Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is defined under section 105(4) of the Act as:
(a) Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person;
(b) Conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation or residential premises, or
(c) Conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person.
Anti-social behaviour is a broad term used to describe the day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder that make many people’s lives a misery – from litter and vandalism, to public drunkenness or aggressive dogs and noisy or abusive neighbours. Such a wide range of behaviours means that responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour is shared between a number of partner agencies, particularly the police, councils and social housing providers
Key data points
ASB Reporting in Bexley (12 month rolling to May 2018)
Data source: MOPAC Performance Framework
- There has been a reduction in ASB reporting in Bexley.
- There were 5,005 reported ASB incidents for the period, down 291.
- Reports of ASB have decreased by 5.5%.
- Peak periods for reporting of ASB occurred in the summer months.
The map below highlights the prominent wards in Bexley for ASB.
The top three concerns for people who live, work or study in Bexley and completed the 2017 Bexley Crime Survey for ASB were:
- Groups of people loitering with bad behaviour (855 respondents were concerned).
- Intimidation and harassment (390 respondents were concerned).
- Littering (314 respondents were concerned).
When an anti-social behaviour complaint is received by the Council, there are different departments who may be responsible for dealing with it i.e. graffiti, litter, fly tipping and noise will be dealt with by Environmental Services. Complaints which impact on communities such as noisy and abusive neighbours or groups of individuals causing nuisance in public areas is the responsibility of Community Safety Services.
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 brought significant changes to the way local authorities can respond to ASB. It introduced new tools and powers including but not limited to: Community Trigger, Public Spaces Protection Orders, Dispersal Notices.
In Bexley a Public Spaces Protection Order was introduced in Bexleyheath Broadway due to high levels of ASB reports including anti-social bike riding. This expired in December 2017.
The BCSP Anti-Social Behaviour Panel frequently discusses issues and concerns of individuals in relation to ASB. There were 76 referrals during the calendar year 2016, which has increased to 86 during 2017, representing a 13.16% increase.
The Community Risk MARAC has been operating since May 2016 and was introduced to oversee the overall risk to individuals/community and aims to reduce\manage the vulnerability of high risk victims (and perpetrators) of anti-social behaviour (or other areas of concern. The panel works to reduce the risk from ‘high’ to ‘medium’ within 2 months and this is being achieved in 2/3 of cases. Risk reduction can be difficult to implement where the individual has complex mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues and is unwilling or unable to accept help.
Problem Solving Processes are being used more frequently across agencies to better tackle crime and ASB and this is an important approach particularly when all agencies are feeling the effect of reduced services.
ASB reports are being made to a number of different agencies, and therefore data is difficult to bring together and analyse.
This has been recognised by the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee report ‘Respecting others: tackling antisocial behaviour in London’. The following recommendation has been made:
‘We recommend that MOPAC introduces an anti-social behaviour performance management framework that collates and reports on data from the Metropolitan Police, Local Authorities and housing providers’. Bexley welcomes this recommendation and will work with partner agencies to take the recommendation forward.
The Community Safety Partnership has commissioned a youth outreach programme to identify and support the needs of young people causing anti-social behaviour. They provide both a rapid response where they can be deployed to hot-spot areas and 1-1 work.
Many ASB cases that are managed have complex needs and individuals are signposted accordingly to the most appropriate agencies. These issues can vary from drug & alcohol issues, mental & physical health etc. It is essential that a multi-agency approach is created to help tackle and resolve such complex ASB cases.
Locally the Community Safety Team has been piloting a software system that can act as a stand-alone case management system or a multi-agency sharing system. Information is managed in one place and reports and statistics can be easily pulled to help the partnerships engage and plan better, work faster and deliver joined up working approaches to drive successful outcomes. Integration across agencies with this type of real time system would enable more effective intelligence sharing and deployment of resources.
- To produce an ASB strategy with clear policies and processes.
- To review the newly formed ASB case-conference.
- Monitor and evaluate the Borough Command Unit arrangements within the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and Safer Neighbourhoods Teams.