A new approach to anti-social behaviour
There is a fine line between anti-social behaviour and relatively minor disputes among neighbours but we want to send a clear message to customers that anti-social behaviour (ASB) will not be tolerated at Midland Heart.
Our ASB policy, which is available to read online, has now been reviewed and sets out our new approach to cases of this disruptive behaviour.
We now have a dedicated team of specialists called our People team who are trained to tackle ASB. The team will help to find solutions that resolve the behaviour of those who are causing the nuisance. They will work alongside other Midland Heart Staff as well as the Police, Local Authorities and Health Services to help; we do not want to end someone’s tenancy because of their behaviour unless it is absolutely necessary.
In the context of housing, anti-social behaviour is defined as acting in a way that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance. In managing any ASB case, we will consider how regular or persistent the ASB is, and the harm or likely harm it causes.
We will intervene when a customer’s behaviour poses a risk to another person(s) or the future of their tenancy, or there is a risk of harm to our customers.
We recently had an example of ASB in one of our older people’s services where we had ongoing reports about a customer and her son.
Her son had been attracting unwanted visitors to the property, and neighbours had complained that their behaviour was disruptive and causing a nuisance. The customer’s son was experiencing poor mental health, and had been living with his mum for many years.
When challenged about her son’s behaviour the customer, would say that he was only staying for a short while.
Staff at the scheme called our specialist People Team who allocated a Case Officer to meet with the scheme manager, customer and her son.
After the meeting, the case worker helped to find a place for the customer’s son at a local hostel, an outcome he was very happy with.
It was also agreed that he would be able to visit his mum daily, but at agreed times and that he wouldn’t stay overnight.
The unwanted visitors have now stopped coming to the scheme, after being warned and told they would be given an injunction should they return. Our team worked alongside the police and the local school to deliver this outcome.
Our approach resolved the nuisance without having to involve the police, which would have been more time consuming and disruptive to neighbours and enabled us to sustain the tenancies of both customers.
Our ASB policy is regularly reviewed and sets out how we will support customers who are experiencing ASB. You can take a look and read it here.