NEWS RELEASE: SAFETY NET FAILING VICTIMS

NEWS RELEASE: SAFETY NET FAILING VICTIMS

Agencies Ignore Victims of Anti-Social Behaviour at their Peril

Legislation is ignored and victims of anti-social behaviour continue to be held at arm’s length, a new report finds.

Work undertaken by charity ASB Help identifies numerous failing with the Community Trigger, also called the ASB Case Review, introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This power was designed to empower victims, enabling them to insist on a multi-agency case review to get results and stop the behaviour that was having such a devastating attack on their lives.

In practice, however, the process is fraught with problems. The key issues are that:

  • there is no-one taking overall ownership of the Community Trigger or any aspect of anti-social behaviour from a victim perspective;
  • the Community Trigger is inaccessible and unknown meaning that many victims who would be entitled to activate it are unaware of its existence;
  • there is great confusion over how to use the Community Trigger with thresholds used that are contrary to the legislation; and
  • the statutory guidance was quietly updated on Christmas Eve 2017 missing an opportunity to promote the Community Trigger and continues to be ignored.

One victim’s experience shows the impact of repeat, persistent anti-social behaviour and the problem victims continue to have in getting results:
It took me 28 months to finally get rid of my antisocial neighbour just before Christmas. The stress and sleep deprivation he caused wrecked my mental and physical health. It was easier for the authorities to just ignore me than do something about him.

Jennifer Herrera, Chief Executive Officer of ASB Help said: “Paying more attention to victims of anti-social behaviour through effective usage of the Community Trigger will give them the protection and support they deserve. Yet it also has the potential to identify perpetrators and embrace early intervention which could help stem the tide of knife crime and other serious crime. We are appalled at the way victims continue to be fobbed off by agencies and left to suffer in silence with a hugely detrimental effect on their quality of life.

To read the full report: https://asbhelp.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ASB-Help-The-Community-Trigger.-Where-We-Are-Today.pdf

Ends

About ASB Help

ASB Help is a national UK charity seeking to assist victims of anti-social behaviour as to their rights – who they should report the anti-social behaviour to and crucially, what to do if they do not get a satisfactory response. The charity is represented on the Home Office Anti-Social Behaviour Strategic Board. To find out more about ASB help visit: https://asbhelp.co.uk/

For media enquiries, contact CEO Jenny Herrera, jherrera@asbhelp.co.uk 07703 453862

Jenny Herrera

7 Comments

Shaun Brady Posted on1:01 pm - 17th April 2019

I agree, we seemed to be missing a trick here. It difficult enough trying to get the police involved in ASB cases and that’s for a number of reasons, cuts being one of them. However if….legislatively they have to become involved then it can only be a good thing and better for victims. Its also positive in that providers who are not geared up to deal with ASB properly can be steered and directed appropriately. From my personal experience at my current employer we work very well collaboratively with all external agencies but I have worked as a generic practitioner dealing with rent, allocations, tenancy management and ASB. One cannot hope to be victim focused in those circumstances

Linda Rodi Posted on6:24 pm - 25th August 2019

Hi
I wonder if you can tell me if there is community trigger in Scotland. I live in a council flat. A resident has moved in nearly two years ago now whose family visit and are very loud. Also her grandson committed criminal assault on his girlfriend at the property and criminal damage to his grandmother’s council flat door.
The grandson has been bailed to our block of flats to live with the gran as his mother is dead. He is causing distress to all the neighbours by loud noise,numerous visits by the Police and riding around on his gran’s motability scooter in the car park and road late at night.We are all pensioners and have reported numerous incidents to Police,Aberdeen City Council and the ASBO Team.Nobody is taking ownership of the problem or working collaboratively on the problem.When some neighbours complain to Aberdeen City Council Housing, they are asked if they wish to be rehoused.
We are not the problem.This tenant is the problem and her family.We are at our wit’s end and some nice people are moving out.What can we do?
We feel abandoned to deal with this ourselves

    Jenny Herrera Posted on4:13 pm - 28th August 2019

    Hi Linda,

    Sadly there is no Community Trigger in Scotland but that does not mean Aberdeen Council should just be fobbing everyone off and offering to move them! Have you considered contacting your local Councillor or MP to get them to exert some pressure?

    Many thanks

    Jenny Herrera
    ASB Help

doug swanney Posted on3:44 pm - 16th January 2020

i and my partner seem to be ignored by our housing landlord and the police and the PCSOs who are rude to us on entering our abode.
we have suffered now 3years plus of harassement from our neighbours[4 individulas].
this has come in the from of death threats,motioned that we will have our throats cut,verbal abuse,human urine thrown over our back fence and our front door dripping in it,dog poo in our front door and outside our front room,assaulted twice in back garden,heard that one individual offered £50 to have myself killed, plants in our front garden cut down,stolen items from front garden.
all incidents have been reported to police and our housing association NO ACTION taken.we have tablet evidence, CCTV evidence no action taken. what does it take.
i look after my ill partner and we feel we are getting lack luster performance.the police on one occation arrested one male after he threatend to stab and kill me while my partner was phoning the police.he was released as we have no CCTV.POLICE TOLD MY HE WAS A LOVELY MAN.
victim support have been as helpful as they can over the past 2 years.
the stress on myself and my partner is unbearable but we go on.what option do we have. we have needed help. none out there.

    Rebecca Brown Posted on5:56 pm - 17th January 2020

    I am so sorry to hear you are having these problems. Have you tried using the community trigger? This is your right to request a review of your case. You can find more information about it here: http://www.asbhelp.co.uk/community-trigger
    We recommend you try this and let us know how you get on as we work with the Home Office to ensure victim’s like you are getting the help they need from their local authority or police force.

Paul Anderson Posted on7:44 pm - 24th January 2020

A couple of months ago, we received a copy of meeting minutes from a community trigger request we had made with Greenwich Council regarding years of ASB and Criminal Damage to our house and car by pupils of the local Woolwich Polytechnic School For Boys.
The meeting (from reading the minutes), appeared to be a joke, as the school (who were actually invited to the meeting) could basically say what they liked, as I was not invited.
Suffice to say incidents of ASB are still continuing in so much as 8 separate incidents in the last 2-3 months.
Greenwich council and the school just do not care about victims of ASB.
What can I do now?

    Rebecca Brown Posted on4:32 pm - 7th February 2020

    Hi Paul,

    I am sorry to hear about your experience. If the problems are continuing, you can request another community trigger and provide a victim impact statement. You can request this is read out at the review meeting or ask to attend before the meeting commences so you can explain to the panel how the ASB is affecting you. The Council do not legally have to agree but i think it is worth making the request. Please ensure you log every incident of ASB/criminal damage with the police or council so there is a record. Please do let us know how you get on if you decide to request another community trigger or if you appeal the original one.