‘Absolutely nothing was done. It all still continues. We are either ignored or treated as perpetrators.’ ‘Jack’, London
This is Jack’s side of the story:
“No action has ever been taken against my neighbours who continues a 2 year campaign of every instance of ASB imaginable against both my household and another tenant in the property of 3 flats. We have both continually provided evidence of this woman’s ASB but are both continually ignored by our Housing Association and the police. In fact, the Housing Association gives this woman their full support by believing without question or investigation of any kind every lie and false allegation she continually makes about my neighbour and I.”
Jack has been threatened with an Injunction for something he didn’t do which he said was without any investigation and purely based on the other party’s complaint.
The list of behaviour Jack has suffered is long and horrible:
- racial abuse
- damage to their car
- brick through their window
- dog poisoned
- hundreds of live maggots thrown onto their steps and flat door area several nights in a row
- verbal abuse
- accusations of drug dealing
- stealing their post
- filming them 24/7
- taking photos of them
Jack has been told that the Housing Association is aware of the neighbour’s behaviour, attributable to mental health. However, it doesn’t make sense as why they would threaten Jack with an injunction.
To ASB practitioners, this may sound all too familiar. The complexities of a neighbour dispute – who to believe and who is doing what. How can someone contacting us as a victim be seen by the Housing Association as a perpetrator? Hear Jack’s cry:
“Yesterday my neighbour and I received a letter from the Housing Association warning us of OUR ASB and highlighting how WE could be breaching our tenancy agreements This letter has been generated by more lies from this woman and yet again, without question or any investigation have been believed and taken as truth by the Housing Association. Where is the help for people like us who have someone like this woman using and totally abusing the system to wreak havoc, cause misery and distress and invoke fear into innocent people?”
What is really going on?
When we hear a story like this our initial reaction is deep concern at the way Jack is being treated. Yet, we are also well aware that there are always two sides to the story.
The agencies acknowledge that there are complications in acting due to mental health. Yet they then give warnings of injunctions without investigation to Jack. This seems incompletely inconsistent. This is clearly some missing information on what is happening but there are some important factors to highlight from this story.
- We would recommend to Jack that he activate the Community Trigger. This would mean that all agencies, including the Housing Association, the local Council and the police, can come together to review Jack’s case. Jack should request a clear response from that review of where mistakes have been made (perhaps insufficient investigation, lack of mental health support) and what else can be done to resolve the problems. (Activating the Community Trigger can sometime give the support you need to get a house move as part of resolving the problem.)
2. This case is a classic example of a Neighbour Dispute and ultimately it has been left to deteriorate into a tangled mess. This is why it is so important for agencies to take early action and investigate early complaints – see this Housing Association example: http://asbhelp.co.uk/can-read-write/. We wonder whether mediation was ever offered and how responsive the Housing Association really was when Jack first expressed his concern.