What is Anti-social Behaviour (ASB)?
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 classifies ASB as “conduct that has caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress”. Examples of ASB include: causing damage to property, playing loud music, dumping rubbish and not properly looking after a pet. EPIC`s Tenancy Agreement contains types of behaviour which are unacceptable and which can result in legal action being taken.
Thankfully, serious ASB is rare, but sometimes people behave in ways that cause problems for others. Often it is possible for individual neighbours to resolve issues without the need for the landlord to get involved. Where this is not possible, we take such problems seriously and aim to deal with issues quickly and effectively. For a summary of our approach to dealing with ASB have a look at our leaflet on Anti-social Behaviour – ASB Leaflet V2.0
Generally, we do not consider the following to be ASB that we can deal with:
- Babies crying
- Children playing
- Smells from cooking
- DIY noise during the daytime
- Disputes between friends/family
- Everyday living noise (doors banging, footsteps, etc.)
- Lifestyle clashes
- Parking issues
If your neighbour is causing a problem, where possible, consider talking to them calmly about how this is affecting you. They may not know that their behaviour is bothering you and simply bringing this to their attention may be enough to resolve the matter.
Because anti-social behaviour usually relates to repeated problems, it can be helpful to keep a diary of any ongoing issues. Record as much detail as possible: who was involved, the time and date, what happened, how long the problem lasted, how it affected you and if there were other witnesses. Take photos where possible to support your notes, but only if you feel safe doing so and are not going to make the situation worse.
If you do not feel able to talk to the person who is causing a problem, or if you’ve tried this and the problem continues, we can investigate and take appropriate action. We would not disclose to perpetrators any information you provide unless we get your express permission. However, unless it’s a criminal matter which the Police have advised us about, we can’t usually take action against someone without speaking to them. This can mean your identity may become known.
How to Report anti-social behaviour
You can report any problems by:
- Using our online form
- Emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Calling us on 01782 252575
We may not always be the sole or lead organisation involved in managing an ASB case and we will decide whether action is possible/necessary on a case-by-case basis. From the outset we will be open and transparent in managing customer expectations. In situations where we do not have the powers or tools to tackle the issue, we may work in partnership with other organisations, or signpost as necessary. Other agencies that help deal with ASB include
- Staffordshire Police – by phoning 101 (non-emergency number)
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council – by phone on 01782 234567
- Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council – by phone on 01782 717717
- Staffordshire Moorlands District Council – by phone on 03456 053010
- Other social landlords if the perpetrator is a tenant of another housing association
If you feel in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is an act of harassment or violence where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. It can take the form of:
- Verbal and physical abuse.
- Criminal damage.
- Hate mail including online abuse.
- Violence and threats of violence.
Where proven the police can take legal action against hate crime after only one incident, and EPIC can take legal action to evict those found guilty.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse relates not only to violence or physical abuse, but also to other types of abuse, such as controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour.
Domestic abuse occurs between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
It can refer to a single incident, or problems that continue for a period of time, and includes sexual assault, threats, humiliation, intimidation or other abuses used to harm, punish, or frighten a victim. It also includes violence within the family, for example inter-generational abuse between adults and elderly parents; so-called “honour” crimes; female genital mutilation; and forced marriage.
If you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of how someone will react, you are being abused.
We can help you by working with partners, such as the Police, local authorities, mediation services and support organisations (such as Refuge and Women’s Aid). Working with these partners enables you to benefit from their expertise and powers and can be really helpful in successfully dealing with domestic abuse.
The following links can give you more information on dealing with ASB:
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