Anti-social behaviour(ASB) is currently a high profile issue. The majority of incidents reported in Pembrokeshire are rowdy and nuisance behaviour, often from neighbours. This behaviour can have a significant impact on the quality of life and cohesiveness of our communities. We work hard to tackle ASB on a multi agency basis, providing an effective and coordinated response based on prevention and early intervention. The general perception of young people in particular can be very negative. Education and prevention work helps to address these perceptions.
Pembrokeshire County Council and Dyfed Powys Police are leading organisations in Safer Pembrokeshire. The Partnership is made up of varying organisations to bring together expertise to help not only those affected by anti-social behaviour, but often those causing the problem as well.
Through taking a joint approach across the County we are able to share information across agencies under Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 1998 which allows us to record, detect and prevent incidents of anti-social behaviour.
What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
Anti-Social Behaviour is any behaviour that causes any person harassment, alarm or distress. It is not easily possible to create a list of those things that could be termed ASB, however a rough guide would be to consider if the behaviour causing the harassment, alarm or distress is normal.
What should you do if you feel that you are suffering from the effects of anti-social behaviour?
Always remember you do not have to put up with it.
• You can talk to the person or people responsible. This may solve the problem, but only do this if you feel it is safe to do so.
• You can get outside help, depending on what the problem is, you can call the Council the Police or both.
• Keep a log of all acts of anti-social behaviour. This will help build up a detailed picture of the problem you are experiencing.
Who to contact if you are a victim of or witness to anti-social behaviour
If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour which involves someone being violent, threatening you with violence, damaging or threatening to damageyour property, or being racially abusive, always contact the police on 101.
In an emergency always dial 999
Responding to Anti-Social Behaviour
Depending on the kind of anti-social behaviour being reported, and to who, the matter may be quickly resolved or it may need further investigation to effectively address the situation. The case may be referred to the Dyfed Powys Anti-Social Behaviour Service (provided by Gwalia) who will work with partner agencies on a joint response to the problem.
There are many ways to address anti-social behaviour. Often people who are causing it need to be informed that they are being anti-social: this can happen by written warnings or meeting with them. If the problem continues they may be asked to sign an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) or a Parenting Contract and in extreme cases application may be made for more formal orders. Other cases may lead to an eviction from their house or an arrest for harassment.
For further information on local authority housing issues please see Noise and Neighbour Nuisance
For further information regarding control of dogs please see Dog Control Service
The Community Trigger (ASB Case Review) a measure introduced by the Home Office in 2014 through reforms to the Crime and Disorder Act, places victims at the heart of the response to anti-social behaviour. It allows professionals the flexibility needed to deal with the many different situations that ASB presents. While giving victims of persistent ASB the ability to request a review of their case and hold statutory agencies to account for the way ASB is tackled.
In order to meet the threshold to activate the Community Trigger, the applicant must have:
• reported three separate incidents relating to the same problem in the past six months to the Council, Police or landlord where no effective action has been taken; or
• reported one incident or crime motivated by hate (due to race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity to the police in the last six months where no effective action has been taken; or
• A person of appropriate seniority within a responsible authority reviews the evidence presented from all parties and believes there is sufficient evidence to initiate a case review regardless of the role of the applicant of the Community Trigger.
Each report must be made within 30 days of the incident occurring and the application for the review must be made within 6 months of the first report.
A report made to several agencies at or around the same time regarding the same incident, will be classed as one report.
It is not intended to review historical cases, or those only recently reported whereby agencies have not had a reasonable opportunity to respond.
*Hate crime is defined as any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their actual or perceived disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation, which is a factor in determining who is victimised. A victim does not have to be a member of a group and in fact, anyone could be a victim of hate crime.
How can I use the Community Trigger?
Across the Dyfed-Powys region, Dyfed-Powys Police are the single point of contact for the Community Trigger. An application can be made online, over email, by calling 101 or by requesting an application form in writing – For further details, visit the Dyfed Powys Police website . It is not only the victim themselves who can use the Community Trigger, although their consent must be sought by the person using the Community Trigger on their behalf prior to application. Once consent has been obtained, the Community Trigger can be used by any person such as a family member, friend, carer, councillor, Welsh Assembly Member, Member of Parliament or any other professional person on behalf a victim. The Community Trigger can be used by a person of any age.
What happens next?
Once a request to use the Community Trigger has been received, the applicant will receive an acknowledgement letter within 5 working days. Agencies will consider the application and get back in touch with the victim within 15 workings days to inform them if they have met the threshold. If it is agreed that the threshold has been met, partner agencies will undertake a case review during which information relating to the case including any previous action taken will be considered, and a decision made as to whether additional actions are possible. The application will be notified of the outcome of the panel review. An appeal can be made to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) where one of the following measures is satisfied;
• The decision provided outlining why the case did not meet the threshold for a Community Trigger review has failed to provide sufficient detail to understand why a review did not take place.
• The Community Trigger review has failed to consider a relevant process, policy or protocol;
• The Community Trigger review has failed to consider relevant factual information.
Appeals must be made to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) within 28 days. The 28 days will start from the date of either;
• the letter informing the applicant their application has not met the threshold for a case review;
• the letter informing them of the outcome of a case review.