Agenda item

Antisocial behaviour (ASB)

To review progress and performance against the new policy objectives set out in the Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) policy.


RECEIVED the report of Neil Wightman (Director of Housing Services (residents)).


Neil Wightman presented this item which provided a review against the new policy introduced last year.


Enfield has seen an increase in ASB offences in the last 12 months, the figure in the report is for ASB in general across the borough not just ASB in Social Housing. There has also been an increase across London but at a lower level.


The Housing team will be taking responsibility for ASB on Housing estates, previous management detailed under 5 in the report. This is currently in transition and training is ongoing.


The new policy is very clear that we will not tolerate ASB. There is a clear distinction between ASB the council can control and what is a crime and a police matter. There is a good relationship with the police.


The 12 service standards are detailed under point 11 and these are beginning to be tracked. The report contains a table (point12) details the types of ASB Enforcement Action and the Responsible Service.


The Council is looking to increase enforcement action and potential possession actions to send out a clear message that the Council will be tough

on ASB. A target will be set this year.  


Questions were then taken on the report and the service.


Paragraph 8 of the report relates to COVID, anecdotally the increase in working from home with people spending more time at home could have affected this.


Should you be evicted it is likely that they would be considered intentionally homeless, it is rare to be accepted after ASB resulted in an eviction. It is a very high test to meet court thresholds for evictions. This process is lengthy, and the Council must show that everything has been done to support the household prior to eviction. Often perpetrators are often also victims. Advise and support provided through the Homelessness Service. tough problems to solve, where help needed will work with other agencies to try to resolve situation.


Members felt that it is helpful to make very clear to households what ASB is the Councils responsibility and what is not and should be referred to the police.


It was confirmed that the drugs activity mainly related to cannabis use in flats, but there are hotspots of more serious drugs and will work closely with the police on this.


The report refers to the introduction of a noise app to help manage noise cases. Officers agreed to circulate more information on this. Action Neil Wightman.


Following Members request officers agreed to circulate details of main housing association providers to assist councillors when dealing with residents on ASB on these estates. Action: Neil Wightman


It was clarified that the figures under 17 relates to residents or family members living in Enfield. The figures listed here will include repeat offenders and priority on dealing with focus on those who persistently offend, and training is ongoing on this. The Government Consultation is helpful relating to this The Council is looking to serve more notices, which last for a year, even if these do not proceed to court these do have a high impact often with improvements seen and Acceptable Behaviour agreements being drawn up to regulate behaviour.


Members were advised it is unknown why ASB overall is higher than in London. In terms of Housing related ASB figures data has not been collected as to whether this has gone up or down.


After the withdrawal of funding for extra police officers on estates an increase on ASB on these estates has not been seen. It should be noted that service had been declining for a year prior to removing. Alternative partnership, meetings were put in place and additional resources made available through partnership working.


The improvement in satisfaction ratings it was felt was due to making sure that residents are kept informed even if no further progress is made at this stage. The council’s publicity on zero tolerance is also helpful in showing that ASB is not acceptable.


With regards to domestic abuse there is already strong partnership working with SOLACE for example. The Council is working towards DAHA (Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance) accreditation. This is a national qualification. It would mean that the council would look at all procedures, policies, partnership work, how we protect victims. If this were to be achieved would allow a high level of service for the victims of domestic abuse. It takes approximately one year to achieve qualification; the council is committed to starting the process.


Members were surprised to see domestic abuse classified as ASB as opposed to serious crime. It is classified this way so that where it happens in a social home the Council can also look at civil action, such as excluding individual from the home.


Officers were thanked for their time.

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