Working in partnership with the Police to tackle anti-social behaviour through a Closure Order
We received reports from residents about a serious incident that occurred the previous evening within our communal areas, involving a number of residents and a weapon assault. The incident was also witnessed by children playing. Our Neighbourhood Officer responded quickly and made her way to the block and enroute asked our Police colleagues to join us in order to provide reassurance.
The perpetrator had been arrested and in police custody.
When an incident like this happens, it’s important that we have a presence, speak to residents about how they are feeling and assess the impact this has had on the community through completing risk assessments with those most affected. Through a partnership approach with the Police, we talk about the impact it has had on each household, refer to other supporting agencies who can help and let residents know what we are going to do about it. In this case we knocked on each door and left a letter for those residents we weren’t able to speak to.
To assist the Police investigation and through conversations with the community, our Neighbourhood Officer was able to put together community impact statements which collectively painted a picture of how our residents felt about what had happened. This information is also shared with the local authority it occurred in and referred to a wider agency partnership for discussion known as CHARRM (Community Harm and Risk Management Meeting). At this meeting, that Mount Green are part of for each local authority, we discuss and agree actions to reduce the negative impact that problem individuals and families have on Surrey’s communities through their anti-social behaviour. Using the expertise that exists on this multi-agency group, members will share information on high-risk cases and incidents and put in place appropriate risk management plans to address the behaviour of the perpetrator and reduce the negative impact on victims.
It is also our role to liaise with the Police and update the community on any significant changes should the perpetrator be released. We help the Police deliver important messages to our residents like who to report any further incidents to and what to do in case of emergency.
Though we tackle antisocial behaviour by taking a victim centred approach, we still have a duty to the perpetrator, and we would offer them support to stop their behaviour. In some cases, tenants who are perpetrators make positive changes to do this through working with specialist agencies, but in others and certainly in this one, the incident caused significant harm and distress to the community. It was identified as a considerable tenancy breach as our residents reported breaches to bail conditions put in place to prevent further arrest. We wrote a number of letters to the perpetrator warning of the risk of losing their tenancy if their behaviour continued.
Throughout this time, we maintained weekly contact with the individual victims directly affected and where we could, shared updates that we received from the Police.
The police were successful in obtaining a full property closure order which is now in place for an initial period of three months. The order prohibits the tenant, and in this case the perpetrator, from living there and gives us, as a Landlord, an opportunity to take appropriate tenancy action in order to bring the tenancy to an end. The purpose of the order is also to bring immediate relief to the community who were suffering and additionally reduce the risk of any further serious incidents occurring.
This case has been managed in this way over a period of a month.