News

ASB Help Featured on Panorama

ASB Help were featured on BBC Panorama on 24th January 2022 which sought to raise aware of the scale of ASB that is continuing to occur up and down the country and promote the Community Trigger (ASB Case Review).  If you missed it, please see the following link: 

Panorama, Anti-Social Behaviour: Afraid In My Own Home: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0013w6h via @bbciplayer 

Unfortunately, as there is no quantitative data held nationally on the use of all the tools and powers introduced by the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014, we can only rely on the qualitative data we obtain from ASB victims who contact us and from practitioners in the field.  So we are unable to establish how widely the tools and powers are being used. 

It is clear to say, however, there is a lot of good practice out there and a lot of ASB is nipped in the bud early and addressed by non-legal tools such as mediation, restorative justice, warning letters, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts or Neighbourhood Agreements for example.   However, there are cases that slip through the net and some victims continue to suffer from ASB for an unnecessary amount of time. 

The Community Trigger (also known as the ASB Case review) is an ASB victim’s statutory right to request a review of their case where persistent ASB is reported and they believe there are further actions available to resolve the matter.  The minimum threshold to raise the community trigger is 3 incidents in the proceeding 6 months before the trigger was activated all of which need to have been reported to the housing association (if relevant), local authority or police and have caused harassment, alarm or distress. 

The process of the review encourages a problem-solving approach aimed at dealing with some of the most persistent, complex cases of anti-social behaviour and be able to look at the case in a holistic manner and take a joined up, problem-solving approach to find a solution for the victim. 

Consideration should always be given on how victims can best express the impact that the ASB has had on their lives. 

Agencies should always consider inviting the victim to attend a section of the case review meeting to help all members of the panel understand the level of harm and impact. 

Panorama highlighted that 1 in 5 local authorities that responded to their Freedom of Information request (195 in total responded) had not completed any Community Trigger review hearings.  These statistics demonstrate that further work is still required to improve and promote the community trigger process and ensure it does not remain a postcode lottery. 

Our aim at ASB Help is to raise awareness of this tool and ensure the victims’ voice is heard and to work with practitioners to ensure best practice is followed by the agencies administering the process: 

  • We give advice on the community trigger process to victims 
  • We signpost the victim to their local CT process if they are not able to do so themselves or don’t know how to 
  • We work with practitioners to improve service delivery.  As part of this we have introduced an ASB PLEDGE which is designed to encourage national consistency in the administration of the community trigger, assist practitioners in working to models of best practice as well as fulfil parliament’s intention to provide victims with a safety net to reduce the harm of ASB   

 

We are calling out to all authorities involved in the Community Trigger process (whether you are a housing association, local authority or police) to get in touch and sign up to our pledge, to demonstrate your commitment to placing the victim at the heart of tackling ASB and move towards setting national good practice and standards in relation to the Community Trigger.