- Scope and purpose of this policy
- Definition of anti-social behaviour
- Examples of anti-social behaviour
- Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
- Safeguarding of children, young people or vulnerable adults
- The Council’s responsibilities and how we will approach anti-social behaviour
- The anti-social behaviour process
- Multi agency working – North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership
- Anti-social behaviour and lead agency
- Discretion and confidentiality
- Comments, compliments and complaints
Ryedale District Council has developed a robust Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Policy, which follows best practice and the latest government guidance.
This policy sets out the Council’s approach to dealing with anti-social behaviour and the principles that shape it. It also provides a context for all our partners.
There are many statutory duties that the Council is required to undertake which will have an influence on issues of anti-social behaviour. Statutes directly relevant to the Council’s work on anti-social behaviour include the Crime and Disorder Act, the Children Act, the Anti-Social Behaviour Act and the Human Rights Act.
Scope and Purpose of this policy
This is the policy document. It tells you what the Council means by ‘anti-social behaviour’ (ASB) and sets out the principles the council applies when responding to a report of anti-social behaviour. It explains how the Council responds when people experiencing ASB contact it for help, and details the service quality the Council will provide.
Definition of Anti-Social Behaviour
- The anti-social behaviour, crime and policing act 2014 defines anti-social behaviour as:
- Conduct that has caused or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm, or distress to any person
- Conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that persons occupation or residential premises
- Conduct capable of causing housing related nuisances or annoyance to any person.
- This could range from a minor issue to serious criminal activity which can damage the quality of life and/ or interfere with the ability or people to enjoy and use their own home.
Examples of Anti-Social Behaviour
- Damaging property
- Verbal abuse and insults
- Intimidation using or threatening violence
- Racial harassment
- Nuisances from pets such as barking
- Noise Nuisance
- Smoke/ Dust/ Odour Nuisance
- Hate Crime
- Litter, Rubbish, Refuse disposal and Fly Tipping
- Gardens which may harbour vermin
- Running a business without permission that impacts on the neighbourhood
- Nuisance from vehicles such as untaxed vehicles&
- Lifestyle disputes where breaches of tenancy cannot be proved
- Dogs ( Dangerous, Stray, Barking, Fouling)
- Empty/ Neglected properties
Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides local authorities, social housing providers and partners with a new range of powers to tackle antisocial behaviour.
The Act introduced the Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review, commonly referred to as the Community Trigger, a mechanism for victims of antisocial behaviour to request a review of their case.
Safeguarding of children, young people or vulnerable adults
In the course of an investigation an officer may come across a person whose welfare may raise concerns.
Whether or not the subject has a direct connection to the case under investigation, it remains the duty of officers to ensure that these concerns are properly logged and passed to the appropriate safeguarding officer.
The Council’s responsibilities and how we will approach Anti-Social Behaviour
The Council has a wide range of responsibilities to tackle anti-social behaviour affecting members of the public, private properties, businesses and open public spaces.
The Council has a range of responsibilities to deal with ‘Environmental’ ASB such as noise, litter, bonfires, dumped rubbish and abandoned cars. These responsibilities arise from a number of Acts, but in particular the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The Ryedale approach to dealing with ASB encompasses all aspects, including prevention, deterrence, enforcement, rehabilitation and where necessary, protection and support for victims and witnesses. Where appropriate, perpetrators are also referred to relevant support agencies, As each case is unique, so it is considered, investigated and dealt with on its own merits. Action taken depends on the nature and seriousness of each incident.
The key to determining whether or not behaviour is anti-social, is the impact of the behaviour on the complainant and the community. The Ryedale philosophy is to stop the harm caused by ASB at the earliest time with the lowest level of formality possible.
To do this we will:
- Consider all possible powers, civil and criminal, available to it and take appropriate action.
- Take firm action against any person found responsible for ASB.
- Forward reports of anti-social behaviour to the police where necessary.
- Use a wide range of preventative and diversionary activities to help tackle incidents of ASB.
- Work in partnership with other agencies and the local community to provide support for victims and witnesses of ASB.
- Share all relevant information on ASB with local partner agencies.
- Meet all Data Protection Act and confidentiality requirements.
- Consult and involve the local community in dealing with ASB.
- Establish monitoring, reporting systems and processes.
- Raise awareness
- Not necessarily intervene in low level disputes between households concerning minor lifestyle differences.
- With the consent of people involved, the Council may refer suitable low level cases to a mediation service.
Dealing with Anti-social Behaviour
To do this the Council will:
- Work to ensure reporting anti-social behaviour is as easy as possible. Take all reports seriously, by recording and investigating all cases, and keep victims informed of action taken.
- Ensure that all victims and witnesses are treated fairly, with dignity and respect; listen to victims and provide ongoing support where appropriate, particularly to those victims considered vulnerable.
- Support victims of anti-social behaviour by providing practical support in partnership with victim support agencies to address victim’s needs.
- Share relevant information and intelligence on anti-social behaviour with partners; analyse information to identify repeat victimisation, known perpetrators and affected parties and respond speedily to such intelligence.
- Tell the public what the Council is doing to tackle anti-social behaviour so they have the confidence to report issues, and encourage residents to play their part in reducing anti-social behaviour.
- Ensure that the Safer Ryedale Partnership provides suitable routes which communities or individuals can raise concerns when it is considered that anti-social behaviour is not being taken seriously.
- Respond in a timely manner to reports of breaches of anti-social behaviour enforcement measures.
Working with partners in order to deliver an effective, value for money Anti-social Behaviour Service across the community
To do this the Council will:
- Play a full part as a lead member of the Safer Ryedale Partnership and in partnership it will:
- Participate in relevant strategic or preventative initiatives, being mindful of its core activities, current workload and cost of participation relative to the likely benefits.
- Participate in multi-agency workgroups dealing with specific ASB issues.
- Work with registered social landlords, private landlords, letting agents, education establishments and businesses, providing professional advice and support as required so that organisations can act confidently to prevent or tackle ASB making use of their own resources.
Anti-social behaviour will be addressed firmly, fairly and proportionately
To do this the Council will:
- Take any reasonable early action to protect people and property.
- Investigate the circumstances and seek to understand all the facts of any matter reported to the Council.
- Use the tools and powers available to the Council under current legislation, Council policy and according to the Council’s best professional judgment.
- Take into account (and adjust the Council’s approach as necessary) when a victim or a perpetrator is a vulnerable person.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Process
Complaints may be made verbally, in writing or via a third party (eg: elected representative). All complaints will be acknowledged either by personal visit, in writing or by telephone contact within five working days. Complaints, which involve criminality or the fear of violence, should be made initially to the Police on 999 (emergency calls) or 101 (non-emergency).
Following the complaint, the investigating Community Link Officer/ Community Enforcement Officer will obtain further information from the complainant and acquire a full statement if required.
Where the complaint relates to an Environmental matter, for example, noise, light pollution, or other Statutory Nuisance, the matter will be investigated initially by the Community Link Officer designated to that specific area.
All officers obtaining information following an ASB complaint will take into consideration whether or not the complainant or victim may be considered vulnerable If this is the case, a vulnerability risk assessment form will be filled in which involves answering a small number of questions, the answers to which carry a score of 0 to 6. The total score will determine whether or not the victim/complainant is considered to be vulnerable, if so the matter may be referred to the MAPS process.
Definition of MAPS:
MAPS (Multi-Agency Problem Solving) Is a meeting that brings agencies together under the umbrella of ‘protecting vulnerable communities’ to review victim, offender and location on a specific case by case format. Vulnerable communities are described as repeat victims, older persons, rurally isolated; individuals/families. Identified hot spot locations and community tensions, the meeting currently occurs every two weeks.
Following referral and presentation of a case, appropriate actions will be determined for relevant agencies.
Should further formal action be required, all legislation under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 will be considered. Initially we will issue a written warning prior requesting the changes that we require the person to make outlining the anti-social behaviour complained of, outlining the detrimental effect, stating when the behaviour must have changed by.
For instance if a Community Protection Notice is the most relevant tool a Community Protection Warning Notice would be sent initially. A reasonable and proportionate time should be given for compliance. If this is not complied with, then a Community Protection Notice can be issued if we have reasonable grounds that:
- The anti-social conduct is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. Need sufficient evidence of this.
- The anti-social conduct is of a persistent or continuing nature.
- The anti-social conduct is unreasonable.
The Community Protection Notice can be conditioned to prevent or action specified measures and take reasonable steps to achieve results within a specified timeframe. Breaches can result in the issue of Fixed Penalty Notices, or if the breach is substantial we may consider remedial action to address the issue.
Further guidance on tools available can be found within the document –
Multi Agency Working – North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership
Section 17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Crime and Disorder Act was enacted in 1998 and places a statutory duty on all local authorities together with their partners agencies to develop and deliver a community safety strategy.;
This strategy is delivered through the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership. Section 17 of the act requires local authorities to identify community safety implications in all their activities which Ryedale District Council (RDC) complies with in order to prevent crime and disorder, drugs misuse and reoffending.
The purpose of the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership (NYCSP) is to bring together the responsible authorities, supported by other relevant organisations, to fulfil their statutory responsibilities to work together. The NYCSP is supported by district and community hubs. The themes and objectives within the strategy are identified following a joint strategic intelligence assessment (JSIA). A number of joint coordinating groups exist and where appropriate Ryedale District Council is represented.
The Ryedale District Community Safety Group brings together the operational managers responsible for the delivery of the action plan. The group is there to ensure local delivery of the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership (NYCSP) Plan and respond to emerging issues affecting individuals and communities, in particular:
- Protect the local community from crime and disorder and help people feel safer;
- Manage local issues e.g. anti-social behaviour (ASB), drug or alcohol misuse, re-offending and crime prevention;
- Assess local crime and disorder priorities and consult with partners plus the local community about how to deal with them.
In many cases of anti-social behaviour, mediation can be an effective tool, solving the issue by bringing all parties to the table. This can be very effective in neighbour disputes and lifestyle differences and similar situations where it is difficult to identify the victim and the perpetrator.
For mediation to deliver long-term solutions, those in dispute should agree a solution. Mediation can be arranged by the Council’s Community Team. It is not for the mediator to establish a solution to the issue as, in most cases, they will have already tried this with each party unsuccessfully. For mediation to deliver long-term solutions, those in dispute should agree a solution.
Anti-Social Behaviour and lead agency
Table one – Highlights issues in which the Police should take primacy, assisted by Ryedale District Council
Table two – Highlights issues in which Ryedale District Council will play a greater role, working closely with the Police on criminal matters.
|Violence against the person||The investigation of assaults, including domestic violence, is primarily a matter for the Police. However where this is part of a course of conduct, RDC should be involved in community reassurance||Police, the Community Team, Housing Services, Yorkshire Housing Assoc.|
|Drugs||Investigation of supply and possession offences remains primarily with the Police. However RDC will have a role to play in gathering intelligence (eg drug littler and passing on information from the public) and assisting the Police||Police, Housing Services, the Community Team, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, Environmental Health, Commercial Services, Town and Parish Councils|
|Sexual Offences||Underage sex, prostitution: primarily a Police matter but RDC will have a role in passing on information and providing support||Police, Housing Services, the Community Team, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, Environmental Health|
|Harassment||Harassment is now a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Investigation of these offences lies primarily with the Police but where this impacts adversely on the quality of community life, RDC will work jointly with them||Police, Housing Services, the Community Team, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, Environmental Health, Commercial Services|
|Criminal damage and vandalism||This is a criminal offence, investigated by the Police but where this is considered to be anti-social behaviour, RDC will jointly investigate. Examples are Graffiti, damage to Council property, damage to Yorkshire Housing Assoc property and other property managed by Housing Options Team, other damage impacting on the community||Police, Housing Services, the Community Team, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, Environmental Health, Commercial Services|
|Hate crime||The investigation of offences motivated by racial, homophobic or faith hatred are matters for the Police. However RDC have a role to play in providing support, reassurance, intelligence and information sharing||Police, Safer Ryedale, Housing Services, the Community Team, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, Environmental Health, North Yorkshire County Council|
|Alcohol abuse||Alcohol offences are primarily investigated by the Police. However in the case of underage drinking, selling to underage persons, licensing issues, drunkenness and alcohol related misbehaviour (including disorder), RDC will be involved with information sharing and undertaking joint covert operations||Police, Safer Ryedale, Housing Services, the Community Team, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, Environmental Health, North Yorkshire County Council|
|Noise||Neighbours, groups loitering, people leaving licensed premises are the most common types of noise nuisance. Such complaints will be investigated by RDC but, on occasion, Police assistance will be required||Environmental Health, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, the Community Team, Housing Services, Police|
|Threatening behaviour and/or verbal abuse||Threatening behaviour and/or verbal abuse amount to ASB and where this affects the quality of community life, the Police will investigate. Where threatening behaviour meets the criminal criteria, the Police will lead the investigation||Yorkshire Housing Assoc, the Community Team, Housing Services, Police|
|Young people||The majority of young people are law abiding and well behaved, however, allegations of intimidating groups and/or nuisance behaviour by them will be investigated by the Police||Environmental Health, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, the Community Team, Housing Services, Police, North Yorkshire County Council|
|Litter||Tackling litter is the responsibility of RDC Commercial Services, who are introducing a robust stance on this issue||Commercial Services, Yorkshire Housing Assoc, the Community Team, Housing Services, Environmental Health|
|Fly tipping||Investigations into fly tipping are the responsibility of Environmental Health/Commercial Services/Civil Enforcement Officers/Community Link Officers||The Community Team, Environmental Health|
|Dogs||Community Team and Civil Enforcement Officers will investigate co-allegations involving dogs concerning fouling and noise||The Community Team, Environmental Health, Police|
|Empty and neglected properties||Environmental Health will investigate allegations concerning issues around empty and neglected properties||The Community Team, Environmental Health, Yorkshire Housing Assoc|
Discretion and Confidentiality
Any information provided in respect of an ASB complaint will be treated in strictest confidence. In particular, details of complainants will NOT be provided to alleged perpetrators. However, it must be acknowledged that if specific allegations are to be put to perpetrators, the source of the complaint may readily be established.
Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 provides for information sharing between agencies, for the purposes of crime or disorder reduction. Accordingly, the presumption will favour the sharing of information, in strictest confidence, with agencies such as the Police or Registered Social Landlord, who can assist in resolving the complaint.
In relation to sharing information other than for purposes of reducing crime or disorder, the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 will apply, and information will not be shared without the consent of the subject.
Ryedale District Council will also work to ensure that residents of the District are encouraged and are able to report incidents, confident in the knowledge that they will be recorded and investigated.
Comments, Compliments and Complaints
Your views on our services are important and this is why we have a Comments, Compliments and Complaints scheme. It makes it easier for you to tell us what you think about our services. Please follow the links below.