What is ASB?
Southway Housing considers Anti Social Behaviour generally to include:
- Serious assault
- Serious harassment
- Aggressive or abusive behaviour
- Drug related activity
- Noise nuisance
- Vandalism or damage to property
- Hate Crime; click topic below
- Domestic abuse; click topic below
Some behaviour or actions may be affecting you but are not classed as Anti Social Behaviour. However it may still constitute a breach of a tenants tenancy agreement. This includes:
We refer to these as Environmental Anti Social Behaviour and deal with these reports slightly differently. Further information can be found by below.
- Fly Tipping, including the dumping of rubbish.
- Untidy Gardens
- Dog fouling
- Car Parking
If antisocial behaviour is motivated by your race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability it is a hate crime.
We do not tolerate incidents of harassment or hate crime in any form against residents, staff or contractors.
If you are the victim of harassment or hate crime, or witness it, you can report it in confidence to Southway.
When incidents are reported an action plan will be agreed with the victim or witness and action will only be taken that you are happy with and in agreement with.
We work in partnership with Stop Hate UK. Stop Hate UK are a national organisation that supports people affected by all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination. They provide a 24 hour telephone line that victims can contact to either report incidents or speak in confidence about what is happening.
The service is available to all people living with Southway’s communities and the contact number is 0800 138 1625.
Further information on the services that they provide can be found here.
Southway’s approach to tackling Environmental Enforcement covers a range of issues including;
- Car parking problems
- Green space management
- Untidy gardens
- Fly tipping, littering and graffitti
We take a proportionate response having regard to the nature and seriousness of the Environmental Anti-Social Behaviour being committed, the person or persons engaging in the said conduct and the impact of the behaviour on the complainant(s) and the local community. A strong partnership approach between statutory agencies working together is central to resolving and preventing Environmental Anti-Social Behaviour.
For more information on how we can help you resolve Environmental ASB you can view our full policy here.
You can report Environmental ASB here.
How can we help with ASB?
What should you do if you experience ASB?
In first instances we advise that residents talk to the person that is causing the problem. Often the person may not be aware that they are causing a problem. (See below for advice around this.)
There are certain circumstances where it is not appropriate to speak directly to the person causing the problem, for example if someone has been assaulted, verbally abused, threatened or a crime has been committed such as drug dealing. See further details on this page about steps we can take.
Advice on talking to Neighbour (ASB)
If you are experiencing problems with your neighbours we would expect you to try to discuss it with them in the first instance. Here are some pointers you may find helpful;
- Be courteous, calm and polite as you are far more likely to receive a courteous response yourself.
- Choose a time that’s convenient for everyone. For example,not at meal times or late at night.
- Try to create the right atmosphere to discuss the problem. For example, invite your neighbour to discuss the problem over coffee.
- Plan what you are going to say beforehand
- Describe the nuisance and be prepared to quote some examples of the disturbance if asked, particularly times and dates and how it affects you in your home and garden
- Bring all relevant issues into the open from the start. Keep to the relevant issues.
- Give them plenty of time to express their views. For example, you may need to accept that there may be something that you do that causes your neighbour a problem too.
- Listen carefully
- Accept differences on attitudes and ways of life
- Be open to suggestions for resolving the problem
- Talk about how both sides can compromise. Take the view that together you can sort the problem out.
- Let someone know where you are going, how long you expect to be and arrange for them to call you on your mobile if you’re not back by a certain time.
We strongly advise that you DO NOT try the following;
- Do not retaliate – this will only make the problem worse and increase tension with your neighbours, who may make a counter complaint against you. It will undermine any legal action that we may want to take on your behalf, even if you have a justified complaint.
- Do not go round to your neighbours when you are angry
- Do not wait until you are at the end of your tether. You will be angry and less likely to be willing to compromise.
- Do not use threatening behaviour. If you are threatened, walk away immediately, and do not retaliate or become involved in an argument.
- Do not go round with the sole intention of getting an apology. This will make your neighbour feel guilty and inadequate.
- Do not exaggerate the problem. This will make your neighbour defensive and less likely to compromise with you.
- Do not use the opportunity to drag up other issues. Avoid raising past problems you may have had with your neighbours. Remember that you are trying to find a solution to a specific problem that you and your neighbours can live with, and you are relying on your neighbour’s cooperation to achieve this informally.
- Do not go round when the nuisance is occurring. They may not be in the best condition to appreciate your point of view. In addition, if they are hosting a party, they may be resentful of being embarrassed in front of their guests, or they may have been drinking. However, if you feel that the situation is safe enough to approach your neighbours, limit your request to simply asking for the volume to be turned down, and call round on another occasion to discuss the incident as a whole.
- Do not gang up on your neighbour. If other people are bothered by the same problem, ask only one of them to accompany you.
If you don’t feel able to go round to the person’s property, you could try and arrange to bump into them when they are in their garden, or look for them returning to their home. The other option is to write to them. Make sure you keep a copy for your records. It is useful evidence that you have tried to resolve the matter on your own and offered your neighbour the opportunity to address the problem, and may be useful to us if they are involved in investigating your complaint and need to resort to legal action.
Before you approach your neighbour, it is important to think about the risk to your personal safety and property. Contact us if in doubt.
- Advice on talking to Neighbour (ASB)
If talking won’t/does not work… (How Southway can help)
If you do not feel that you are able to approach the other person you can report the problem to Southway Housing by clicking the link here.
If you are unsure of the identity of the person causing the problem then we may still be able to help, so do get in touch.
If you've spoken to the person causing the nuisance and it has continued you should report the matter to us.
Mediation service - what is it?
If the problem persists, we may discuss mediation with you and carry out an assessment to see if it is appropriate.
Mediation is the process of having an impartial, third party work alongside the parties at conflict. This is done to ensure that everyone is treated fairly whilst working towards a solution to their issues. The video below offers an idea of how mediation is carried out and the impact it can have:
Our mediation services are run in collaboration with Smile, an organisation who have been practising across the North West for over 20 years.
Following a referral for mediation, you can expect:
- An initial phone call, so we can discuss the issue
- An appointment for a home visit from our mediators, to explore all options that are available.
- A structured approach to from our mediators, to help you find a solution to your issues.
The above process keeps the solution in your hands, rather than having one imposed upon you by other agencies which may not result in an outcome you are happy with.
If you are interested in seeking a mediated settlement to a dispute with your neighbour, please contact us.
Southway keep detailed information on each stage of every case and ensure it is always confidential.