Anti social behaviour
Criminal Behaviour Orders
The criminal behaviour order has been introduced to give agencies and communities what they need to deal with the hard-core of persistently anti-social individuals who are also engaged in criminal activity. The court may make a criminal behaviour order against the offender if two conditions are met:
(i) the person has engaged in behaviour that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons; and
(ii) the court considers that making the order will help in preventing the offender from engaging in such behaviour.
The court may make a criminal behaviour order against the offender only if it is made in addition to
a) a sentence imposed in respect of the offence, or
b) an order discharging the offender conditionally. If the offender is under 18, the prosecution must find out the views of the local youth offending team before applying for a criminal behaviour order.
A criminal behaviour order is granted for a specific period of time and if it includes a requirement, must specify the person who is to be responsible for supervising compliance. It may include provision for the order (or a prohibition or requirement included in the order) to cease to have effect if the offender satisfactorily completes an approved course specified in the order.
Breaching the order would have tough criminal sanctions with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.
A young person has been convicted of criminal damage after breaking the window of an elderly person’s house following an ongoing campaign of harassment. WIth the Criminal Behaviour Order, they can be prevented from going near their victim’s house, but also make good the damage to the victim’s window and engage with a mentoring programme to address the reasons why they were harassing the victim.
(source: ASB Help)
Community Trigger (resources ASB Help)
You may feel like you have nowhere to turn for help. If you have reported the anti social behaviour and feel nobody seems to be listening or doing anything to sort it out you can implement what is known as the Community Trigger (or ASB Case Review) through your Local Authority. If the incident has been reported by you or others three times or more within a six month period and not received a satisfactory response, you can activate the Community Trigger. This gives you the right to demand that agencies deal with persistent anti-social behaviour. This will activate a multi-agency case review in an attempt to ultimately fix the problem and stop the anti social behaviour. For further information on the Community Trigger visit asbhelp listed on this page.
Everyone should have a right to live in peace and feel safe in their own home. When neighbours don't get on it can cause immense anxiety and in some cases fear. Sometimes we need to try and work with others, be tolerant of others and do our very best to live in harmony with others. Where any ill feeling or dispute arises it is best to try and deal with this at the time rather than allow bad feeling to fester. If a dispute does arise:
- Try and talk to your neighbour calmly and amicably. If you feel unable to do this think about writing a clear, concise, rational letter explaining your point of view.
- Try and also see things from your neighbour's point of view.
- Try and reach a compromise with your neighbour.
- If you cannot sort things out think about bringing in a mediator who can look at both sides of the argument and come to some fair decision which can be agreed by you both.
- If you are plagued by noisy neighbours contact Environmental Health, Noise Control Section.
- With any kind of nuisance, harassment etc. keep a diary of all incidents, dates, times, what is happening, any witnesses to what is happening and any steps you have taken to sort things out.
- If your neighbour is a tenant you can find out who the landlord is and complain to that person. If it is Council property you can contact the Council
- Where a criminal offence is being committed - criminal damage, stalking, harassment, threats etc. contact your local Police Community Safety Unit.
- Think about videoing evidence and if you can afford it installing a camera if you think this will help to gather evidence.
Agencies and websites which provide advice, information, support
ASB Help provides information, advice and signposting to appropriate agencies. Are you suffering with noisy neighbours? Are people making your life a nightmare thanks to their behaviour? Are you unsure where to turn? Or have you reported it and no-one seems to be listening?
Advice from Citizen Advice Bureau relating to complaining about your neighbour
Information from the government on anti social behaviour
Can help find a solicitor in your area
Advice on reporting harassment, threats, impersonation, bullying, unwanted sexual advances, pornographic content etc.
www.weareadvocate.org.uk - Charity which finds free legal help from barristers
www.venables.co.uk - Free legal advice online
Contact Victim Support for support on anti social behaviour issues
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