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Anti-social behaviour and the Community Trigger

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is defined by law as "behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household".

However, in some cases, activities may be classed as ASB if they cause nuisance and annoyance only.

Reporting anti-social behaviour

Always call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger or if a crime is in progress.

Anti-social behaviour may include the following issues:

  • aggressive begging
  • drug abuse
  • gangs
  • harassment, intimidation and threatening behaviour both verbal and physical
  • hate crime
  • illegal/immoral use of property
  • neighbour nuisance
  • youth ASB
  • criminal damage (excluding graffiti)

Criminal offences should always be reported to the police.

If you live in social housing, contact your housing association first. They can help with issues such as neighbour disputes, untidy gardens, boundary disagreements, noise nuisance and tenancy breaches.

The Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnerships will make certain that victims are at the centre of their response to anti-social behaviour by ensuring that:

  • each complaint will be investigated and taken seriously
  • all information you give us will be treated in confidence and in accordance with data protection legislation
  • our staff will be trained to give you the correct advice
  • a risk assessment will be completed to help identify vulnerable and repeat victims
  • we will respond to high risk incidents within one working day
  • we will respond to non high risk incidents within 5 day working days
  • you will be informed who the lead organisation will be and be provided with appropriate support. The lead organisation will work with partners and other service providers where necessary
  • you will have a single point of contact (SPOC) within the lead organisation dealing with your ASB issue and be provided with their contact details
  • we will ideally resolve the complaint to your satisfaction, through the compliance of an agreed action plan produced with consideration of the full range of actions available
  • we will support you in collecting evidence to enable positive action to be taken. We will regularly review this information and explain what action is to be taken and why
  • we will keep you informed about your case and provide updates within timescales agreed with you
  • we will contact you via telephone, text, e-mail, letter or in person as agreed with you
  • we will monitor your satisfaction with the way we have dealt with your case
  • the lead agency will ask the court for special measures for vulnerable or intimidated victims and witnesses where appropriate
  • we will make a referral to the witness service if appropriate during criminal proceedings
  • where appropriate, we will keep communities informed of what is happening within their neighbourhood through a range of means including street briefings, newsletters and leaflet distribution
  • we will promote another route if you are not satisfied with the outcome

Reviewing the response to your case

All victims of ASB have a right to ask for a review of their case, under something known as the Community Trigger. 

 What is the Community Trigger?

The Community Trigger is a mechanism designed to give victims of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) the right to a review of their case where the locally defined criteria are met. It is part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Once the request is processed agencies are required to come together to review how previous complaints of ASB have been dealt with and what further action (if any) is required.

Who can activate the Community Trigger?

The trigger can be activated by either the victim themselves or someone on their behalf – such as a carer, family member or councillor. A victim can be an individual, business or community group.

What is the Community Trigger criteria?

In order to start the community trigger process and subsequent case review, one of the following criteria must be met:

  • one person has reported 3 separate incidents relating to the same problem in the past 6 months, to a relevant agency (police, council, housing provider)
  • one person reported 1 hate incident or crime motivated by hate in the last 6 months and no effective action has been taken and it has been referred to West Northamptonshire Council Case Management meeting.

If you would like to refer your case to the case management meeting, please email your details and details of the incident to [email protected].

The law sets out what will be considered a ‘qualifying complaint’ for using the Community Trigger. The purpose of this is to prevent someone reporting historical incidents of anti-social behaviour in order to use the Community Trigger. The legislation sets out the following standards:

  • the anti-social behaviour was reported within one month of the alleged behaviour taking place
  • a single incident which is reported to more than one agency only constitutes as one qualifying complaint

For the purpose of the Community Trigger, anti-social behaviour is said to be behaviour causing harassment, alarm and distress to a member or members of the public. However, when deciding whether the criteria is met the local authorities nominated Community Trigger single point of contact will consider the cumulative effect of the incidents and consider the persistence of the ASB and the harm or potential harm caused to the victim, rather than rigidly deciding whether each incident reached the level of harassment, alarm and distress.

What happens if the criteria is met?

A review will take place involving all relevant partners. The review will result in 3 outcomes:

  • no further action (which can be appealed)
  • further action identified and prepared into an action plan with appropriate and realistic timescales
  • no further action due to impending circumstances – for example awaiting court results

When is it not suitable to use the Community Trigger?

The Community Trigger is not a complaints process, nor does it override an organisations ability to carry out actions they think are necessary. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a case, contact the relevant organisations and ask for their complaints process.

The Community Trigger will not start a review of decisions previously made by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). If a victim is not satisfied with a decision made by the CPS they should refer to the CPS complaints process and the Victims Right To Review Scheme.

How to activate the Community Trigger?

You can start action through the Community Trigger using the form below

or call us on 0300 126 7000. If you would like a the Community Trigger form posted to you please email [email protected].

Postal address:
Community Safety Partnership Manager
West Northants
One Angel Square
Northampton
NN1 1ED

Last updated 11 January 2022