Community Safety

Last updated on: 18-Jun-2021

3. Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour

Tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) is a local priority and both the Council and partner agencies recognise that persistent nuisance and ASB can have a very damaging impact on quality of life. ASB covers a very broad range of issues and includes behaviour that is capable of causing harassment, alarm or distress to other people e.g. noisy/rowdy behaviour, public drunkenness and verbal abuse.

Residents and businesses play an important role in tackling ASB and reporting it will help us to identify the areas that are causing concern. Our Community Safety Unit (CSU) takes reports of ASB very seriously and works with a number of agencies, including Kent Police, to try to take whatever action is possible to reduce the problems being experienced.

It is important that you report ASB promptly and ideally whilst it’s happening. For details of who to contact and different ways in which you can report ASB, please use our ‘Who Do I Call?’ reporting guide. If you are a Gravesham Council Housing tenant you may wish to contact your Housing Officer.

The Council has also produced a dedicated Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy 2019-23 that explains the approach being taken to reducing ASB across the Borough. The Strategy takes a fully rounded approach to tackling ASB by focussing on:

Prevention and Community Involvement

  • A systematic approach to prevention will include the following:
  • Educating people and raising awareness of the forms and consequences of engaging in ASB
  • Consider opportunities to design-out ASB
  • Providing a visible and uniformed presence in areas where ASB is more prevalent
  • Ensuring that children and young people have access to facilities and activities
  • Working with local residents in areas where ASB is a concern to create a sense of ownership and pride in their local neighbourhoods
  • Working with schools/education providers to make clear that bullying and ASB is unacceptable

Early Identification

  • To act quickly with informal interventions to minimise impact and prevent from escalating. This work could include:
  • Providing advice and support to the victim and signposting to other agencies and services as appropriate
  • Considering the option of using restorative justice or facilitating
  • Issuing initial warning letters
  • Using Acceptable Behaviour Agreements (ABAs)
  • Encouraging young people to engage in diversionary activities available
  • Using Parental Control Agreements
  • Issuing Community Protection Warnings

Supportive Intervention

  • To encourage individual to get the help and assistance they need to modify their behaviour. Supportive intervention may include:
  • Referral to drug and alcohol treatment service providers
  • Referral to the Gravesham Community Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)
  • Intervention provided by the Homelessness Prevention and Outreach Service
  • Direct referrals to statutory agencies and services, for example Kent County Council’s Social Services, Mental Health Services, Kent Police
  • Referral to Gravesham’s multi-agency ASB Group
  • Working with Preventative Services to support families as a whole
  • Where ASB is related to domestic abuse, ensuring that victims are made aware and encouraged to access specialist domestic abuse support services available locally

Enforcement

  • In many cases, enforcement will be a last resort and the Council take all necessary steps to ensure that enforcement action is justified and proportionate to the type of ASB that has occurred. Formal action may include:
  • Use of legislative powers e.g. Injunction, Community Protection Notice, Closure Order
  • Exercising sanctions against those responsible for licensed premises
  • Termination of introductory tenancies or take ASB possession proceedings against tenants who persist in breaching tenancy conditions resulting in ASB
  • Issuing Fixed Penalty Notices or prosecuting those identified as responsible for environmental crimes that also fall with the criteria of ASB, for example littering, damage, fly-tipping
  • Use of legislative powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to address ASB linked to noise nuisance, for example Noise Abatement Notice
  • using the common law of trespass to deal with unauthorised tent encampments that cause nuisance and ASB
  • Taking appropriate action against private landlords who fail to meet their responsibilities

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