Lessons can be learnt from even the most unfortunate mistakes
It is the nightmare scenario: residents brave enough to report anti-social behaviour having their details passed to the very perpetrators they are standing up to. Many housing professionals have tales where a slip of the tongue or misplaced letter have caused problems, but Islington Council’s mistake is on a different level.
It may not, as the opposition Liberal Democrats have suggested, have placed people’s lives at risk. But it has definitely set back hard-won community trust. It is difficult to blame those residents who have requested a move.
However, some good may yet come out of this. Once it realised its error the council’s response has been strong: arranging for additional police patrols, contacting the individuals, retrieving the papers and extending injunctions to prevent further dissemination. Its swift and cool-headed response avoided making a bad situation worse. Others can learn from this, if nothing else.