Agenda item

Anti-Social Behaviour


Neil Bowden talked through his presentation. He discussed the various approaches and strategies currently being used to manage anti-social behaviour in the city. These are to tackle a range of issues and concerns including organised crime, nuisance vehicles, noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour in areas or places of concern.

Maddy Edwards gave an overview of the Housing Leeds role in managing ASB. Instances of ASB rose during the pandemic, there now being 205 live cases of ASB particularly related to noise nuisance and an increase of domestic abuse cases.  All cases enter an ASB ‘triage team’, which officers assess to look at the severity and then based on the available information make contact and discuss with customer. Once assigned to an officer the service undertakes a vulnerability matrix to assess needs and if there are any particular issues that need to be tackled. The triage team also decide if the case is to be managed with the Housing Office, who take on lower-level case or for more severe cases, the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team (LASBT) 


Housing Leeds work very closely with LASBT and Police and share information as required. We are very careful with what is shared and who to. Most cases within local housing teams get a resolution early in the process. If early stages are exhausted and behaviour is still prevalent, then we are able to serve a Housing Caution. If behaviour remains a referral is made to LASBT who then lead on taking the case for prosecution.

We manage cases by putting the victim first. LASBT meet every 6 weeks to review open cases. We do use mediation but this needs to be accepted by both parties and if therefore something that isn’t used as much as it would ideally be. 

Injunctions are also a tool we can use in certain cases, and if these are breached we can take further legal action. 


To help manage any ASB that occurs in multi-story blocks we are able to deploy security patrols and make use of static guards and have CCTV linked into Leeds Watch who monitor CCTV. We also look to instil a sense of professional curiosity in staff, which can lead to asking residents questions, building up knowledge of what is happening and helping us achieve better outcomes. The questions asked by officers can sometimes be challenging, but are essential to help take action. When we look at lessons learnt from how we have managed ASB cases, we are interested and do look to see how we have managed a case and if we have demonstrated our professional curiosity at the initial stages so we can resolve as many cases as early in the process as possible.


Questions from the Board:


JG – What we learnt in the ASB previously undertaken by the board is that at least 50% of LASBT work is noise related?

ME – Yes.

JG – And a lot of what you spoke about just then noise wasn’t included?

ME – Noise often be difficult to prove. In tower blocks, for example, pinpointing the source can be very difficult. Noise reverberates around blocks, as Maddy alluded to with Covid, people are seeing and hearing their neighbours more than usual and various other factors can lead to an increase in noise complaints. We have complaints from the student areas but have also had complaints about windchimes, mechanical bird sounds, some are quite bizarre. Triage will ask for noise reports to be filled out over a period of 2 to 3 weeks. When the noise diary is then submitted, we can assess the level of disruption that is being caused.


SB – For ME, I’m confused about initial reporting of ASB by tenants, if you don’t have access to a Housing Officer what do you do? Do you report to direct to ASB team?

ME – There are several reporting routes for ASB, such as the contact centre, local housing team, joint service centres and direct to LASBT team. Wherever the report comes from it always ends up with triage at LASBT for them to assess and allocate.


JG – ASB to most tenants is looked upon as a very slow process, last night I was looking at the number of agencies called into one problem.  Can lots of agencies being involved slow down the process?

ME – It depends, sometimes there is a more in-depth process.  For example, people with mental health issues where we need to ensure they have full capacity and need to engage Adult Social Care to undertake an assessment. However, all officers should be clear on who is managing the case as it’s transparent on the online system and we should always be clear on next steps to inform the customer.

JG – Am I right in thinking when it goes to LASBT it’s because the initial person who writes the report will hand to another for a decision?

Neil – In regard to transferring cases we have regular meetings with housing colleagues to discuss cases which need to be transferred and the supervisors and managers will decide. Everyone involved in the case would then be contacted by LASBT rather than the housing office if transferred.


NB – Are you hoping government will strengthen ASB legislation?

Neil – There are no plans for the current government to do so, we have a range of powers to tackle what we have in front of us.


JG – 205 live cases, is that a high figure or standard?

ME – We review cases monthly to check activity and their status.  We previously had higher numbers but this included some cases that had been on the system that had natural resolutions so have now been closed. 205 is an average number now.


JG- When a tenant with previous ASB is moved to another property, are checks done on the tenant's previous behaviour? It appears there have been instances where this has not happened and then the ASB continues in another property.

ME – When any property is let, officers check the online system for any ongoing ASB. If there is then this reduces priority and they can be bypassed and the property be offered to the next applicant. ASB cases aren’t restricted and are available to view by staff delivering the lettings function, and so this should have been picked up prior to the property being let.


JG closes for questions due to time constraints for this meeting and will return to this subject within the next few months.