Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour
Dealing with anti-social behaviour is a key strategic priority for the Safer Stockport Partnership. The Community Safety Unit (CSU) delivers a wide range of interventions within private sector housing areas of the Borough.
The CSU will investigate where the behaviour is specifically directed towards an individual and is causing harassment, alarm and distress. The team cannot investigate where it is a civil dispute e.g. land ownership, boundary lines or parking.
There are a number of Neighbourhood Officers who work within the CSU. Their role is to offer advice, support to the Neighbourhood Partnership Teams in their response to issues of anti-social behaviour. To report anti-social behaviour please see details below.
Following the tragic cases of Fiona Pilkington and David Askew, where their deaths were linked to anti-social behaviour and the subsequent reviews of these cases, there is now a greater focus on identifying and reducing vulnerability of the victim. From September 2010 when a case is reported a victim vulnerability assessment is undertaken immediately to identify risks and dangers to the victim and ensure packages of support are offered where appropriate.
What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour is any aggressive, intimidating or destructive activity that damages or destroys another person’s quality of life. This definition is very broad and can include:
- nuisance behaviour
- rowdy behaviour
- vandalism/criminal damage
- noise nuisance
- animal related problems
- littering/fly posting
- vehicle related nuisance and inappropriate vehicle use
- prostitution/kerb crawling/inappropriate sexual behaviour
- street drinking
- drug and substance misuse
- aggressive begging
- nuisance caused by the persistent burning of waste.
Reporting Anti-Social Behaviour
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) covers a wide range of issues from harassment to noise nuisance and dropping litter. To report ASB to Stockport Council complete the on-line Reporting Form or call the ASB Reporting Line on 0161 217 6111.
You can also report ASB to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on 101 or contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.
New Powers to help tackle Anti-Social Behaviour
As part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014, steps have been taken to reform anti-social behaviour legislation.
New tools and powers are now available for Stockport Council, Greater Manchester Police and key partners to respond to anti-social behaviour (ASB).
The powers are designed to provide better protection for victims and communities, as well as acting as a real deterrent to offenders, and will ensure that incidents of ASB are dealt with quickly and easily.
The changes will see 19 of the current powers replaced with six simpler, more flexible ones that give victims a say on how agencies tackle the problem.
The reformed powers include Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) being replaced with Civil Injunctions, the introduction of Community Protection Notices, and enhanced closure powers.
The new powers:
1. Civil Injunction – replaces the ASBO in January 2015. It will be based on the civil burden of proof (balance of probabilities), it can contain both prohibitions and positive requirements. The court can compel those subject to an injunction to do certain things – attend parenting classes, dog training, and drug/alcohol treatment for example.
2. Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) – replaces the ASBO on conviction (CRASBO), and is sought when an individual is convicted of a criminal offence. The ASB does not need to be linked to the offence for which they have been convicted, and as with the injunction, both prohibitions and positive requirements can be applied for.
3. Community Protection Notice (CPN) – a totally new power aimed at stopping a person, business or organisation from committing ASB. Where there is unreasonable behaviour affecting a community’s quality of life, a warning can be given. If there is no improvement, then a notice can be issued which can make clear the requirement to: stop doing things, to do specific things, or to take reasonable steps to achieve specific results.
4. Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) – replaces the Designated Public Places Order (DPPO), and will be led by the Local Authority. More than one restriction can be added to the same PSPO, meaning that a single PSPO can deal with a wider range of behaviours than the orders it replaces, such as no open alcohol containers, dogs having to be kept on a lead, no skateboarding, etc.
5. Closure Powers – designed to allow the police or council to quickly close premises which are being used, or likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder. Closure of licensed, residential or business premises can be authorised for up to 24 hours by an Inspector or for 48 hours by a Superintendent. This can be extended to a further three months or a maximum of six months by applying to the courts.
6. Dispersal Powers – replace the Section 30 Dispersal Order and Section 27 Direction to leave. They require a person committing, or likely to commit, antisocial behaviour, crime or disorder to leave an area for up to 48 hours. Use of the dispersal power must be authorised by an officer of at least the rank of Inspector before use. A Police Officer (or PCSO where designated) can give a direction to anyone who is, or appears to be, over the age of 10.
Stockport Partnership Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review
An Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review is a process introduced to allow members of the public to ask the Safer Stockport Partnership (which includes Stockport Council, Greater Manchester Police, Stockport Homes etc.) to review their agency response to complaints of anti-social behaviour.
Please note; the Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review is not a first port-of-call: it is to be used if you believe there has been a failure by one or more agency to respond to your report of anti-social behaviour (ASB). The Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review is designed to ensure that we work together to respond to reports of anti-social behaviour.
The Safer Stockport Partnership will make sure that the issue is reviewed appropriately and efficiently as possible. We will do this by discussing the problem collectively with our partners, sharing information and acting together to direct our resources to the right places to resolve the complaint.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review is a review process to make sure the response you received was appropriate. This process cannot deal with a new anti-social behaviour complaint or deal with a complaint about an organisation. If the reason for you requesting a review is about an on-going complaint with an agency then your request is not appropriate for the Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review and needs to be dealt with via that agencies complaints procedure. Your complaint will not be reviewed through this process.
How do I use the Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review?
The Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review can be used in the following circumstances:
If you (as an individual) have reported ASB to Stockport Council, Greater Manchester Police and/or a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) three times about separate incidents in the last six months that relate to the application and you consider that no action has been taken.
If five individuals in the local community have reported similar incidents of ASB separately to the Council, Police and/or Registered Social Landlord (RSL) in the last six months, and they consider that no action has been taken.
If you (as an individual) have complained to the council, Greater Manchester Police and/or a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) once about an incident or crime motivated by hatred (Hate Incident / Crime) in the last six months and you consider that no action has been taken.
You will need to provide details of each time you have reported ASB – i.e. the organisation you reported it to, the name of the employee you spoke to, and/or Incident Reference Number if applicable. In addition, specific information about the incidents reported and confirmation you have completed requests by the agency to enable them to take action, e.g. complete diary sheets or provide impact statements etc.
To read more information and make an Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review, visit the antisocial behaviour pages on the council website.
What can I expect?
When you request an Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review, a case will be generated on the Stockport Council Reporting System and the Case review co-ordinated by the Council Public Safety and Protection Service. Your request will be checked against the threshold criteria prior to proceeding. If we need to contact you for further information we will do so. It is aimed for a response to the review to be provided within 20 days. Should additional time be required we will contact you to advise further.
A meeting will take place between the agencies relevant to your case, which may include local Police, the Council, and a Registered Social Landlord, to discuss what actions have been considered and taken. These agencies will review any response and make recommendations on how the problem can be resolved.
A response will be sent to you detailing actions taken and including suggestions on how this multi-agency partnership can attempt to resolve the ASB in question.
If you are unhappy with the response you receive during the Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review, you can request a further review.
Anti-Social Behaviour Initiatives
There are a number of initiatives run throughout the year in order to reduce antisocial behaviour:
Operation Treacle / Safe4Autumn
This seasonal initiative runs from September to November and is aimed at reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, fires and firework related nuisance over the Halloween and Bonfire night period. It incorporates education and enforcement of licencing conditions as well as dedicated and targeted patrols to the anti-social behaviour and firework related hot spot areas. For more information visit the Safe4Autumn website.
This is an initiative aimed at reducing antisocial behaviour and accidental injury/death over the summer period. It primarily runs from May to September and focuses on diverting young people from risky/ antisocial behaviour into organised activity. For more information visit the Safe4Summer website.
As well as the work highlighted above, Neighbourhood Officers deliver interventions to individuals who cause problems in the private sector housing areas. The range of anti-social behaviour is varied but is dealt with according to the level of seriousness to the community.
Intervention also includes working with other partners such as ‘Life Leisure’ formerly known as ‘Stockport Sports Trust’. Sport can make a significant contribution to the reduction of crime rates and anti-social behaviour.
It has become increasingly apparent in recent years that physical activity and sport has an important role in acting as a diversionary activity in reducing the levels of crime and disorder, especially among young people who are recognised as the most significant group at risk of offending.
Early involvement in physical activity and sport by young people can help in preventing a life of crime or diverting them away from re-offending. For more information visit the Life Leisure website.