Anti-Social Behaviour Policy and Procedure

Summary of CRHA’s Anti-Social Behaviour Policy and Procedure

Cornwall Rural Housing Association (CRHA) believes that everyone has the right to live the way they want as long as it does not spoil the quality of life of others. This means being tolerant, accepting and respecting the needs and choices of other people.

CRHA recognises the right for tenants to enjoy the lifestyle of their choice, providing that they do not cause a nuisance to their neighbours and they do not cause damage to CRHA’s property.

CRHA aims to provide good quality housing and will respond appropriately to any issues that may undermine its work. We want our properties to be situated in peaceful and secure locations where people want to live. It is our aim to maintain this position by working with residents and other agencies to:

  • Take action to stop anti-social behaviour and harassment of any kind
  • Respond to complaints quickly and in an efficient, sensitive and consistent manner
  • Offer support to the victim and take action against those responsible.

Wherever possible, we will encourage and help residents to solve their differences themselves. This is often the best way of solving a problem, as often people don’t realise they are causing a nuisance until it is pointed out to them.

However, we will get involved and work actively with residents to tackle the problem whenever anti-social behaviour or harassment is serious and persistent.

CRHA will work in partnership with police, local authorities and others to reduce the incidence and impact of anti-social behaviour.

What will CRHA will do?

We will make it easy to report incidents, we will listen to and take all reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and deal with them promptly.

We will ensure confidentiality and get the victim’s agreement before either speaking to the person alleged to be causing the nuisance or harassment or contacting other agencies.

We will give advice and talk through the options for effective action with the victim. We will carry out what we agree should be done and keep residents informed of progress.

What is Anti-Social Behaviour?

CRHA defines anti-social behaviour as:

  • Conduct which is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person; or
  • Conduct which uses or threatens to use housing accommodation owned by CRHA for an unlawful purpose.

Anti-social behaviour may cause annoyance or nuisance to anyone who has a right to live in the CRHA’s property, those living in any other property in the neighbourhood and anyone else lawfully in such property or in the locality, e.g. working or using local facilities. Examples of anti-social behaviour could include:

  • Noise nuisance
  • Intimidation and harassment
  • The fouling of public areas
  • Aggressive and threatening language and behaviour
  • Actual violence against people and property
  • Hate behaviour that targets members of identified groups because of their perceived differences
  • Using homes to sell drugs, or for other unlawful purposes.

Tenants of CRHA are responsible not only for their own behaviour but also for the behaviour of people who live with them or visit them.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is treated as a very serious issue by CRHA. We will take every possible step to eliminate it. Racist behaviour will not be tolerated and firm action will be taken against those involved or responsible for it. Racial harassment can take the form of offensive or aggressive verbal remarks, physical violence or threats of violence towards people or their homes because of their race, ethnic origin or colour.

A racist incident is any incident that the victim or any other person believes to be racially motivated.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence committed by a tenant, a visitor or family member in social housing falls within CRHA’s definition of anti-social behaviour.

Further information and advice for those suffering domestic violence can be found by clicking here.

How to Make a Complaint

If it has not been possible for you to resolve a problem yourself, a complaint about anti-social behaviour may be made to CRHA in person, in writing or over the telephone.

All complaints will be dealt with in confidence. We will not act on anonymous complaints unless they relate to something that can be easily substantiated, e.g. an abandoned vehicle, dumping of waste etc.

You may be advised that it would be appropriate for you to also contact other agencies, such as the Police or Environmental Health, who may have more powers to help you resolve your problem.

We will send you Complaint Report Form within two working days of your initial contact. We need the information included on the form so that we can consider the seriousness of the complaint.

However, in cases involving violence (actual or threatened), damage to property or discriminatory harassment a home visit will be arranged within two working days of the initial contact and we will complete the Complaint Report Form with you during our visit.

We will also visit anyone else who requires assistance to complete the Complaint Report Form within five working days. We will advise you of the name of the Housing Officer who will be dealing with your complaint.

Anyone returning a completed Complaint Report Form will be contacted to arrange an interview within five working days. We will normally want to interview you in your home but we can arrange to see you in our offices or another convenient location.

During the interview we will check that the information given on the form is correct and discuss what action can be taken to resolve the problem. We will explain:

  • what we can do and that our first step – depending on the severity of the problem – will be to try and settle any problems without recourse to legal remedies.
  • what will be required of you in terms of evidence if legal action does prove to be necessary.
  • that we will have to visit the person causing the nuisance or harassment and may have to contact other agencies but we will only do so with your consent.

We will agree an action plan with the you, the first stage in which will usually be a visit to the person being complained about to make them aware that a complaint has been made and to explain what action CRHA will take if the anti-social behaviour persists.

The action plan will include details of how and when we will report back to you and also what you need to do if there are further incidents. If we hear of no further incidents we will consider that the case has been resolved.

However, the case can be re-opened if the problems re-occur. If it is clear that the case is serious enough to warrant the commencement of legal proceedings, you will be advised that CRHA will provide help and support to any residents prepared to be witnesses.

Where there is a threat or a likely threat of violence towards witnesses CRHA will consult with its legal advisers and other agencies about possible alternative means of collecting evidence.

CRHA will monitor the number and outcome of cases of anti-social behaviour and harassment and report them to its Board of Management.

Anyone who is unhappy with the way CRHA has dealt with an incident of anti-social behaviour has a right to use our Complaints Procedure.

Anyone who is still not happy after going through our Complaints Procedure has the right to contact the Independent Housing Ombudsman, whose address is given in our Complaints Procedure.