A new tool will help landlords improve community life by tackling anti-social behaviour, says Sarah Pearson
A new tool for addressing anti-social behaviour has been launched by the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The CIH, in consultation with other partner agencies, has developed the community harm statement. The statement is designed to make it easier for social landlords to demonstrate the impact that ASB is having on the wider community when taking legal action and ensure evidence is presented to the court in a consistent manner.
Landlords are encouraged to focus on how ASB has affected the community and local resources (not just individuals) and to collaborate with partner agencies to prepare the statement.
The tool has been piloted by 11 landlords over a number of months and used effectively in court.
It should strengthen landlords’ cases and inspire the author to consider the impact of ASB in a different way, such as how the harm impinges on types of accommodation, how the harm can be documented, for example using maps, and the costs associated with the harm being caused, such as extra police patrols and the impact on lettings.
The form, with guidance notes, is free and can be obtained from the CIH. It is a user-friendly document and will help develop a consistent approach to ASB. It is simple to complete and helps to concentrate the mind on aspects of a case which might otherwise get overlooked in the quest to help individual victims.
The statement will give a powerful signal to the courts which will be difficult to ignore. This practical document will undoubtedly improve evidence gathering, encouraging a focus on improving community life.
Sarah Pearson is a senior solicitor at Blake Lapthorn