as an incentive gives a £100 credit on their rent account to all tenants who pay their rent and act responsibly through their Responsible Tenant Reward.
The ASB Team wanted to understand in more detail the effectiveness of anti-social behaviour work rather than just looking at base statistics such as case closures and customer satisfaction so they undertook a Social Impact Study which looked at the impact of ASB, the outcomes, the services available and the type of ASB incidents. Noise was the largest of these but substance misuse, verbal harassment and garden nuisance featured strongly.
What the team found was that after case closure there is still some emotional scarring for victims, particularly anxiety that it might happen again. They looked at the emotional reactions to the ASB when the case was open and after it had been closed as well as the effect on a victim’s mental wellbeing.
The team was awarded ‘Best ASB Team’ by Resolve ASB in 2015.
The results of the Social Impact Study did not seem surprising to us. We were aware that whilst the level of distress would drastically reduce once the ASB had ended there would still be some residual distress due to after-effects from the trauma as well as anxiety that it would happen again.
However, we imagine that the process of doing this analysis will have been highly beneficial to the Nottingham City Homes ASB team because it will have helped them place their focus strongly on the victim. This is an extremely positive outcome. We are pleased to see they have been rewarded for their concerted effort to put the victim first.