New ASB powers give victims more say

The Government’s introduced new powers for dealing with anti-social behaviour late last year under The Anti‑Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The powers are designed to focus more on victims and empower agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour in a more co‑ordinated approach. Some of these measures were introduced at the end of last year and others will be introduced early this year.

Goodbye ASBOs…Hello Civil Injunctions
The new powers means that Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) will soon be a thing of the past and Civil Injunctions will take their place.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 means that Civil Injunctions will be used to tackle nuisance or annoyance in homes and communities, as well as dealing with any harassment, alarm or distress caused to individuals.

The injunctions can be served on any person over the age of 10 years and depending on the seriousness of the behaviour can result in an arrest or an exclusion from an SLH home.

  • For those under the age of 18, a Civil Injunction can remain in force for a maximum period of 12 months. If during that time the young person breaks the terms of the injunction the court can order a Rehabilitation Order or a Supervision Order. A Detention Order may be given to young people aged between 14 and 18 years old.
  • An adult may receive a more lengthy order and if the terms of the Civil Injunction are broken they may receive a fine or a custodial sentence.

Social landlords, including ourselves, will also be allowed to  apply for a Civil Injunction relating to their tenants who act in an anti-social manner and cause nuisance and annoyance to their neighbourhood.

We will no longer be able to apply for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order once the new powers have been introduced; it’s likely they will be introduced in January 2015.

Criminal Behaviour Orders
New Criminal Behaviour Orders will be introduced which can only be applied for by the Police. This replaces the existing ASBO upon conviction and can be granted by a court when a person is found guilty of any criminal offence and has previously been involved in anti-social behaviour.

Community Protection Notice and Public Spaces Protection Orders
These have been introduced in 2014 and are available to the Local Authority, i.e. Liverpool City Council. The Local Authority can delegate these powers to Housing Associations.

Mandatory Power of Possession
The new Act gives landlords, like ourselves, a new power of mandatory possession which can be used when there is evidence of a Criminal Conviction, a breach of Civil Injunction or a Criminal Behaviour Order or when the police have gained a Closure Order on a home or an offence under the Environmental Protection Act. Mandatory possession means that the court has no choice but to evict a tenant if it is satisfied that the ‘mandatory grounds’ exist.

Community Remedy
A Community Remedy has been introduced which gives victims a say in the out of court punishment of offenders who cause low level crime and anti-social behaviour. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside has produced a Community Remedy Document which is a list of actions which may be chosen by the victim for the person who has caused the problems, to undertake as a consequence of their behaviour or offence. A Community Remedy may be a letter of apology to the victim or Restorative Justice Practice.

Visit the Merseyside Police Commissioner website for more information.

The Community Trigger
The Community Trigger has been introduced which will give victims more of a say on how their case is being handled and to ensure that every agency adequately responds to reports of ASB. The Community Trigger will give victims and communities the right to request a review of their ASB case and will bring agencies, such as Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council, together to agree a solution.

A victim can use the Community Trigger if they have reported 3 incidents of the same anti-social behaviour issue in six months to the police, council or a housing association and feel that no action has been taken.

 

SLH has a Community Safety Team who is committed to tackling anti‑social behaviour in your community. We have updated our ASB Policy to reflect these changes, visit our Community Safety pages for more information. You can report anti-social behaviour online, or if you have any questions about the new powers, please get in touch.

For more information on the Act visit www.gov.uk