Anti-social Behaviour Policy
Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing
recognise that all tenants have a right to the peaceful enjoyment
of their home. Equally, every tenant has the responsibility not to
interfere with their neighbour's right to the peaceful enjoyment of
- We recognise that left unchallenged, anti-social behaviour can
have a significant negative impact on the lives of our
- We'll make use of the powers, orders and mechanisms available
to us to deal with anti-social behaviour.
- We'll participate in joint working with partner agencies.
- We'll place victims and witnesses at the centre of our
By the use of these methods we'll deliver a proportionate and
flexible response to anti-social behaviour.
The Anti-social Behaviour Policy will be reviewed in
Our definition of anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour can cover a wide range of behaviour. We
take a wide view of what may be considered anti-social behaviour,
including acts that interfere with the peace, comfort or
convenience of any person or cause or are likely to cause nuisance,
annoyance or disturbance to any person. We think the following are
examples of this:
- Damaging property
- Verbal abuse and insults
- Intimidation, using or threatening violence
- Racial harassment
- Nuisance from pets such as dogs barking
- Noise nuisance
Any person who has a concern as to whether they are being
affected by anti-social behaviour should seek advice and assistance
from their Local Housing Office or the Legal Services and
Working in context
Our work combating anti-social behaviour takes account of our
many obligations and considerations. Our policy is part of the
Rochdale Safer Community Anti Social Behaviour Strategy, designed
to provide a balanced and co-ordinated approach to the prevention,
identification and rectification of anti social behaviour
throughout the borough of Rochdale.
Rochdale Borough Council working with Rochdale Boroughwide
Housing is committed to using a wide range of measures to prevent
and combat anti-social behaviour. Some of these measures are:
- We have tenancy agreements that outlaws anti-social
- We'll fully explain the tenancy agreement to all new
- We'll use a wide range of measures to address anti-social
behaviour including interviews, informal and formal warnings and
Acceptable Behaviour Contracts.
- We'll use the legal remedies tat are available to us including
injunctions, possession proceedings and anti-social behaviour
How to make a complaint or report an incident
If our tenants and residents are suffering from any kind of
anti-social behaviour we request that they report the problem as
soon as possible to their local housing office.
Complaints can also be made in person, in writing, by
telephone, by email or through a third party, for
example through a councillor, friend or relative.
Complaints can also be made anonymously, however this may
restrict the amount of investigation and action we can undertake
and won't allow us to provide the complainant with information and
support. We would recommend therefore, that complainants give us
their name and address. This will not be revealed to any other
party without the consent of the complainant.
It's important that problems are reported promptly. There are
several reasons for this:
- It allows us to give advice and support to the people who are
suffering as a result of the behaviour from an early stage.
- It allows us to take prompt action in dealing with the
- It may be possible to 'nip the problem in the bud'.
- Very serious incidents can be dealt with swiftly, thereby
protecting our residents.
Upon receipt of a complaint of anti-social behaviour we
- Record the complaint.
- Acknowledge and respond to the complaint, initially this will
usually be by the Housing Officer for the area. If the problem is
serious and/or continues after initial action has been taken the
case will be referred to the Legal Services and Enforcement
- Interview the complainant and develop an initial action plan,
in consultation with the complainant where known, to investigate
- Consider whether mediation is appropriate and, if so, offer
this to the complainant and then to the other party involved in the
- Investigate as far as possible every complaint, even when
reported anonymously, unless the case is to be referred to
- Take timely, effective and consistent action to tackle the
problems by utilising the range of measures available to us. This
will include working with our partner agencies.
What happens next?
If mediation is considered inappropriate or is refused, the
action plan will usually involve assisting us by gathering further
evidence of any further incidents or ongoing problems. This is
likely to involve the complainant keeping a diary of further
incidents (diary sheets will be supplied). It's important that
these are completed as soon as possible after an incident has
occurred and supply as much detail as possible. This will enable us
- Assess the level of the problem.
- Assess the success of any action we take.
- Build a case for further action.
- Take further action.
If for any reason the complainant is unable to complete diary
sheets, for example due to learning or sensory disabilities,
literacy problems or language barriers, alternative methods of
information collection can be used.
All information supplied to us will be treated as confidential
and the identity of the complainant will not be
revealed without their permission. However, there may be instances
where we cannot take any further action without revealing the
identity of the complainant. This will be fully discussed with the
complainant and their permission gained before we will proceed.
It's important that the complainant gives due consideration to this
as it may become impossible for us to take any action to address
the problem if permission is not given.
When full information has been obtained from the complainant it
will usually be necessary to consider securing other supporting
evidence, the following possibilities will be considered:
- Contacting others who may have been affected by the
- Issuing incident diary sheets to witnesses.
- Loan of recording equipment.
- Interviewing the alleged perpetrator.
- Covert surveillance of the area where the problem has
- CCTV surveillance of the area where the problem has
- Use of professional witnesses.
Whatever the outcome of the assessment contact will be
maintained with complainants and witnesses throughout this process
and they will be kept informed of the outcome.
If no further complaints are received the case may be closed,
but no case will be closed until a check has been made with all
complainants and witnesses that they are satisfied that the problem
has been resolved. It may be re-opened at a later date if
subsequent complaints are received.
If however, further complaints are received despite the initial
action or if the case is deemed to be serious or urgent, the case
will then be referred to the Legal Services and Enforcement Team
for further action. A letter will be sent to all concerned
informing them of this and providing contact details for the
enforcement officer who will be dealing with the case. At any
time during this process, serious or urgent cases will be referred
to the Legal Services and Enforcement Team immediately.
The case will then be assessed and an appropriate course of
action taken. Further investigations need to be made. These should
be carried out as quickly as possible and the case should be
reviewed and reassessed within an agreed timescale. Actions that
may be considered, include but are not limited to:
- No action required because there's no case to answer.
- Informal resolution where an understanding has been
- Warning letters and formal cautions.
- Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC's).
- Parental Control Agreements (PCA's).
- Referral to another agency.
- Environmental Health Action for Statutory Nuisance.
- Injunctions (if the case involves violence or threats of
violence it may be possible to obtain an emergency
- Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO's).
- Demoted tenancies.
- Possession proceedings.
Supporting witnesses and complainants
We recognise that the participation of witnesses and
complainants is central to success in dealing with anti-social
behaviour. We'll do this by dealing with complaints promptly and
keeping witnesses informed. We'll also offer real and practical
support by a number of initiatives, including:
- Providing home security measures.
- Providing panic alarms in serious cases.
- Liaising closely with the police.
- Engaging ASB Support Workers to act as liaison and information
points for witnesses.
- Using our officers as professional witnesses.
Multi agency working
We'll engage in collaborative work with other agencies in order
to deter or prevent anti-social behaviour and to rehabilitate those
who have engaged in such behaviour. We'll support and make
referrals to the Rochdale Mediation Service to encourage resolution
of disputes by consensus. We'll work with the SHELTER Inclusion
Project to engage support for tenants whose tenancies are at risk
by reason of ASB. We'll subscribe to the principles of "Designing
Out Crime". We'll participate in the Case Intervention Group and
will access intervention services from agencies such as INCLUDE and
Positive Activities for Young People through that group.
We'll work with our partner agencies in a manner that will
combine and co-ordinate our efforts to best effect. We identify our
principal partners in this activity as the police, the Community
Safety Section and our fellow social landlords.
We'll complete and maintain data exchange protocols with our
partner agencies to facilitate this collaborative work.
Our staff are central to the delivery of our response to
anti-social behaviour. We'll make a commitment to protecting our
staff when they are personally subjected to offensive conduct.
We'll train our staff to ensure that they're aware of the issues
of anti-social behaviour, the remedies which they can access and
their role in the procedure.