Tackling ASB – after you’ve made a report
Last updated - 31 October 2017
Below you can find out how we will handle your case, what happens next and when.
What happens next?
- We will start our investigations at the earliest possible time after receiving the report.
- We will give you the name of the person who will be your point of contact throughout the investigation.
- We will agree an action plan with you on how we intend to proceed.
- We will be honest with you about the possible outcome of the case. We will not promise actions we do not think we can fulfil.
- If our initial investigation confirms that your report needs our intervention, we will spend as much time as is reasonably necessary gathering evidence to support your report of ASB. We may speak to neighbours or others who witnessed the event, including the police, the local authority or other landlords (if the perpetrator is not a Genesis customer) youth workers, the alleged perpetrator and their parents, if they are under 18.
- How long our investigation takes will depend on a number of factors - for example, the nature of the report, the amount of evidence available and the willingness of others to help us.
- The outcome (successful or unsuccessful) of our investigation will depend on many things but evidence is the most important. What we can do in terms of action will very much be affected by what you are able and willing to do to assist us to gather evidence. If we ask you to complete incident diaries, please do so.
- We will let you know if we close the case and why we have decided to do so. If you object and think there is a good reason to keep the case open, we will listen to your objections.
- When a case has been closed, we will ask the victim and any witnesses we have contacted for feedback on how we handled the case and look for improvements that could be made for the future.
- At the time you report something to us, it is only an allegation.
- Our investigations will be made on the basis that your allegations are true (that is why it is so important to only tell us the facts).
- In order for us to do anything, evidence is essential. We may, therefore, ask you to give us further evidence. This could involve you keeping incident diaries, or having a noise-recording machine installed in your home.
- We will need to speak to the alleged perpetrator. If we do, we will respect your wishes in terms of you being identified to that person or persons.
- It is very important that you let us know whether or not you wish to be identified if and when we contact the alleged perpetrator. Our ability to help resolve the problem may be significantly reduced if you prefer to remain anonymous or are unwilling to give evidence.
- There are ways in which we can support victims and witnesses who wish to be identified and give evidence. Staff will always be happy to talk to you about what options are available.
- If the case goes to court, you may be asked to give evidence. If you do, your identity may be revealed even if you do not appear in person.
- If you are approached by the perpetrator/s, be calm and do not enter into any discussion. If you feel in danger of being harmed, telephone the police and contact us immediately. We will always support the victims and witnesses of valid reports of anti-social behaviour.
Our approach to managing your case
When dealing with your report of anti-social behaviour we will:
- Take all reports of anti-social behaviour seriously, whether made in person, in writing, via a support worker/relative or over the phone.
- Treat your report sensitively and in total confidence.
- Complete an initial report and acknowledgement form when you make your report and provide you with a copy of the acknowledgement form.
- Make an appointment to carry out a more detailed interview, if necessary, within five working days, or 48 hours in urgent cases.
- Involve you in an action plan to help deal with problems or gather evidence. This could include asking you to keep an incident diary.
- Seek your permission before contacting anyone else about the anti-social behaviour. If you do not want us to contact the person causing the nuisance, or other people, it is more difficult for us to sort out the problem.
- Contact any other relevant agencies (such as the police, Council’s Noise Service) if necessary.
- Take action against those responsible where we have evidence of ASB. Action includes warning letters, acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs), notices seeking possession, possession orders, injunctions and other types of legal action if appropriate.
- Keep you up to date with progress on your report.
- Do everything we reasonably can to sort out your report and let you know if and why we decide to close a case.
What action can we take?
- It depends on the available evidence. If the evidence is weak, viewed as inadequate, not witnessed or contradictory, we may not be able to take much or any action until the evidence becomes stronger, other than having discussions with the alleged perpetrator. If we close a case due to lack of evidence, it can still be re-opened at a later date if further incidents occur.
- If the evidence is stronger, and if it is appropriate, we may ask a partner agency, such as the police, to intervene and work with us.
- In the case of acts committed by children and young people under 18, we will talk to the parents, or possibly Social Services. We may ask for them to enter into an agreement that is called an ‘Acceptable Behaviour Contract’ (ABC) to encourage and monitor their improved behaviour.
- In the most severe cases, criminal or civil proceedings may be brought against the perpetrator. This can result in Court injunctions, fines or even imprisonment, and possession orders being awarded by a Court against the perpetrator. In extreme cases we will ask the Court for permission to evict someone from their home.
In nearly all circumstances we will not resolve proven cases of ASB by rehousing you or the perpetrator.
Closing a case
We will let you know if we close the case and why we have decided to do so. If you object and think there is a good reason to keep the case open we will listen to your objections.
When we close a case, we will ask the person experiencing the ASB and any witnesses we have contacted for feedback on how we handled the case and look for improvements that could be made for the future.