Anti-social behaviour is defined as any behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress. Persistent anti-social behaviour can damage or seriously affect another person’s quality of life. Community triggers will make it easier for victims and communities to get this behaviour stopped.
In effect in Gwent from 20 October 2014, the community trigger provides victims and communities the right to demand that persistent anti-social behaviour is dealt with effectively by the various agencies involved. It is a new provision in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, which received Royal Assent in March 2014.
The Community Trigger - what does it mean?
The role of the community trigger is to provide an opportunity for victims of persistent anti-social behaviour to request a review of actions taken by agencies when they feel these actions have not been adequate to resolve the problem.
The community trigger does not replace the internal complaints procedures for each organisation, which will still be available to deal with any issues the victim/complainant may have with a single agency.
In the first instance, any anti-social behaviour should be reported either to the registered social landlord and/or the local authority or police.
The community trigger should be viewed as a last resort for victims of anti-social behaviour if they believe that inadequate action has been taken to deal with their reported incident.
The community trigger enables the victims of persistent anti-social behaviour to request a review by a panel consisting of senior representatives of local authority, local health board, police and registered social landlords (housing provider). The panel will review the actions taken so far by the agencies involved and may make recommendations regarding further action which needs to be taken.
Who can activate the Community Trigger?
All the following can activate the Community Trigger:
- Victims of anti-social behaviour
- Victim’s representative, on their behalf (eg family member, friend, carer, councillor, MP or other professional person, all with victims consent only)
- Businesses or community group.
Assistance will be provided to those victims requiring additional support.
When can a community trigger be activated?
A community trigger can be activated if the victim has complained to a local authority, police and/or registered social landlord three times about separate anti-social behaviour incidents in the last six months and believe that the action taken to resolve their complaint has been inadequate.
For the community trigger to be activated, each report must be made within one month of the anti-social behaviour incident occurring, and all three complaints must be made within six months of the first complaint. Three such ‘qualifying complaints’ meet the threshold for Community Trigger activation.
The community trigger may also be activated where five individuals or groups from the local community have complained separately to the local authority, police and/or registered social landlord in the last six months about the same location, culprit or problem, and they believe that the action taken has been inadequate. Finally, the community trigger may be activated if the victim has complained to the council, police and/or registered social landlord about separate hate incidents in the last six months, and believe the action taken has been inadequate. A hate Incident is any incident whose main motivation is the disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation of the victim.
Please note, an application to activate the Community Trigger cannot be considered if the original complaint to an organisation is found to be malicious, prejudicial, unfounded, crime or the subject of a current police investigation.
How can a community trigger be activated?
If a victim feels that their complaints meets the criteria detailed above, there are several ways in which they can apply to activate the Community Trigger, as follows:
What can the complainant expect next?
Following the application for a community trigger review, the complainant will be contacted by the nominated single point of contact within their respective local authority. This person will acknowledge the application within five working days. The nominated single point of contact will then contact the relevant agencies involved in the case to check what information they hold.
Following this, a decision will be made by the review panel on whether the application to activate the community trigger has been successful.
If successful, the panel will be brought together in order to review the case. The panel will be made up of senior representatives from the local authority, police, registered social landlords and local health board. The decision of the panel will be either to make recommendations to the relevant agencies to take further action, or will uphold the action taken by those agencies to date.
The local authority single point of contact will be the main point of contact throughout the process and will write to the complainant to inform them what timescales they can expect around a response. In some cases a response can be provided quickly but in the more complex cases involving more agencies, this may take slightly longer.
However, a victim should not wait longer than 10 working days, from the date of receipt, to hear whether their application has met the threshold to be passed to the review panel. The complainant should not wait more than 25 working days for written confirmation of the decision made by the review panel. This will either be upholding the actions taken by agencies so far, or making recommendations for further action to be taken by the relevant agencies to resolve the anti-social behaviour experienced by the victim.
What if the complainant is dissatisfied with the panel decision?
If the complainant is dissatisfied with:
- the way the application was processed, or
- how the review was carried out
An appeals process will be made available.
Community trigger applications dealt with to date at April 2021
- The number of applications for Community Triggers received - 8
- The number of times the threshold for review was not met - 6
- The number of anti-social behaviour case reviews carried out - 0
- The number of anti-social behaviour case reviews that resulted in recommendations being made - 0
The majority of applications are resolved through multi-agency problem solving when it is determined individual agencies have done as much as they can, or thresholds are not met for escalation to a review panel within the Community Trigger process. Problem solving is a process used by the Local Authority, Gwent Police and multi-agency partners to reduce the nuisance being experienced by residents. This process can also make recommendations for improvement to agencies where identified. Please note, we cannot give out information shared in problem solving, so no detail resulting from the meeting can be given to complainants. We can, however, explain what action will be taken and victims of anti-social behaviour will be informed of partnership action.
Please contact us on the number or email below for further information on how to stop anti-social behaviour affecting you, your family or neighbourhood.
Last Modified: 01/09/2021
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