ASB News

If you have any questions about this month’s news, ideas on how we can improve or would like to join the Service Improvement Group, please contact the Tenancy Sustainment Team on 01827 709 514 or email: estatemanagementteam@tamworth.gov.uk

NEWS – July 2018

An injunction with a power of arrest has been obtained at court against the occupier at 31 Hayle for repeatedly bypassing the electricity supply. The order specifically prohibits anybody from interfering with the electricity supply.

If you should witness any breach of this order, please notify the Tenancy Sustainment Team on 01827 709514 and Staffordshire Police on 101.

 

NEWS – June 2018

  • The latest Anti-Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group was held on 13 June 2018.  The minutes can be found here.

  • Performance for the 1st quarter of 2018/2019 is now available on our separate performance page – a link can be found here. There has been a significant increase in complaints especially about gardens.

  •  Satisfaction for the last 6 months of 2017/2018 – we received 23 completed surveys from complainants.

    * In response to the question “Overall, how satisfied were you with the way your anti-social behaviour case was handled by Tamworth     Borough Council”, satisfaction totalled 74% (an increase of 26% from the first half of the year).
    * We also asked “How willing would you be to report any anti-social behaviour to Tamworth Borough Council in the future?” The response for the 2nd half of the year was 96% (an increase of 22% from the first 6 months).

  •  Earliest Help – the voluntary sector and statutory agencies met in June to showcase all the services available in Tamworth.  You can download the ‘My Staffs’ app. There is a link in this app to Staffordshire Connects which is an easy to use directory with details of care, support and wellbeing organisations along with local activities.
     

NEWS – May 2018

  • Landlord Services prosecuted a tenant in Kettlebrook who, despite being warned on several occasions, would not dispose of rubbish from the garden. The magistrates’ court issued a fine for £220, court costs of £120.00 and a victim surcharge of £30. The total of £370 must be paid by 20 June 2018.

NEWS – April 2018

  • We are delighted to announce that the Council has approved a pilot scheme for Eringden involving improved on site management and maintenance of the block.

  •   Over the next 12 months we will be working with residents to make the following improvements:
    1.    Installation of CCTV throughout the Eringden block
    2.    Appointment of a Resident Support Officer working and based at Eringden – this will provide for cover for 37 hours per week and will be flexible based on the demands of the block
    3.    Conversion of a flat into an office hub so that all partners can drop in and work together to improve service and facilities for you.

    The role of the Resident Support Officer is a new post within the Community Warden Service that is intended to provide an enhanced tenancy management service to residents aimed at managing the block. This will include highlighting and managing anti-social behaviour, assisting new residents to settle in and liaising with partner agencies including the police and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service  to enhance satisfaction with services in and around the block overall.

NEWS – March 2018

  • Staffordshire Police obtained a Closure Order at Cannock magistrates’ court on 26 March 2018 against a property in Honeybourne in Tamworth following months of nuisance and disorder at the house. The house was secured the same day and nobody can reside there for 3 months. The landlord will now apply to the court for possession of the property.
  • The Neighbour Dispute Resolution service will continue for another 3 years following a successful bid and will provide added value to the current service. This service is available for any tenants who are in dispute and is free of charge.
  • The Factsheet Library is reviewed and updated on a regular basis so please check here first for any queries you may have.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for, let us know and we will produce one for you.

NEWS – February 2018

  • Satisfaction levels for the period April to September 2017 average 64% overall. This was based on 31 responses received from 100 cases closed during the 6 month period
  • The Anti-Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group was held on 21 February 2018 and the minutes can be found here
  • The Youth Offending Service are offering a Prevention Service for young people who have involved themselves in offending behaviour or may be getting in trouble. The service can offer family support, drug and alcohol work, behaviour management, healthy relationships, managing feelings, peer influence, raising awareness on anti-social behaviour and offending and promoting access to positive activities. Referrals can be made by parents/carers, agencies or young people themselves. The young person must be willing to engage in a voluntary programme of support.  To meet the criteria for referral, 3 of the following must be met:
  • Aged 8 – 17 years old
  • Critical transition points (being a looked after child, placement breakdown, school move)
  • Involvement in criminal/anti-social behaviour
  • Exclusion from school, poor attachment to school
  • Low self-esteem/poor social skills
  • Negative peer group
  • Family members pro criminal/erratic and poor family support
  • Drug and alcohol concerns
  • Lack of support services
  • Triggered local ASB stage/process
  • Socio-economic disadvantage If you are concerned about a child, please contact the team and we can assist with making a referral.

NEWS – January 2018

  • Birmingham Court awarded an outright possession order on 9 January 2018 against a tenant in the Gillway area who has caused persistent anti-social behaviour over a long period of time.  The eviction warrant has been applied for and Landlord Services will re-possess the property.
  • A tenant in Stonydelph, convicted of supplying Class B drugs, has been issued a possession order, suspended for 2 years by Nuneaton Court. The judge stated the tenant must abide by all of the tenancy conditions for the duration of the order in order to keep the tenancy.
  • The next Anti-Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group will be held on Wednesday 21 February 2018.

NEWS - December 2017

  • The Tenancy Support Directory has been updated for 2018. There is now a section on Hoarding and how to get help as we are coming across increasing numbers of cluttered properties. These sites also provide advice for the families of those hoarding and what they can do.

  • Performance for the 3rd quarter can be found on our Performance page for October to December 2017.

  • The next Anti-Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group will be held on Wednesday 24 January 2018.

NEWS - November 2017

  • The court awarded an injunction order against an occupant in a block of flats in Leyfields for tampering with the electricity meter. This practice is extremely dangerous and for this reason, a power of arrest was issued. Electricity meters should be handled by qualified electricians only. Interfering with meters can caused electrocution and causes the risk of fire resulting in damage to property and potential loss of life.

  • The national Resolve housing conference took place in November.  A number of sessions were held on best practice in dealing with some of the hot topics for local authorities including Child Sexual Exploitation, Cuckooing, Vulnerability, Hoarding, Mental Health, Modern Day Slavery, Hate Crime and working with the courts.

NEWS - October 2017

  • The new Corporate Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Policy was approved by Cabinet in October 2017 and can be found in the Useful Documents section. This policy sets out how Landlord Services will tackle anti-social behaviour and work with partner agencies to reduce ASB and crime.
  • The Anti-Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group was held on Wednesday 25 October 2017 and the minutes can be found here. You will also find the up to date Service Improvement Plan 2016-2019 in the Useful Documents section.
  • Performance information for the July to September 2017 can be found here. This will show you have many cases are resolved, what the majority of complaints are about and where the hotspots are for anti-social behaviour.
  • The county court heard an application by Tamworth Borough Council in October for possession of a property for persistent anti-social behaviour. The case is ongoing and the outcome will be published shortly.
  • Over the last 6 months, 11 customers expressed dissatisfaction with the service received via the end of complaint survey. Each customer was invited to attend a meeting to discuss their concerns. Of the 11 cases, 3 customers engaged with this process and any learning outcomes were fed back to the team. We constantly strive to improve on our performance and the service we provide and welcome your views.
  • Training has been undertaken by staff on RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) to ensure we are complying with the law when investigating cases of anti-social behaviour.
  • The neighbour resolution service has been reviewed with our independent mediators. We are currently resolving around 70% of cases. Our target is 75% and we hope to achieve this by the end of March 2018.  If you are in dispute with your neighbours, you are likely to be offered a referral to the neighbour resolution service or another form of early intervention.

NEWS - September 2017

  • Landlord Services attended court to defend an application to suspend a warrant for possession.  The tenant who had abandoned the property leaving it to be used as a drugs den, applied to the court to keep her home. On hearing our evidence, the court agreed that we should be given possession of the house which was secured the same day.
  • The next Anti-Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group will be held on Wednesday 25 October 2017. New members are welcome, please contact the team on the number below if you are interested in getting involved.

NEWS - August 2017

  • A new Factsheet has been added to the Library. This factsheet (which can be found here) explains the Notice of Seeking Possession, what it is and why it is served.
  • Landlord Services made an emergency application to court in August after being notified of a house that was insecure. Officers found drug paraphernalia in the property and the court had no hesitation in awarding a warrant to enable the property to be cleared and secured.
  • On 11 August 2017, Landlord Services provided training for interested residents and staff around Tenancies and Anti-Social Behaviour Law.  TPAS were asked to provide the training and the feedback from attendees was excellent.

NEWS - July 2017

  • The latest minutes of the Anti Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group can be found here.

  • Mental health is a big issue nationally. Closer to home, we have looked at what services are available to customers who need support in this area.  If you are suffering with mental health problems, please get in touch with the team who can make a referral on your behalf if you are not currently under the Community Mental Health Team.

NEWS - June 2017

  • The court recently heard evidence of anti-social behaviour by a tenant in the Leyfields area at a return hearing. The judge awarded a Possession Order suspended for a period of 2 years providing the tenant abides by the conditions of the tenancy agreement.
  • The Tenancy Sustainment team applied to the court asking for a tenant in Wilnecote to be forbidden from continued hoarding at the address. The court felt the request was just and convenient and awarded the injunction order without hesitation.
  • An application has been made to the court for an injunction forbidding a resident from leaving items in the communal area in a high rise block. In the wake of the awful Grenfell Tower fire, residents must take extra care to ensure all landings and stairwells are kept totally clear. If you witness items in the communal areas, please contact our team immediately.
  • Satisfaction surveys completed over the last 6 months following closure of anti-social behaviour complaints show that 8 customers were dissatisfied with the service they received.  Each customer was invited to discuss their experience and just 2 customers took up the invitation.
  • We recently offered training on basic housing law around anti-social behaviour.

NEWS - May 2017

  • The online incident diary report form is back after being unavailable for a short time. If you are involved in an open anti-social behaviour case, you will have a case number. This form will allow you to report incidents easier and more quickly than using a paper incident diary and will reach your investigating officer instantly.
  • The Neighbour Resolution Service will continue to provide our mediation/neighbour dispute service for the remainder of this year and is now available for all residents in Tamworth.
  • New factsheets are now available with useful information on BBQ’s and Domestic CCTV systems. These can be found in our Factsheet Library.
  • Satisfaction with the anti-social behaviour service has dipped from 80% to 75% in the last half of 2016-2017. Despite numerous compliments about officers and how cases are handled, some negative comments included:
    *  No point in having a mediator as I have to do the groundwork
    *  I was refused information about my neighbour’s previous history
    *  Too much political correctness – just throw people out
    *  It needs officers 24/7 who can be called out at a minutes notice
    *  I had to complain again after things improved as officers don’t follow up to ensure the problem is not ongoing
    *  Neighbours ignoring letters sent by council
    Most of the cases our team deal with fall into the category of low or medium risk. Where this is the case, we will always look at early interventions to resolve the problems and a commitment is expected from everybody involved to make these work.
  • The House of Commons briefing paper issued in February 2017 states that ‘as a general rule, landlords, including public sector landlords, are not responsible for the actions of their tenants except where they have expressly authorised the anti-social behaviour, or it is certain to result from the purposes for which the property has been let;. This document can be found here and explains the different interventions that can be used.
  • Each Tenancy Sustainment Officer manages approximately 1,100 properties each and is available during office working hours only. Any incident occurring outside of office hours can be reported on the forms available on our website. For serious incidents that cannot wait until the office is open (for example breach of the peace or public order offences), you can telephone Staffordshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
  • Court action is usually taken only in exceptional circumstances where the threat risk is very high and the final decision is made by the judge after hearing all the witness evidence available.

NEWS - April 2017

  • Following a serious incident involving members of staff, Landlord Services applied to the court and was awarded an emergency injunction with a power of arrest forbidding the Defendant from acting in an aggressive and threatening manner. The full hearing will be take place in June 2017.
  • We still have places available on the housing law training for residents. If you are interested, please contact the team on the number below.

NEWS – March 2017

  • The final hearing following breach of an injunction was heard in March 2017. The Defendant admitted to all the breaches and was excluded from the Tamworth area for 2 years. The power of arrest will remain in place.
  • A tenant was successfully prosecuted using Community Protection Powers from the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014. The court awarded Tamworth Borough Council all of it’s costs and fined the tenant £350.00. The total award was £1,333.76 payable in 28 days.
  • A new Factsheet has been produced on Dog Fouling which can be found here. Complaints about fouling can be reported through to our Mucky Pup hotline.
  • We still have places available on the housing law training for residents. If you are interested, please contact the team on the number below.

NEWS – February 2017

  • Factsheet Library – we now have around 30 Factsheets covering a number of issues affecting our residents. Before calling us, please check if the information you need is covered here. All the factsheets are reviewed and updated annually. If you have ideas for future factsheets, please call the team.
  • The Anti Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group was held on 15 February 2017 and the minutes can be found here. We are always looking for more members so if you are interested in joining, please contact the team.
  • We still have places available on the housing law training for residents. If you are interested, please contact the team on the number below.

NEWS – January 2017

  • The Tenancy Support Directory has been updated for 2017 and can be found in the Useful Documents section of the ASB Zone. If you need support and can’t find what you’re looking for, please let us know.
  • Following a number of serious anti social complaints over the last couple of months around the Tamworth area, Landlord Services returned to court and asked for a resident to be excluded from entering the borough of Tamworth. The judge granted this request until further order of the court.
  • The next Anti Social Behaviour Service Improvement Group will take place on 15 February 2017 at Marmion House.  If you are passionate about how we deal with ASB, we would like to hear from you.
  • We still have places available on the housing law training for residents. If you are interested, please contact the team on the number below.