Anti-Social Behaviour

Behaviour that is disruptive to you, the people around you or your local community, can be classed as anti social. EPIC has a strong commitment to dealing with allegations of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in our role as a Registered Provider.  Please refer to our Anti-Social Behaviour Policy which outlines our response to dealing with ASB.

What is Anti-Social Behaviour?

ASB is behaviour which unreasonably causes nuisance or annoyance to other people, and includes things such as excessive noise, fly-tipping, and people failing to clean up after their dogs. ASB caused by EPIC tenants is a breach of the tenancy agreement. It can relate to one-off incidents of violence or crime, but usually refers to problems that continue for a period of time.

These can be repeated cases of:

  • actual or threatened violence or physical abuse
  • verbal abuse, intimidation, threatening behaviour or loitering
  • indecent or offensive gestures
  • excessive noise, shouting, swearing and banging
  • stalking, harassment and hate crime
  • illegal use of premises or other criminal behaviour, such as drug dealing
  • drug or alcohol-related nuisance
  • vandalism or misuse of communal areas, fire exits and public spaces
  • neighbourhood nuisance, including littering and fly-tipping
  • pet and animal nuisance, including using animals in a threatening way
  • vehicle nuisance, such as abandoned cars, joyriding or reckless driving.

Thankfully, serious ASB is rare, but we know that sometimes people do behave in ways that cause problems to others. Most of the time it is possible for individual neighbours to resolve these issues without the need for their landlord to get involved. Where this is not possible, we take such problems seriously and aim to deal with these quickly and effectively.

We do not consider the following to be Anti-Social Behaviour that we will deal with:

  • Babies crying
  • Children playing
  • Cooking smells
  • DIY noise
  • Disputes (friends and family)
  • General living noise (doors banging, footsteps, etc.)
  • Lifestyle clashes
  • Parking issues
  • Parties (one-off)

How to Report Anti Social Behaviour?

If your neighbour is causing a problem for you, where possible, talk 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 repeat problems, it’s a good idea to write notes each time it happens. 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 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 will not disclose any information you provide without your express agreement. 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 often means your identity may become known.

You can report any problems by:

  • Using our online form
  • Texting us on 07838 906952
  • Ringing our office on 01782 252575
  • Via our Tenant Portal where available

We may not always be the sole or lead organisation involved in managing an ASB case and we will decide whether action is possible or 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 if appropriate work in partnership with other organisations, or signpost as necessary. Other agencies that help deal with anti social behaviour 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 organisation

What is 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.
    • Assault.
    • Criminal damage.
    • Vandalism.
    • 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 of it.

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.

Important: if you feel in immediate danger, call the police on 999

We’ll help you by working with partners, such as the police, local housing authorities, social services, mediation services, charities and support services including 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.

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