Anti-social behaviour policies and procedure
Anti-social behaviour policy
1. Statement of Intent
1.1 This policy replaces previous policies 45. Nuisance; 75. Noise Nuisance; 09. Estate Security and 80. Racial Harassment.
1.2 Woking Borough Council is committed to tackling all forms of anti-social behaviour by its tenants, members of tenants' families and/or visitors to tenants' homes. The Council also wishes to protect its housing property from damage.
1.3 Anti-social behaviour is defined in accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as behaviour by any person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the perpetrator of the anti-social behaviour.
1.4 Harassment is defined as any incident which is perceived to derive from prejudice or hatred of the victim. This includes colour, race, nationality or sexual orientation. All cases of racial harassment will be treated in line with the Commission for Racial Equality's Code of Guidance for Rented Accommodation.
1.5 Section 12 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 requires Local Authorities to publish a statement of their policies and procedures in relation to anti-social behaviour.
1.6 The Council will respond to incidents of anti-social behaviour perpetrated by Council tenants promptly. Its aim is to ensure an efficient and consistent approach in dealing with such incidents.
1.7 The Council will consider a number of legal remedies available to it to deal with anti-social behaviour including Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, Demoted Tenancies, Injunctions, Possession Orders and Abatement Notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
1.8 The Council receives many complaints of minor disputes or disturbances that are either uncorroborated or a minor breach of a tenancy condition, or both. In such cases the Council's action will be limited to encouraging neighbours to resolve minor disputes among themselves and/or referring them to other agencies if appropriate (e.g. the Mediation Service).
1.9 The Council wishes to implement both proactive and preventative measures, such as physical improvements to dwellings and communal areas, and measures designed to tackle crime where it cannot be prevented, such as supporting residents who give evidence when a breach of tenancy conditions has occurred.
1.10 Housing Services will actively take part in corporate initiatives to tackle anti-social behaviour including joint agency working with the Police or others subject to the borough's Information Sharing protocol agreement.
1.11 Housing Services has signed up to the Respect Standard in Housing Management and is committed to working with tenants and in partnership with various Council services, the Police and other agencies to help promote sustainable communities.
1.12 Housing Services has produced an Anti-social Behaviour Service Standard in consultation with tenants and leaseholders.
2.1 Housing Services aims to reduce incidents and complaints of nuisance as soon as possible without recourse to further action. This includes discussion about the relevant clauses in the tenancy terms and conditions when a tenant signs up for a council property and again at the new tenant visit, one month after the start of the tenancy.
2.2 Other early measures include referral to the Mediation Service, voluntary agreements such as Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, appropriate assistance for the complainant and/or the perpetrator; involvement of the Police or other agencies or Council services.
2.3 The Council will take formal action on anti-social behaviour where any of the following apply:
a) the anti-social behaviour amounts to a sufficiently serious breach of the tenancy condition(s) to warrant appropriate legal action, and there is a reasonable chance that the legal action will succeed
b) the anti-social behaviour adversely affects the condition or appearance of the Council's property
c) the anti-social behaviour constitutes harassment.
2.4 All complaints are logged, monitored and investigated and only after this initial investigation will the best course of action be determined. Action taken will vary according to the individual circumstances of the case.
2.5 The final decision on whether the Council should proceed with legal action against an individual committing anti-social behaviour will rest with the Borough Solicitor.
2.6 Legal action is taken in relation to Housing Acts (1985, 1996, 2004), the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, or any other legislation relevant to housing management and also with reference to the tenancy terms and conditions.
2.7 Officers are also aware of implications arising from the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Human Rights Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 1998, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and in particular as this relates to diversity and equality issues.
3. Support for Witnesses
3.1 Success in dealing with anti-social behaviour depends crucially on evidence from residents whether or not there is corroborative evidence from the Police or other agencies. The Council will take steps to encourage residents to come forward with evidence about anti-social behaviour and crime in their area:
a) Complainants and witnesses will be kept fully informed of progress of their case and reassured of action being taken.
b) Support may include additional security measures such as five lever mortice locks, front door views, internal letter box flaps or other appropriate measures.
c) In extreme cases, a temporary or permanent move may be agreed.
4. Support for perpetrators
4.1 In some cases, appropriate support for perpetrators will reduce or end anti- social behaviour for instance agency or floating support for individuals to help them maintain their tenancies; referral to the Community Incident Action Group (CIAG) or the Joint Action Group (JAG) for full agency involvement.
5. Other relevant policies
5.1 Hometrak Scheme and Offers of Accommodation which also incorporates Domestic Abuse; Management of Housing Land; Management of Tenancies.
6. Key Targets / Standards
6.1 Quarterly monitoring of cases and outcomes according to government statutory guidelines and in relation to core and relevant optional indicators required by the Respect Standard for Housing Management.
6.2 Monthly returns for BVPIs relating to abandoned vehicles.
6.3 Annual return for racial harassment cases received and actions taken.
6.4 Annual return for HSSA Supplement - Possessions and Evictions.
6.5 Cases affecting the community referred CIAG or JAG.
6.6 All reports of anti-social behaviour acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt (sooner if serious e.g. hate crime) and personal contact made within 5 days of receiving incident sheets.
6.7 A satisfaction survey sent on all closed cases to both victim and perpetrator.
6.8 Policy and procedures reviewed annually.
6.9 Officers trained on dealing with anti-social behaviour and attend courses and meetings to update their knowledge.
6.10 Information and successes published in housing magazine and in the press.
7. Date agreed: 23 August 2001
23 March 2005
8. Date amended: 14 March 2005
Extracts from policy for Allocations Scheme (Hometrack) 2009 - Domestic abuse
1.0 Statement of Intent
1.1 The Council believes that no-one should live in fear of abuse, violence or harassment from a spouse or partner, or other member of their household, and will take steps to assist and support any person suffering from or threatened with violence and abuse.
1.2 Assistance will be offered to people who are suffering from abuse, violence or threat of violence from within their home.
1.3 The Council believes it has a responsibility to ensure that those threatened with abuse or violence are assisted to alternative accommodation, free from the threat or fear of abuse or violence.
2.1 Any officer of the Council receiving a report of domestic abuse shall accept the account of the person affected in a sympathetic and supportive manner, and shall assist that person in obtaining immediate advice on an appropriate course of action.
2.2 The Council will ensure that individuals who have been the victims of domestic abuse or violence or who are threatened with abuse or violence have immediate access to advice. This may be provided either through the Council's Housing Options Team and/or referral to a solicitor or Surrey Women's Aid. Where an individual is referred to an external agency they should also be offered an interview as soon as possible with a Housing Options Officer.
2.3 The Council will assess whether or not the person affected is in need of emergency respite or temporary accommodation. This assessment will involve consideration of:
a) whether actual violence has occurred or is likely to occur should the person affected return to their home
b) whether it is possible to obtain an immediate Exclusion or Restraint Order.
2.4 Temporary accommodation will be arranged in all cases where the person affected is faced with the threat of violence should they return to their home. Temporary accommodation will be made available to provide the opportunity for alternative solutions to be found.
2.5 Whilst proof of abuse, or threatened violence should be sought, the absence of documentary proof should not be used as grounds for failing to provide emergency respite or temporary accommodation (There may be circumstances in which it is not possible to provide Police or Medical Reports on the day that violence took place, but the provision of temporary rehousing is an immediate necessity).
2.6 In the longer tem, the Council's primary aim is to assist victims of domestic abuse to return safely to the family home. The Council will advise those affected on the availability of Court Orders to prevent the violent partner from entering the property, and/or from molesting the person(s) affected. The Sanctuary Scheme would also be considered as a way of enabling a person(s) to remain in their home following domestic or associated violence.
2.7 The Council recognises that in some extreme circumstances, the Courts may be unable to offer protection from violence. Where there is evidence from the Police, the Courts, a General Practitioner or Social Services that it is not safe for the person affected to remain in the family home the Council will:
a) in the case of individuals who do not live in Council owned accommodation, assess the applicant's accommodation needs and consider all options.
b) in the case of Council tenants award additional priority on the Allocations Scheme or where appropriate seek a reciprocal transfer to another part of the country. It may be necessary for the current tenancy to be terminated by the individual before a move can be authorised.
2.8 The Council participates in the Surrey Violence Mobility Scheme in order both to increase options for people needing to be housed outside the Borough and to assist people from elsewhere in the country with safe accommodation.
2.9 The Council recognises that confidentiality is vital to the safety of survivors of domestic abuse and violence, and will ensure that information about accommodation arrangements for those rehoused as a consequence of violence are held securely, and in strict confidence.
3.0 Key Targets / Standards
4.0 Date Approved: 18 September 1995
23 March 2005
5.0 Date Amended: 9 September 2004
Extracts from policy for Allocations Scheme (Hometrack) 2009 -HIV /AIDS
1.0 Statement of Intent
1.1 The Council acknowledges that people living with HIV/AIDS may face discrimination, hostility and the loss of home or employment as a consequence of their illness.
1.2 The Council recognises its responsibility to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS are helped to gain access to and retain suitable accommodation, and will ensure that procedures for assessing housing need, allocating accommodation, managing housing and tackling harassment are appropriate to meet the specific needs of people with HIV/AIDS.
Access to Services
2.1 All individuals or group approaching the Council for information, advice or assistance should be treated with dignity and respect. By ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities in meeting this policy commitment, the Council will ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS also meet with a sympathetic and understanding response.
2.2 However, the Council also acknowledges the importance of training staff to understand the specific needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, so that requests for advice and assistance can be met in an appropriate manner. In particular the Council will ensure that all front-line staff, and staff at all points of access, are aware of:
a) the Council's policy commitment to treat people living with HIV/AIDS with dignity and respect
b) the importance of maintaining confidentiality, and advising applicants about the Council's policy on confidentiality
c) specific procedures which exist to meet the housing needs of people with HIV/AIDS.
3.1 All applicants, tenants and staff have the right to expect that information about their personal circumstances will be handled professionally. Information will only be passed to staff members/departments where it is necessary for the assessment of an application or the provision of services.
3.2 Application forms, and any other material seeking personal information from applicants, and accompanying leaflets will specify procedures for maintaining confidentiality.
3.3 All applicant with HIV/AIDS will be fully informed about which departments/agencies will need to know of their HIV status so that their applications can be processed.
3.4 Manual files containing confidential information about an applicant's personal circumstances will be kept securely, and access to files will be restricted in accordance with paragraph 2.3. Information about an applicant's HIV status will not be passed to housing managers or welfare officers when an offer of permanent accommodation is made.
3.5 The Council will ensure that procedures for assessing applications from homeless households address the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. In particular, when homelessness investigations are conducted under the Housing Act 1996 - Part 7 as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002, its Code of Guidance and the Council's Homelessness Strategy:
a) individuals with HIV related health difficulties will automatically be assessed as vulnerable
b) the proximity of hospital services, support groups and social networks (beyond the family) will be taken into account when assessing an applicant's local connection
c) the suitability of previous accommodation for someone with a chronic illness, and its security, will be taken into account when determining whether or not an applicant with HIV/AIDS is intentionally homeless
d) where possible, short term, temporary accommodation or accommodation with shared facilities will not be offered to people with HIV related illness for whom the Council accepts a rehousing responsibility. It if is absolutely necessary to provide temporary accommodation, account should be taken of the individual's health needs (see paragraph 2.9).
3.6 The Council will ensure that housing register applicants are:
a) offered assistance with the completion of forms
b) provided with information about procedures relating to confidentiality
c) advised about the operation of the Allocations Scheme, and the way in which information about medical needs should be submitted.
4.0 Medical Assessment
4.1 HIV will constitute a medical need under the terms of the Council's allocations policy and will be awarded priority by the Medical Adviser as normal. The role of the Medical Adviser in assessing applicants from people living with HIV/AIDS will be to make any special recommendations on the type of property to be offered, and not to define whether or not HIV constitutes a medical need.
5.0 Allocation of Permanent Accommodation
5.1 Property allocated to people with HIV/AIDS will:
a) have central heating
b) be on the ground floor, or accessible by lift
c) have extra space for carers if required
d) have rooms large enough for the storage of medical equipment, and to facilitate home care by nursing staff
e) be located close to social support networks, shops and parking facilities or public transport network.
5.2 Where an individual is rehoused with his/her carer, rehousing options will be provided for the carer.
6.0 Housing Management
6.1 Tenant & Leaseholder Services staff shall be sensitive to the circumstances of tenants living with HIV/AIDS who may have to spend long periods of time in hospital, during which time their homes may be empty. Where appropriate, staff will assist tenants to obtain their maximum entitlement to housing and other benefits during periods of absence in hospital.
6.2 Tenant & Leaseholder Services staff will be mindful of the particular circumstances of people living with HIV/AIDS when dealing with complaints of harassment. Whilst normal procedures should be followed for obtaining evidence, care should be taken not to insist on police or social services reports in cases where victims of harassment believe they are at risk of persecution or prosecution (for example for drug or sexual offences). It may instead be appropriate to accept evidence from a medical practitioner, voluntary agency, tenants association representative or caretaker.
6.3 Tenant & Leaseholder Services staff should not approach neighbours or others without the informed consent of the person affected by harassment, and should follow the Council's normal procedures for tackling harassment and violence. In particular, any person wishing to remain in his/her home must receive the highest priority from any repairs section to ensure that the property is secure, whilst tenants wishing to leave should be offered appropriate temporary accommodation or assistance.
7.0 Key Targets / Standards
7.1 None identified
8.0 Date approved: 18 September 1995
23 March 2005
9.0 Date Reviewed: 5 July 1999
2nd Review: January 2009
Extracts from policy for Allocations Scheme (Hometrack) 2009 - Use of Housing property by Surrey Police
1.0 Statement of Intent
1.1 The Council wants to support the Police in tackling crime especially when this takes place on its housing estates and recognises that from time to time Police may need to use Council accommodation to carry out surveillance when they have reason to believe that criminal activity is taking place. At the same time the Council is expected by central Government and by the principles of sound property management to ensure that properties are not kept empty and losing rent for any longer than is necessary.
2.1 The Council will do its best to agree to requests from Surrey Police to make available vacant Council accommodation for use as a surveillance base if requested by an officer of the rank of Inspector or above.
2.2 Only properties that are vacant or about to become vacant will be made available. On no account will the Council arrange for the Police to use an occupied property for surveillance although it will not object to the Police negotiating such arrangements directly with occupants.
2.3 Where possible the Council would prefer to continue preparations for re-letting while Police officers are using the premises, but usually this will not be possible because of the equipment installed and the presence of officers.
2.4 If the surveillance activity delays the re-letting process the Business Manager may give consent for such use for up to two weeks without charge to the Police.
2.5 If periods longer than two weeks are required the Inspector requesting the facility will be asked to sign an agreement on behalf of Surrey Police to pay a weekly charge equivalent to the full standard rent.
2.6 In the event that Police require the use of premises for more than four weeks their request will be considered by the Business Manager.
3.0 Key Standards / Targets
4.0 Date Agreed: 16 March 1996
23 March 2005
5.0 Date Reviewed: June 1999
Anti-social behaviour procedure
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is defined in accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as `behaviour by any person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the perpetrator of the anti-social behaviour' The Home Office has a similar definition. Respect Standard core categories and additional sub-categories listed: Appendix 1.
Housing Services has signed up to the Respect Standard for Housing Management. Although the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Respect Task Force has been superseded by the Youth Task Force (March 2008) which will tackle ASB by placing emphasis on children, schools and families, the principles contained in the Respect Standard for Housing Management are included in Key Line Of Enquiry (KLOE) 6 Tenancy and Estate Management used in audit inspections (Appendix 2). Inspections will be carried out in local authorities from April 2011 by the Tenant Services Authority who will expect tenant involvement in reviews of policy and procedures relating to this KLOE.
ASB is dealt with most effectively when the Council works in partnership with other Council services, other agencies and the Police.
It is also vital to work closely with tenants: to consult on policy and procedures; to reassure the complainant and receive appropriate information; to assist the perpetrator e.g. by referral to another agency to help control incidents of ASB.
More detailed information about processes is contained in the appendices to this procedure.
Dealing with reports of ASB
Basic steps are listed on flow chart `Housing Services - ASB and harassment' at Appendix 3. Timescales for initial and urgent action noted on the flow chart. This was agreed with the Respect Standard in Housing Management working group of tenants and Officers in May 2008.
Initial reports of hate crime (including harassment) should be completed by either the complainant or an officer using the online form on the Council's website. The procedure then continues as for all other reports of ASB.
Once the case has been opened on Academy, the housing IT management system, an acknowledgement letter, incident sheets, information on how to complete them (Appendix 4) and general information about ASB (Appendix 5 - page 1, page 2, page 3 and page 4 ) is sent to the complainant.
When incident sheets are returned, Statutory Incident information regarding type and time of incidents is logged using Housemark/Respect main category headings by Housing Officer area (one of the Borough's nine neighbourhood areas), by street, date and time of incident.
The incident sheets are then passed to the relevant Housing Officer who assesses type and level of complaint, contacts the complainant (unless discussed case at an earlier stage) and continues with action agreed with the complainant until case is closed (Appendix 6 : Detail for Housing Officer action).
If incident sheets are not returned, the Housing Officer will ascertain that there is no particular reason for this e.g. fear of reprisal, language barrier etc, and a case closed letter and satisfaction survey is sent to the complainant six weeks after initial complaint (Appendix 7). If incidents recur, a new case should be opened and the process repeated.
Timescales for response and actions taken will vary according to severity and type of ASB reported. This may involve contact with other agencies or other services within the Council.
Possible actions are listed in Appendix 8 ranging from early intervention such as verbal or written warning to perpetrator or involving the Mediation Service through to more formal legal action such as issuing a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) to the perpetrator and various court actions such as demoting a secure tenancy, obtaining an injunction, court undertaking etc.
Whether or not legal action is taken will depend on a variety of factors including the quality of evidence and reports (primarily using incident sheets, but also hearsay evidence and/or police evidence) and the seriousness of the ASB.
Suggestions for victim (complainant) support are listed in Appendix 9 together with notes on hearsay evidence. Hearsay evidence should be collected where it is known/very likely that the perpetrator would intimidate or harass the complainant.
An audit trail of actions is available on Academy, CSM front office, ASB case details from April 2009 and prior that on CSM itself. This includes actions (tasks), standard letters, details of closed cases and satisfaction survey sent to complainant and perpetrator when the case is closed. Monitoring can be undertaken from the CSM module.
For incidents to staff or contractors see relevant procedure.
Details from relevant legislation is available to Housing Services staff.
Involvement of other Council services
- Legal Services (Corporate) - for advice on formal legal action and assistance with court process. Also checking the NOSP; preparation for injunctions, collating witness statements (including hearsay evidence), referring cases to court, working with officers to consider preferred outcomes e.g. court undertaking from perpetrator, demotion order, outright order; attendance at court with Housing Officer and in cases where an outright order is sought, instructing a barrister to act on behalf of the Council.
Allocations (Housing Services) - for signing off and monitoring management transfers (see relevant policy and procedures).
Housing Options (Housing Services) - for information about homeless applicants; floating support referrals; discussion about eviction.
Home Support Officers (Independent Living Services) - if ASB reported in supported or sheltered tenancies.
Planning (Planning Services) and/or Valuers (Asset Management Services) - for disputes about boundaries/high hedges.
- Neighbourhood Services: partnership working -
a) Community Safety Team for non-tenant ASB and assistance where tenant and non-Council tenant/owner occupier involved in dispute; referrals to multi-agency panels; requests for Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs); information about borough wide ASB initiatives e.g. Tune In meetings; work of Community Development Officers etc.
b) Environmental Health for assistance with noise nuisance, animals, pests.
c) Grounds maintenance/street care which includes litter, flytipping - contact Neighbourhood Officers.
Multi agency partnership working
Partnership working is a crucial element in dealing effectively with ASB. At a formal level this is covered by membership of the Surrey Crime and Disorder Information Sharing Protocol.
Appendix 10 gives more information about the information sharing and data protection, lists relevant groups covered by protocol (such as the Community Incident Action Group (CIAG) and the Joint Action Group (JAG) and highlights relevant referral forms to certain groups which Housing Officers must use.
Appendix 16 gives contact addresses not just of government agencies, but also Social Care, mental health, probation teams and contacts for support for vulnerable persons and for victim support.
Police and other relevant agencies to be contacted for basic discussion/ support in dealing with perpetrators where appropriate. Contact details for Neighbourhood Specialist Officers (police) on the Council's intranet, EWOK, under Staff and Services. Also contact the Police where criminal behaviour involved.
Housing Officers to attend case conferences when requested to give Housing Services point of view and to fully participate in decisions.
Joint working with the Police to enable simultaneous court action relating to drug dealing activities in Council properties to be planned so that warning letters/NOSP and court hearing can take into account both Police and landlord action.
Referrals may be made for floating support to assist individuals to maintain their tenancy (see relevant procedure relating to HomeFirst).
Housing Action Team (HAT) meetings between police, housing, community safety and environmental health are held monthly to review and progress longstanding ASB cases.
Officers to work with Tenant Representatives, the Tenant and Leaseholder Forum, specific working groups considering ASB policy and procedure and residents groups to promote understanding of how the Council and others tackle ASB.
Officers to work with the police and assist residents groups who wish to set up Neighbourhood Watch as part of their remit.
Relevant clauses in the Tenancy Terms and Conditions (Appendix 11), the ASB Service Standards (Appendix 12) and the ASB section in the Tenants' Guide (Appendix 13) have been produced jointly by tenants, leaseholders and officers when all three were updated in May 2006 and subsequently revised in 2009. The relevant tenancy conditions should be quoted in correspondence with the perpetrator and for NOSPs.
Whenever dealing with ASB or any form of nuisance clarify the importance of residents' assistance for any success. This may also be in conjunction with Neighbourhood Services and police.
Care of the Environment
Subject to funding availability consider secure entry to blocks of flats, closing off alleyways and other areas to discourage loitering, planting prickly bushes near flats or on small grassed areas to discourage ball games etc.
Work with Neighbourhood Services and Community Safety on clean-up projects, such as those held annually at Lakeview, to encourage a greater sense of community as well as improving the appearance of an area.
Respond to community initiatives such as provision of play areas to highlight any possible problems with chosen locations.
Ensure graffiti is reported to contractors and removed within appropriate timescales. Remove offensive graffiti within 24 hours.
Ensure abandoned, untaxed and dangerous vehicles are reported to contractors and removed within appropriate legal timescales.
BI query reports on ASB obtained by Housing Manager on quarterly basis generated from Academy Racial incidents form compiled annually for Corporate Services, Community Safety, government returns: Appendix 14.
Respect data returned quarterly to Community Safety Officer, Neighbourhood Services : Appendix 15.
Statutory instrument information collated by Community Safety, Neighbourhood Services on a monthly basis using corporate y drive, `Anti-social behaviour data collection `(based on T and L spreadsheet in Excel Tenant and Leaseholder Services, shared drive, Anti-social folder - ASB incident sheets info from Oct 2007).
Monthly statistics for abandoned vehicles reported to Neighbourhood Services for BVPI 218a: percentage of new reports of abandoned vehicles investigated within 24 hours and BV218b percentage of abandoned vehicles removed legally within 24 hours.
Information from reports is published in Streetwise magazine and where appropriate (e.g. an eviction) reported to the press.
Procedures to be reviewed periodically and officers made aware of any changes.
Contacts list: Appendix 16.
Website links: Appendix 17.
Agreed by Housing Task Group, October 2008
Anti-social behaviour master procedure document July 2008
Revised March 2009
Appendix 1: Anti-social behaviour categories (Respect) and sub-categories related to police categories used for statutory instrument reporting
Respect categories are in bold.
Do not use vague categories e.g. nuisance, that are not qualified.
- noisy neighbours
- noisy cars and motorbikes
- loud music
- shouting and swearing.
2. Verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation and threatening behaviour:
- groups or individuals making threats
- verbal abuse
- sending nasty or offensive letters
- menacing gestures
- pestering people.
3. Hate-related incidents (based on race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, religion or age etc):
- any category above, under the verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation and threatening behaviour section
- separate out for each of the hate-related aspects.
4. Vandalism and damage to property:
- damage to buildings
- damage to trees, plants and hedges etc.
5. Pets and animal nuisance
6. Nuisance from vehicles:
- inconvenient or illegal parking
- car repairs on the street or in gardens
- abandoned cars.
7. Drugs, substance misuse and drug dealing:
- taking drugs
- sniffing volatile substances
- discarding needles or drug paraphernalia
- crack house
- presence of dealers or users.
- drunken behaviour
- street drinking.
9. Domestic abuse
10. Physical violence (other than domestic abuse):
11. Litter, rubbish and flytipping:
- dropping litter
- dumping rubbish
12. Garden nuisance
13. Misuse of communal areas, public space or loitering:
- hooliganism and loutish behaviour
- urinating in public
- setting fires
- inappropriate use of fireworks
- throwing missiles
- climbing on buildings
- impeding access to communal areas
- games in restricted or inappropriate areas
- letting down tyres.
14. Prostitution, sexual acts and kerb crawling:
- pestering residents
- inappropriate sexual conduct
- indecent exposure.
15. Criminal behaviour or crime not in any other categories
Appendix 6 - Detail for Housing Officer action
Complaints/enquiries relating to anti-social behaviour
1. A complaint may be received from a variety of sources, in writing, in person, by phone or by email. The complaint should be logged on Academy CSM by whoever receives the complaint and an acknowledgement letter, incident sheets and information sheets sent to the complainant within three working days (Appendix 4 and Appendix 5 - page 1, page 2, page 3 and page 4 ) .
2. Housing Officers taking a phone call may explain the process and then re-iterate this, together with confirmation of any action from both sides once incident sheets have been received and assessed.
3. Where the complainant wishes to remain anonymous:
Reassure the complainant that their identity will not be disclosed to any other party, including the police or other statutory agency, without their prior permission. Explain the procedure in more detail.
If the complainant still declines to be identified, assure them that they can contact you again if the matter persists.
Situations requiring an immediate response
1. This may include harassment, any other form of hate crime, and may involve other agencies such as the Police and should be responded to within 24 hours.
2. Consider whether interim legal action (e.g. an injunction) is necessary and if so respond within 48 hours.
3. Retrieve the house file and look at history, identifying any previous complaints or other relevant issues.
4. Request information through Protocol from partner agencies if appropriate.
5. Consider appropriate response for both victim (e.g. management move) and perpetrator.
1. If incident sheets are returned:
Consider the evidence and the type of behaviour complained of. Does it point towards a pattern of behaviour, other suspects?
If the evidence is strong enough to implicate an individual/individuals, send an initial warning letter (unless complainant asks for no contact to be made).
Consider what other evidence gathering measures could be employed, e.g. CCTV, DAT machine (for noise).
If incident sheets are clearly completed incorrectly, the complainant should be contacted after they have been received and discussion take place about how they need to be filled in e.g. to present information in a factual and non-emotive manner for possible court action at a later stage.
2. If incident sheets are not returned:
Try to find out if the complainant(s) is too intimidated to make a complaint. If this is likely to be justifiable in court, consider hearsay or use of professional witnesses.
If they explain they are unable to read or write offer a dictaphone.
If it is a language problem, ask if they need an interpreter.
Consider what other evidence gathering measures could be employed, e.g. CCTV, DAT machine.
Whatever is agreed, confirm it in writing with the complainant(s) and agree a course of action: what you will do and what you expect of the complainant(s). Where appropriate, consider inviting the complainants in for a meeting to discuss the situation.
The initial warning
1. The alleged perpetrator(s) will need to be warned of the consequences of the behaviour complained of. Write to them and consider inviting them to an interview within three working days of receiving official complaint.
2. Copy correspondence to any relevant agency, e.g. police or social care where appropriate.
3. Liaise with the Housing Income Officers to see if there are rent arrears and whether or not a Notice Of Seeking Possession (NOSP) or court action is planned or being undertaken already.
Support for the perpetrator
1. Examine the possible causes of the alleged behaviour. Is there support that could be provided which would prevent the behaviour without taking formal action?
Consider consulting with other agencies (e.g. Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), Social Care) or referral to CIAG if the behaviour affects the wider community.
Bear in mind the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Building a case
1. If no incident sheets are received over a period of six weeks, the case can be closed and a letter and satisfaction survey sent out to the complainant. Should the complainant make further contact a new case should be opened on Academy CSM:
If the anti-social behaviour persists assess a suitable way forward. This may be low level - a further warning, re-iterating mediation etc or more serious such as taking legal action e.g. an injunction, a warning of demotion, a NOSP.
The perpetrator should be warned before a NOSP will be sent and also warned before the case is referred to court.
Complainants should be kept informed of any actions proposed and at the same time reminded to continue to send in incident sheets to keep the council up to date. They should also be asked to be witnesses at court. Provide appropriate support (see Appendix 9 for anti-social behaviour procedure).
At all times keep in touch with relevant agencies, police, other council services as appropriate for case.
- These will vary according to the tenancy type and may be a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) for a Council secure tenancy or an assured tenancy held by a Woking Borough Homes Ltd tenant or a Notice to Quit (NTQ) for a licence or assured shorthold tenancy.
The tenancy agreement allows for a notice to be posted, but it is preferable to deliver personally and explain the process. Keep a copy and certify it as a true copy of the original.
Notify any relevant partner agencies, e.g. police, Social Care and also Housing Options so they are aware of possible future legal action.
- Notices are particularly effective if they include reference to police or other service involvement (e.g. Environmental Health for noise nuisance). Permission should be sought from the relevant service before including reference to them in the Notice
Review situation shortly before the NOSP 28 days has expired to consider whether there is sufficient additional evidence to refer the case to court. If not, keep under review for 12 months and take action when appropriate. If further complaints have been received within the 28 days, warn the perpetrator within two working days that the case will be referred to court and refer the case to legal services for court action within four working days of the NOSP expiry date.
Guide to some remedies
When all those involved agree.
Suitable for: noise, boundary disputes, where children involved, abuse, pets, parking, rubbish, where one or more neighbours don't get on and where the dispute is not such that can be resolved by tenancy enforcement.
Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)
Voluntary agreement between agencies and individual, often used with children and young adults but can be with anyone.
Use for low-level persistent ASB and where a warning not been successful.
Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
Civil order for anyone over 10 years old for a fixed period (minimum two years). Breach of order is criminal offence.
Used when other methods have been exhausted and should be applied for via CIAG.
Undertaking to the court
- Can obtain this in relation to anti-social behaviour.
- Breach may lead to imprisonment.
- Civil order obtained from county court prohibiting person from behaving in anti-social manner.
- Some have power of arrest or can exclude a person from a property or an area.
- Breach of injunction can result in up to two years in prison and/or fine.
- Can apply for one to prohibit anti-social behaviour that affects landlord management of stock.
Can, and should, be sought as quickly as possible once relevant occurrence identified.
Can only be used on those with the mental capacity to understand what they are doing and how to modify their behaviour.
- Demoted tenancies, introduced specifically to deal with anti-social behaviour, should be considered where the threat or actual breach of tenancy is serious, but where it is considered more appropriate initially to reduce tenancy rights than seek an outright eviction in the first instance.
- Applied for at court following warning to tenant. Removes security of tenure for a year and some tenancy rights e.g. mutual exchange or Right to Buy. Have to demonstrate reasonable and justifiable to ask the court for a demotion order.
- Gives serious warning to tenant as court order for eviction mandatory if Council takes case back to court within the year the tenancy is demoted.
Can be used effectively with an injunction.
- If not sure, can review with judge at court stage whether to seek demotion or possession order.
Once NOSP expired, if anti-social behaviour continues, warn of court action, if behaviour continues contact Legal Services to refer to court.
Where action is taken on a secure or assured tenancy, Legal Services will take witness statements and then refer to court. Can also use hearsay at this stage.
There is likely to be an adjournment if perpetrator seeking legal advice.
Judge's decision is discretionary, thus may not obtain eviction order. Need substantial evidence to be successful.
If do obtain eviction order, perpetrator can apply for warrant suspension which may be granted.
If the tenancy is a licence, an assured shorthold or demoted it is good practice to give a reason for application for eviction, but the court order for eviction is mandatory.
Updated March 2009
Appendix 8 - List of possible actions relating to anti-social behaviour (based on Housemark Respect Toolkit categories)
1. Early interventions:
- verbal or written warning to perpetrator
- use floating tenancy support service
- Anti-social Behaviour Contract (ABC)
- referral to mediation service
- referral to multi-agency group or panel
- work in partnership with Council services
- attend case conferences to clarify housing or tenancy position
- review with police - informally or using an Information Sharing Protocol (ISP)
- recommend parenting agreement or contract
- referral to drug or alcohol support service
- referral to mental health, community care or social care services
- management transfer of complainant or perpetrator.
2. Enforcement actions:
- Notice Seeking Possession (NOSP)
- possession order (e.g. Notice to Quit - NTQ)
- Notice of Demotion
- demotion order from court
- extension of demotion order
- undertaking to the court
- recommendation for Parenting Order
- Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
- Right to Buy Suspension Order
- forfeiture of lease
- Building Closure.
Appendix 9 - Support for the victim, complainant or witness
Support for complainants is key in dealing with anti-social behaviour and all reports must be responded to professionally and confidentially.
Wherever possible, contact complainants in the way they prefer e.g. phone, letter, email, visit.
Offer complainant the choice of gender or ethnicity of the person they would like to speak to in cases of domestic violence or other sensitive matters for instance in relation to the various types of hate crime.
Racial and other harassment (hate crime) should be responded to within one working day. Liaise with police unless victim objects to this. It may be appropriate to consider a management transfer.
Where relevant, advise on how to complete an incident sheet.
Be clear about what the Council or other agencies may be able to do and advise how complainant may go about resolving the problem themselves e.g. by speaking to the perpetrator or by mediation.
Don't expect the complainant to do anything they do not wish to do, but explain this may mean the case cannot be pursued (e.g. if they do not want the perpetrator to be contacted).
Where the Council becomes involved, keep in touch at key stages about action taken and information needed from them.
Gather evidence and review possible legal action against the perpetrator.
Gather hearsay evidence or use a professional witness if it is clear there is likely to be reprisal from the perpetrator.
Refer to Victim Support, particularly if the complainant is a witness in court and needs additional reassurance.
Ensure that if we take a case to court, any witnesses have a pre-meeting with Legal Services and the Housing Officer to brief them on their role and what might be expected.
Consider moving witness to another location if there are serious safety implications (see referral forms).
A management move can be requested, supported by evidence from the police or other agencies, though this is for serious cases only. The tenant would be given a Band C, Priority Move under the Choice Based Lettings scheme (Hometrak and Offers of Accommodation Policy).
Provision of alarms and surveillance may be necessary for reassurance and safety of complainants and witnesses. Police support should also be sought in such instances.
The Council may also provide five lever mortice locks to witnesses' external doors, waive the costs of damage for which the tenant would normally be responsible, replace or upgrade external beading on UPVC windows, provide front door views, internal letter box flaps, bolts and chains on front doors. This is similar to the Sanctuary scheme (for cases of domestic violence) run by the police.
Hearsay evidence is given by one person on behalf of another or others rather than the witness(es) providing a first hand account.
The quality and detail of the evidence is crucial - the judge decides on the strength of the evidence.
The court must be told if the witness is too frightened to give evidence, and additional evidence must be given showing the reason for such fear. This improves the value and weight of the hearsay evidence.
Hearsay evidence is generally admissible in civil proceedings under the Civil Evidence Act 1995 s1(4), but subject to compliance with the Magistrates' Courts (Hearsay Evidence in Civil Proceedings) Rules 1999 which require the party wishing to rely on hearsay evidence to provide written notice at least 21 days before the hearing to the other party and the court. A `Notice of intention to introduce hearsay evidence' form 6440 should be used.
Hearsay evidence is not admissible in criminal proceedings unless on application by either party the court decides that certain conditions contained in S114-117 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 are satisfied.
Appendix 10 - Information Exchange: Surrey Crime and Disorder Information Sharing Protocol
This protocol enables agencies to work together effectively in Crime and Disorder Partnerships and within the terms of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 1998. The protocol covers the following groups:
CIAG (Community Incident Action Group) - multi agency group of relevant agencies who meet to address community safety issues caused by individuals, families and others. Issues and monitors Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in the borough. Housing Officers nominating tenants must use CIAG referral form.
JAG (Joint Action Group) - multi agency group specialising in locations identified as hotspots for anti-social behaviour and aims to address environmental issues as a practical solution to a problem e.g. organising and funding litter picking and clean up days. Housing Officers nominating tenants must use the JAG referral form.
RAMP (Risk Assessment Management Panel) - based locally. Reviews and monitors high risk offenders (generally sex offenders and potentially dangerous offenders).
MAPP (Multi Agency Public Protection Panel) - convened by police or probation and involving others as appropriate. Meets following concerns raised at RAMP and where there are potential resource implications.
SADAS (Surrey Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service) - independent charity providing service for drug and alcohol users.
OMNI Outreach Team - charity assisting those with mental health problem who are drug or alcohol users.
BLIP (Blue Light Initiative Process) - an agency will alert others round the clock about an individual seen as a risk or being at risk in the community.
Formal requests from the police - relating to individuals should be requested using the Information Request form.
Appendix 11 - Terms and Conditions of the Tenancy Agreement
1. The tenancy agreement terms and conditions are the legal contract between the Council and the tenant and relevant clauses relating to anti-social behaviour must be explained at sign up and a note made for the file that this has been done.
2. Any letter regarding anti-social behaviour (alleged or otherwise) should re-iterate the obligations of tenants under the tenancy agreement. These should also be quoted in any Notice Of Seeking Possession (NOSP).
Relevant clauses of the tenancy terms and conditions
3. Your Responsibilities: Anti-social behaviour, nuisance and harassment:
- You, members of your household, friends, or any other person living in or visiting your property (including children) must not do, or allow any of the following. If you do, we may take legal action under relevant legislation which may lead to your eviction.
- Anything causing, or likely to cause, a nuisance or annoyance to anyone in the local area.
- Anything causing any nuisance or annoyance to anyone in the local area by playing loud and/or amplified music or by making any noise or vibration which is likely to cause a nuisance to anyone else.
- Anything causing, or likely to cause, harassment to anyone in the local area because of their race, colour, nationality, religion, sex, sexuality or disability in any way which may interfere with their peace or comfort, or causing offence or likely to cause offence.
- Anything using, or threatening use of, violence, intimidation, threats, verbal abuse, theft, damage to property, indecency or immoral acts or allowing illegal drug activities in or around your home.
- Anything abusive, discriminating against, intimidating, threatening or causing an assault on any person including council employees, agents or representatives.
4. We may also take legal action to evict you if you, or any person living in or visiting the property is convicted of any arrestable offence committed in the property or in the local area.
5. The Council may take legal action to evict you from the property if, as a result of domestic violence inflicted by you, your partner leaves the property and is unable to return.
6. If you let any pet become out of control or cause nuisance we may pursue legal action for anti-social behaviour which could result in a court order for your pet to be removed from your home.
Vehicles and parking
7. You must not cause any nuisance which would be in breach of any terms of this agreement when parking any vehicle(s) at the property: for instance by creating excessive noise or untidiness.
8. Other clauses may also be cited depending on the context of the complaint e.g. in relation to untidy gardens, use of parking spaces etc.
Appendix 12 - Service Standard: Anti-social behaviour extract
Issued to all tenants
Woking Borough Council is committed to tackling all forms of anti-social behaviour by its tenants and leaseholders, members of the tenant or leaseholder's family and/or visitors to a tenant or leaseholder's home. In the process of this, it also seeks to maintain residents' rights to a quiet and peaceful home.
Incidents of anti-social behaviour
We will take steps to reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour by:
Advising all tenants of the conditions of their tenancy agreement or licence, including their responsibilities to their neighbours and community, when they first sign up for their tenancy.
Visiting all new tenants within 28 days of the start of their tenancy to make sure they have settled in and reminding them, where appropriate, about keeping to the conditions of their tenancy.
Using Streetwise magazine and other opportunities to publicise information about anti-social behaviour to all tenants and leaseholders.
Promoting good relationships with groups and individuals within the community and working closely with the police, Community Safety Officers, Social Care, Woking Mediation and other voluntary groups.
Encouraging residents' groups to consider estate based environmental improvements to help combat anti-social behaviour.
When problems occur
When problems occur, we will:
Open your case within two working days, acknowledge your complaint in writing, sending incident sheets for you to complete and information about how we tackle anti-social behaviour.
Respond within 24 hours if you complain of serious harassment or hate crime.
Listen carefully to what you have to say and recognise that the nuisance is of serious concern to you.
Explain that the time taken to tackle anti-social behaviour varies depending on the type of action taken and you give details and examples of this.
Keep you informed at key stages of the case according to agreements made in the action plan.
Agree an action plan setting out what each of us will do by agreed times.
Advise you about what action you can take if we are unable to help you with the problem.
Gather together evidence from you and others and consider whether we should take legal action against the perpetrator.
Undertake our own investigations where appropriate.
Making a complaint
If you complain about harassment, racial or otherwise, we will:
Take your complaint seriously, responding within 24 hours, and with your permission, involving the police and other agencies.
Consider a move to another property if the risk is so great that it is warranted.
Take appropriate action against the perpetrator, where known.
Please respond to our satisfaction surveys as these can help us to improve our service to you.
For further information, please call your Housing Officer.
Appendix 13 - Extract from Tenants' Guide
Issued to all tenants
Conduct at home and in the neighbourhood
Tenant and Leaseholder Services deal with all types of anti-social behaviour complaints including harassment, neighbour disputes, noise, ball games and boundary disputes. The Council is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour to maintain everyone's right to a quiet and peaceful home. You can assist with this by making sure that neither you, nor those who live with or who visit you, cause any nuisance at your home or in the neighbourhood.
A breach of tenancy, if a tenant has been convicted of an arrestable offence, comes from the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This was modified by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which gave a new general power of arrest when made by a constable where the person is liable to be charged with a crime. This includes causing physical injury to self or another, causing loss or damage to property, committing an offence against public decency and also to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person being arrested.
We work closely with other agencies such as the police. Information is exchanged within the terms of confidentiality protocols in relation to persons (Community Incident Action Group: CIAG), or property and land (Joint Action Group: JAG). Housing also works closely with other Council services such as Environmental Health who help with noise nuisance, Community Safety who are involved with non-tenant related anti-social behaviour and Neighbourhood Services Officers who work closely with the local police.
If you experience harassment in any form please contact the Council and/or the police. We will deal with any cases of harassment swiftly and with the assistance of other agencies if you are willing for us to involve them. We are also able to provide interpreters and translation into different languages if this is appropriate. Examples of harassment include racist behaviour or language, using or threatening to use violence, using abusive or insulting words or behaviour, damaging or threatening to damage another person's home or possessions, writing abusive, threatening or insulting graffiti.
If you see vandalism or graffiti contact the police immediately. Any information you give will be treated confidentially. If either is carried out on Council property or housing land, please also contact Woking Repairs Service for repairs and Tenant and Leaseholder Services for graffiti removal.
When you report anti-social behaviour to us, we will acknowledge your complaint and we will ask you to complete incident sheets which we need to help us assess the level of nuisance you are experiencing. They also indicate precisely when incidents occur and how they affect you, so we can use the information if we take formal legal action.
We do not proceed without contacting you first and your information is treated confidentially. If it can be shown that you would be subject to threats to your safety following any report you make to us, and if formal legal action is needed to resolve the anti-social behaviour you have reported, we can use the information from your incident sheets and present it ourselves as `hearsay' evidence.
There are a number of ways we might tackle anti-social behaviour, depending on the issue and the type and quality of the evidence you give us. This may be advice about mediation, warnings to the perpetrator, or more formal action such as issuing a Notice of Seeking Possession, (NOSP) or taking court action for an injunction, an undertaking to court, a demoted tenancy or eviction. We may also consider Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) or Anti-Social Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) or exclusions from the Housing Register.
As you see, we cannot take any action unless you assist us.
Reference: Tenancy Terms and Conditions: 4.12; 4.40.
Service Standards: Information sheets on Anti-social behaviour.
You can keep pets as long as they do not cause a nuisance. Nuisance might include allowing dogs to stray, fouling in communal areas in flats, grassed areas, pavements and paths, aggression or harm to another person, noise nuisance or damage to your home caused by your pet.
Reference: Tenancy Terms and Conditions: 4.4
Woking Borough Council is committed to keeping your homes and general environment safe and pleasant places to live and to enhancing this service after consulting you and listening to your views.
Inspect housing communal areas on a quarterly basis, taking appropriate action to deal with untidy gardens, rubbish, dumped bulky items, and unsatisfactory cleaning of communal areas in buildings.
Keep communal areas and facilities safe, working with you and others to identify improvements to enhance your personal safety and general safety in your area.
Take steps to remove abandoned vehicles on housing land using a seven day notice then removing in 14 days. Dangerous vehicles will be removed at once.
Consider requests for improvements from you either directly or through residents' groups, the Tenant and Leaseholder Forum or your Tenant Representative, from Officers and others. These will be prioritised for action when funds permit.
Take action following reports of anti-social behaviour which affects the appearance, amenities or enjoyment of the environment, for instance, noise, anti-social car repairs, vandalism, unruly pets. Action will be taken to deal with graffiti within 24 hours.
Follow proper legal and statutory procedures for issues which may affect the general neighbourhood as well as individuals such as boundary disputes, businesses run from home, child minding, alterations to homes.
Work with you as well as others such as the police, statutory bodies, highways, local community groups and contractors to develop and improve the service provided in your area.
Property and land management
Manage garages, ensuring they remain in good condition and when garages are available, offer within two working days to appropriate applicants on the waiting list.
Keep our properties in safe repair.
Make sure that contracts to maintain housing land are carried out according to agreements with the Council.
Initiate treatment to remove pests, such as wasps, in communal areas within two working days.
For further information, please call your Housing Officer.
Appendix 15 - Quarterly information: Government requirement
The following data is collected from returned incident sheets and is required by the Government, on a quarterly basis:
- number of recorded written and verbal warnings issued
- number of Anti-social Behaviour Contracts (ABC) issued
- number of anti-social behaviour related Notice Of Seeking Possession (NOSP) issued
- number of Demotion Orders issued
- number of Housing Injunctions or Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions (ASBI) issued or Local Government Injunctions
- number of anti-social behaviour related evictions
- number of Interim Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) obtained
- number of stand alone Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) obtained
- number of Individual Support Orders granted
- number of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders on conviction granted
- number of crack house closures
- number of parenting contracts issued
- number of parenting orders issued.
Appendix 16 - Contacts list
Communities and Local Government
Telephone: 020 7944 4400
Anti-Social Behaviour and Crime Prevention Unit
The Home Office
4th Floor, South East Corner
2 Marsham Street
Telephone: Action Line 0870 220 2000
Youth Task Force
Department for Children, Schools and Families
7th Floor, Caxton House
6-12 Tothill Street
Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group
C/O Whitefriars Homes South
Telephone: 024 7623 1748
147-150 Victoria Road
Wiltshire SN1 3UY
Telephone: 01793 863 500
Abraham Cowley Unit
Telephone: 01932 723278
Provides help and support for people with mental health problems. This unit offers clients help in claiming benefits and assistance in gaining life skills.
Acorn Drug & Alcohol Service
49 Farnham Road
Telephone: 01483 450256
A service for people with drug and alcohol problems. Provides information and advice on drug and alcohol problems.
Age Concern (Local branch of this national organisation)
20 High Street
Telephone: 01483 720537 (General Information Line: 0800 00 99 66)
Provides information, advice and an advocacy service for the over 50's.
Al-Anon & Al-ateen
Telephone: 0207 4030888
Alcohol advisory service. Provides support and advice for those with alcohol problems and their families. Al-ateen is a service for young people with alcohol problems.
14 Jenner Road
A drug and alcohol advice service for young people. Provides advice on debt management, budgeting, tenancies and claiming benefits, practical help to purchase/store furniture, fill out forms, book appointments and improve life skills
Church Street West
Telephone: 01483 714150
Local church in Woking. A wide range of advice available, including rent deposit scheme information, budgeting, referrals and advice on other sources of information.
69 Woodbridge Road
Telephone: 01483 505555
A help-line service that provides emotional support to all sectors of the community. Provides referrals to other organisations and emotional support
Homefirst Housing Support Service
Guildford Borough Council
Supported Housing Service
Woking Housing Support Co-ordinators: 01483 743834
Partnership between Runnymede, Guildford and Woking Councils and Surrey Supporting People Team. Floating support for 10 people from Woking for those with on-going support needs relating to mental health, substance misuse, learning disability, physical disability, general vulnerability, those moving on from supported accommodation, at risk of re-offending, on probation or at risk of losing their home. Help is offered with filing in forms, claims, budgeting, daily living skills, resolving tenancy issues, accessing services.
Leaving Care Team (Surrey Youth Support Service)
Telephone: 01483 517070
Provides advice and support to young people leaving care and accommodation to homeless care leavers. Includes debt management, rent deposit scheme information, furniture purchase/storage and referrals to other organisations. Help with booking appointments and filling out forms.
MENCAP (Mental Handicap)
Woking and District
4a Board School Road
Telephone: 01483 760125
Helpline: 0808 808 1111 (free)
Minicom: 0808 808 8181
Provides advice, information and support for people with learning disabilities and their families.
Telephone: 0845 766 0163
Charity which helps and supports people with mental health problems. Drop in centre at Woking
Pakistani Muslim Welfare Association (PMWA)
The Maybury Centre
Board School Road
Telephone: 01483 770600
A local organisation that provides information to the local Pakistani community. Advice is given on a range of topics including housing related matters, benefits, immigration, pensions, and employment.
Probation Accommodation Team
Woking Probation Centre
White Rose Court
Telephone: 01483 718415
A broker agency that offers advice and support to offenders aged 18 or over, in order to reduce crime in the community. Provides employment opportunities, along with appropriate advice and support.
Rainer Surrey Floating Support Service
35 Guildford Road
Floating support scheme for young people at risk aged 16 and 17 years old and young people leaving local authority care between ages of 16 and 21 years, who need housing related support to maintain and promote independent living. Referrals accepted from the Council. Connected to, but independent of, Social Care.
Relate West Surrey
26 Commercial Way
Telephone: 01483 715285
A local branch of this national organisation. Offers relationship counselling to individuals, couples or families. A special service for young people is also available ('Relateen').
SADAS (Surrey Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service)
14 Jenner Road
Telephone: 01483 889541
A Guildford based drug & alcohol advice service (for young people). Boxmoore provide advice on debt management, budgeting, tenancies and claiming benefits, along with practical help to purchase / store furniture, fill out forms, book appointments and improve life skills.
Also: OMNI Outreach - works with rough sleepers, hard to reach clients, drug addicts.
Links Business Centre
Old Woking Road
Telephone: 01483 730019
Provides help to sustain your tenancy.
Social Care Emergency Duty Team
Kingston Upon Thames
Telephone: 01483 563317
A service provided by Social Service. Provides housing advice during out of office hours.
Surrey Police, Woking
Telephone: 0845 125 22 22 (Surrey Police Switchboard)
Minicom: 01483 539999
Opening hours: 8am - 10pm daily (station opening times are subject to staff availability and operational requirements, please call main switchboard for daily confirmation).
If you have a serious crime or an accident to report, always dial 999. However, if the incident is a minor or non-urgent crime, you can report it online at www.online.police.uk
If you would rather speak to someone, or if you have seen or heard something you wish to report, please call our switchboard on 0845 125 22 22 (this is a local rate number - for Minicom dial 01483 53 99 99) and they will put you through to the relevant person.
Or if you would prefer to give information anonymously, you might like to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Surrey Women's Aid
Telephone: 01483 776477
Provides short-term accommodation, support and advice to women and children fleeing domestic violence. Other advice and help offered includes resettlement support, advocacy when dealing with other organisations, legal and housing related advice and assistance with life skills.
Surrey Youth Offending Team (YOT)
Telephone: 01483 723922
Lodgings and advice offered to young offenders under the age of 18. In addition to advice on housing related issues and practical help in filling out forms and booking appointments, YOT provide specialist support in dealing with court procedures and in relation to accessing education, training or employment.
Victim Support West Surrey
15a Monument Way East
Support for people who appear in court, for example as a witness.
West Surrey Assessment Team
74 Chertsey Road
Telephone: 01483 518484
Offers help in booking appointments, filling out forms and referrals to other sources of advice and help.
Windmill Drug & Alcohol Service
The Abraham Cowley Unit
Telephone: 01932 723309
A local drug and alcohol advice service. Clients are offered a range of services that include assistance with life skills, help in filling out forms, advice on claiming benefits and referrals to other organisations. Referral required.
Citizens Advice Woking
26 Commercial Way
Phone: 03444 111 444
Local branch of the national advice service. Offers debt management, budgeting, tenancy and benefits advice. Accommodation lists and help with booking appointments, filling in forms and referrals to other organisations is also available.
Woking Community Furniture Project
Telephone: 01483 750005
Provides furniture and electrical goods to people on a low income. Need to be referred. Apply to a number of referral agencies, including Woking Borough Council for a referral form. (Referral day: Wednesday 9.30 - 12.30).
Woking Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)
29 Claremont Avenue
Telephone: 01483 756318
Gives advice on rent deposit schemes, budgeting and tenancies. Will also offer assistance in acquiring life skills and in referring clients to other agencies.
Also: CREST - an outreach team.
Woking Mediation Service
PO BOX 423
Telephone: 01483 301010
A local organisation that helps resolve disputes amongst neighbours. Information on other sources of information and referrals to other organisations is offered.
Woking Probation Centre
Telephone: 01483 776 262
Woking Social Care Team
35 Guildford Road
Telephone: 08456009 009
Clients are helped with booking appointment, filling in forms, purchasing or storing furniture and given advice on claiming benefits. Referrals are also made to other organisations.
Telephone: 01483 215190
Provides youth facility, such as a cafe, It facilities and a variety of clubs and classes for young people.
York Road Project
1 York Road
Telephone: 01483 728739 or 730620
A night shelter, with 11 beds, for adults including people with a range of needs (e.g. learning disabilities, drug and alcohol misuse and sex offenders). Also offers a drop in service. Referral to other organisations and information on other agencies is provided by the York Road project, along with more practical help such as help filling out forms and booking appointments
Appendix 17 - Anti-social behaviour website links
Below is a list of useful web links:
1. For the Respect standard Performance Improvement Toolkit and other PDFs such as the 'Guide for Landlords' and the 'Guide for the Public in relation to the Respect standard' visit the Communities and Local Government website.
3. The Garden Court Chambers offers information on the latest legal matters.
4. The Surrey Community Safety Unit works with a range of agencies within the community to improve co-operation between them, around the area of community safety.