Antisocial behaviour and neighbour nuisance is any conduct which causes or is likely to cause nuisance, annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress to anyone. It covers everything from letting your garden become an eyesore to drug dealing or physical violence.
In most cases of minor nuisance or antisocial behaviour, the first thing you should do is discuss the problem with your neighbour. We also offer a mediation service, where we arrange for a trained person to help you and your neighbour meet, talk about your problems and help you understand each other’s point of view.
If you can’t talk to your neighbour about the problem or it’s a sensitive problem then you can report ASB by:
- completing our online form; or
- phoning us on 01226 775555.
Remember to tell us your name, address and phone number. We may need to ring you back.
If you experience a problem that you think is a crime, contact the police as soon as possible and then contact your Housing Management Officer to let us know about the problem. Use the Your area section of our website to find your local Housing Management Officer.
To contact the South Yorkshire Police for:
- Non emergency calls on 101
- An emergency, such as a violent attack on 999.
Your Housing Management Officer will contact you within 3 working days and arrange to visit you at home or another suitable place.
Or if you report a racial incident, if you are at risk of violence, or if there is damage to our property we will meet you within 1 working day.
We will keep you up to date on action being taken.
Your housing management officer will be your first contact. If the problem is more serious or persistent (regardless of tenure) this will be dealt with by the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Enforcement Team. They provide specialist support and secure legal outcomes for frontline services and is made up of officers from BMBC and Berneslai Homes.
We can’t take action against someone without evidence. We will give you a special ‘incident diary’ to record ASB you see or hear. We may need other evidence, like photographs, video or tape recordings. We might have to speak to other people who have witnessed the problem. It could be difficult to take the case any further without these other witnesses.
If the evidence confirms the ASB we will take action. In serious cases – where the perpetrator has put you or another person in danger – we’ll go straight to legal action. But in most situations we will take a more step-by- step approach to try to get them to change. The Housing Management Team will contact the perpetrator and interview them. (You can ask us not to do this, but it could then be difficult to take the case further). We will tell them to change their behaviour or risk legal action. This is enough to solve the vast majority of problems.
If ASB continues after a final warning – or if someone is in danger – we will start legal action straight away. We will ask the court to give us:
- An injunction (a legal order that instructs the perpetrator to stop acting anti-socially). or
- An ASB order banning the perpetrator from coming into specific areas; or
- Permission to evict the responsible tenant (the tenant is responsible for their own behaviour and for the behaviour of anyone living with them or visiting their home).
- Demotion of Tenancy a request to remove the security of your tenancy.
- To extend your Introductory Tenancy if you have an introductory tenancy this will usually be for 12 months. This action will make it 18 months before you can then enjoy the benefit of a secure tenancy.
It may appear that we are not taking any action to sort the problem out. We assure you that we are acting as quickly as we can. If we need to take legal action then it may take us a long time to prepare the evidence. We then have to wait for the courts to set a date for a hearing. Tenants are protected by their tenancy agreement and this means that we have to go through many steps if we want to take legal action. We will keep you informed of the progress of our investigation. If you think that we are not doing enough please contact us again.
If the complaint is of a serious nature we can ask the courts to consider taking action straight away.
ASB can regularly be resolved by a single action by one agency. There are other cases of ASB that need a number of people to work together to tackle the issues. This is where the Community Trigger comes in. The Community Trigger is a mechanism available to the public which they can use to ask agencies such as the local authority, police and Berneslai Homes to review collectively how they have responded to complaints of ASB.
The Community Trigger does not replace individual organisations’ own complaints’ procedures which can and should be used by the public where there is dissatisfaction with the conduct of an individual agency.
If you feel that agencies working in partnership have not dealt effectively with anti- social behaviour you have reported, you can raise a Community Trigger. We have set a Community Trigger Threshold to make sure all Community Trigger requests are dealt with consistently. The threshold is:
Either, you as an individual has reported 3 separate incidents relating to the same or similar issue of ASB which have occurred within the last 6 months
Or, 5 different households have separately reported the ASB issue which has occurred within the last 6 months.
If you meet the above criteria, you can ask for us to progress the Community Trigger on your behalf.
How do I progress a Community Trigger?
- By phone – 01226 772468
- By writing – Barnsley Council Community Safety & Enforcement Service, PO Box 634, Barnsley, S70 9GG.