This quarter’s blog is all about our new Service Standards for Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) and to let you know about the free mediation service that we offer. We have reviewed our policy and procedures and have put in place new service standards  to improve the way we deal with ASB complaints. This is to streamline ASB case management, to deal with cases more effectively, resolve cases quickly and bring about better outcomes for our customers. Cases have been allocated levels and will be addressed in the timescales as set out below

  • Level 1

    Types of ASB complaint: 

    Incidents where the perpetrator has directly targeted the victim or victims, and/ or a criminal offence is suspected to have been committed.

    • All hate crimes
    • All domestic abuse cases
    • Threatening language and behaviour
    • Violence
    • Harassment
    • Extreme intimidation
    • Damage to property which requires an urgent response
    • Obscene graffiti
    • Aggressive dogs
    • Other criminal behaviour

    Service Standard 

    Customers will be contacted by the ASB team within 1 working day to review the complaint and agree an action plan and obtain a signed contract to act. 

     

  • Level 2

    Types of ASB complaint: 

    These are incidents that affect one or more individuals but are not directly targeted at any person or group.  There is no immediate risk to any persons.

    • Serious or sustained noise nuisance
    • Drug dealing
    • Nuisance
    • Neighbour disputes
    • Vandalism
    • Unlawful behaviour
    • Sustained breaches of tenancy despite warnings

    Service Standard 

    Contact will be made within 1 working day by a staff member of Housing Solutions and within 3 working days the ASB team will contact to make an appointment to visit the complainant. The appointment to be carried out within 10 working days to interview complainant, agree an action plan and obtain signed consent to act

  • Level 3

    Types of ASB complaint: 

    These are incidents where the perpetrator(s) behaviour affects the quality of life of the local community and/or victim(s) indirectly.

    • Animal nuisance
    • Noise
    • Abandoned vehicles
    • Inoffensive graffiti
    • Persistent littering/fly tipping
    • Abandoned vehicles
    • Persistent dog fouling

     Service Standard 

    Customers will be contacted by a member of staff from the below list within 5 working days

    • Tenancy Neighbourhood Officer
    • Supported Services Officer
    • Community Housing Officer
    • Floating Support Officer

    The appointment to be carried out within 10-15 working days to interview complainant, agree an action plan and obtain signed consent to act.

  • Level 4

    Types of ASB complaint: 

    These are incidents of low level tenancy breaches which can be managed by using methods of  early intervention, including tenancy sustainment support. 

    • Leaving communal doors open leaving properties unsecure
    • Untidy gardens
    • Storage of goods/items in communal areas
    • Dog fouling
    • Running a business without permission
    • Littering/fly tipping
    • Inappropriate refuse storage
    • Parking disputes
    • Inappropriate bike storage
    • Breeding pets
    • Frequent car repairs
    • Initial breaches of tenancy

    Service Standard 

    Customers will be contacted by a member of staff of within 5 working days so that we can fully understand the complaint.

    Tenancy Neighbourhood Officer

    • Supported Services Officer
    • Community Housing Officer

    Floating Support Officer

This will help customers and staff to have a better idea on when they can be expected to be contacted and who will contact them. We will continue to work in partnership with other agencies such as Thames Valley Police, Children and Adult Social Services, Youth Offending Team to ensure that customers receive a joined up approach to resolving the ASB they are experiencing.

 

Mediation helps neighbours to remedy noise issues

At Housing Solutions we offer mediation, through Resolve, to help neighbours to talk about their disagreements and prevent problems growing. Resolve is a local mediation charity which offers a confidential and independent service. Here’s an example of a couple of neighbours who found that using mediation helped to improve their situation: 

Simon* and Pete* fell out when Pete complained that he could hear loud music and conversations from Simon’s flat which was adjacent to his garden. Simon had been unaware that the noise from his phone conversations could be heard by Pete late at night. Pete became more aggravated by night time noise which was disturbing his sleep and causing stress.

The neighbours agreed to take part in mediation. Resolve mediators met with Simon and Pete individually and then arranged for them to attend a joint meeting at a local community centre. Mediation follows a format to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to put across their point of view. Then participants are empowered to come up with their own solutions to the issues raised.

Pete was able to tell Simon about the effect of the night time noise, but Simon responded by explaining that he was bothered by Pete’s dog barking in the garden and the many garden parties that Pete and his family were hosting. They had a discussion about how noise affects everyone.

Simon and Pete agreed new ways to limit late night noise, and for the dog to be brought in from the gardens in the evening. They also discussed how they would let the other know if noise became a problem again.

Simon said: “Things are all good, I have no complaints and I also have my neighbours telephone number so that I can contact him if I need to in the future.”

Pete was also pleased with the outcome and thanked the mediators for their help.

*Names have been changed

If you are experiencing any form of anti-social behaviour then please find below how you can contact the anti social behaviour team –

Phone – Customer Contact centre – 0800 876 6060

Via our Website at www.housingsolutions.co.uk

You can also find out more about mediation at www.resolvemediation.com

 

Mediation is a highly effective way to address problems that people are experiencing with their neighbours. If you are not sure whether mediation is the way forward for you we can ask our mediation company, Resolve to contact you and discuss with you what you can expect from them as a service and what they can do with you to help resolve the ASB that you are experiencing. Your ASB case will be closed by Housing Solutions at the point of referral to enable to mediation process to take place.

 

Emily Rogers

PR & Marking Officer 

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