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Case Study: Anti-Social Behaviour and Rehousing

by Andy Solomon, Ipswich Borough Council

The Issue:

Samantha is a 21 year old single female who has been known to agencies for several years for petty crime, drugs and general ASB issues. She left the family home after many disturbances and managed to get housed in a private landlord property in a quiet side street. The street has terraced houses and there is a mixture of young and older people living there, most work and there are several young children in the nearby properties.

Samantha likes to drink and is an occasional user of cannabis. She has a boyfriend, David, who is a bit older and a more frequent user of cannabis. It is believed he is actively engaged in dealing drugs. He often stays at Samantha’s home overnight. Their relationship is volatile and they occasionally play music late at night often at a level which attracts complaints to the Environmental Protection Team. The Police were frequently called to the property to deal with domestic disputes which sometimes became physical.

Action taken:

The playing of music wasn’t daily but enough to cause concerns and complaints in the neighbourhood.

All information about the case was uploaded to ECINS and access was granted to the ASB Team, The Environmental Protection Team and the Safer Neighbourhood Team.  The Environmental Protection Team served a Noise Abatement Notice on the property and the Police spoke to several residents, three of whom completed Risk Assessment Matrixes which scored high.  A Premises Closure Order was considered and as part of this process an Acceptable Behaviour Contract was offered to Samantha which she initially agreed to but later refused to sign.

Although the problems were annoying they were not frequent enough to prove the significant and persistent disorder element. Letters were sent to the Rental Company setting out the problems and actions proposed if the problems remained. The possibility of a Closure was discussed with them and after a period of time the Rental Company evicted Samantha.  Samantha then presented herself as homeless to Ipswich Borough Council, the ASB Team were approached by a member of The Housing Options Team who asked if there were any ASB issues with Samantha. Due to the fact that all actions, documents, meetings and letters were stored on ECINS we were able to supply all the necessary information for them to make a decision as to where she should be housed.

The Result:

Samantha was moved to more suitable accommodation and not placed in a densely populated road. In the six weeks since she has been moved there have been no more complaints about her behaviour.

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