The UK’s first ever Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) awareness week starts today (19 – 23 July).
We wanted to take this opportunity to remind residents about what we can do to help if you’re a victim of ASB. It all starts with telling us about it. You can report ASB to us through this website.
There’s lots of things we can do to help you in all kinds of situations. We’ll have a look at some of those shortly, but first, watch Shaun, one of our Neighbourhood Housing Managers, explain a little more about what you can expect if you report ASB to us:
The Noise App
In cases where residents report problems with noise like loud music, door slamming and arguing, we are able to give them access to The Noise App.
You must report the ASB to us first before you use this phone app. The app lets you record the noise, but it won’t be able to send us the recordings until you’ve contacted us about the ASB and we’ve given you permission. But once we’ve given you access to it, it’s a great way of keeping track of noise problems.
In fact, the app was vital in helping us secure a civil injunction recently against one such noisy neighbour. The witness in our case was at their wits’ end; their family was continually woken up and disturbed so much so that their child was even falling asleep at school. Once we gave them access to the app, they were able to capture over 50 recordings of the noise, which made a very compelling case at court.
We don’t just take legal action against Northwards Housing residents – we can also secure civil injunctions against home owners if their behaviour causes problems in our communities.
Watch Bernadette, another of our Neighbourhood Housing Managers, explain one such case where a Neighbourhood Housing Officer (NHO) helped Northwards' residents and other affected home owners deal with a problem neighbour.
There has been a global rise in domestic abuse during the pandemic. And since March 2020, Northwards Housing has helped in 228 cases to date.
Over the last 12 months, we have fitted over 20 CCTV cameras to the homes of domestic abuse victims and carried out countless security improvements. These include fitting new locks, dead bolts, spy holes and fire proof letter boxes. In extreme cases, we’ve helped to rehome victims.
Northwards Housing sits on the local MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference). A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), probation and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors.
Since January 2021, over 180 Northwards residents’ cases have been heard at the MARAC. Help and support has been offered to each and every one of these residents by our Neighbourhood Housing Officers.
In some cases, we use the mediation services of ADR, who deal with neighbour disputes such as noise nuisance and parking disputes.
ADR will meet with both parties in a case and try and resolve the issue by having open and honest discussions. They may also arrange a meeting between both parties, so they can meet face-to-face. During these meetings, both parties are made aware of the issues and how this impacts on them and, in most cases, come to an agreement so that they can both move forward. This is an amicable way of dealing with issues to try and resolve the problem but it escalates.
In July, Margaret from ADR held a joint meeting with two parties. There had been a great deal of animosity between them for some time and both wanted to meet face-to-face. The meeting did get very ‘shouty’ at points, but Margaret managed to get them talking to each other and completed an agreement at the end. This was a positive outcome and one that both parties were happy with.
Don’t suffer in silence
If you report ASB to us, we’ll do everything we can to help you.