Contact: Susie Blood
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no Declarations of Interest received at this point in the meeting.
The minutes of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny panel held on 10 February 2022 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
Harvinder Saimbhi, CEO of ASB Help and Katy Anderson, Practitioner Support Manager will be in attendance to provide the panel with information on what ASB help does and how it supports victims of anti-social behaviour.
The Chair welcomed Harvinda Saimbhi, CEO of ASB Help and Katy Anderson, Practitioner Support Manager to the meeting.
The Panel had covered all terms of reference set, however one aspect undiscovered was the perceptions and impact of anti-social behaviour. BBC Panorama documentary – Anti-social behaviour- afraid in my own home, had recently been televised and spoken to the Mayor and local residents/ ward councillors within the Hemlington Ward.
During the programme, the former CEO of ASB Help featured and therefore the panel were thrilled to have them present at the meeting.
The CEO firstly provided some background to ASB Help, advised the following:
· ASB Help is a registered charity in England and Wales set up to provide advice and support to victims of anti-social behaviour in 2013.
· The Charity has a website that is dedicated to the memory of Fiona Pilkington from Leicester who in 2007 killed herself and her 18 year old disabled daughter Francecca after Leicester police failed to investigate her 33 complaints to them about harassment.
· Purpose and aim is to work with victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB). The founder of the Charity was adamant that what happened to Fiona should not happen again.
· ASB Help aims to provide information and advice to interested parties and members of the public involved with and suffering from anti-social behaviour.
· Following such high-profile cases of vulnerable victims who did not receive any help from the authorities, ASB help believe there is a clear need for coordinated information and advice that is readily accessible to those who need it.
· ASB Help primarily offer support through their informative website particularly focusing on equipping victims of anti-social behaviour with the necessary tools to effectively report it.
· They provide one to one support and advice to practitioners on a wide range of ASB areas, such as advice on cases, provide training, sit as independent chairs or panel members for community trigger meetings, lead on developing local ASB conferences or briefings to a range of audiences.
· ASB Help was also in the in the process of developing a practitioner site which will contain useful information, templates and best practice examples. They believe this is important because ultimately victims of anti-social behaviour will receive a better response where ASB practitioners are well-informed through sharing best practice, updates in the sector and opportunities to be innovative to get results for victims.
· ASB Help also plan to build up a database of information from visitors to the website on how effective they have found their local authorities and police to be in responding to reports of ASB, populated by our online survey.
· ASB Help have particular interest in the Community Trigger (also known as the ASB Case Review) introduced in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to empower victims who feel they are being ignored by local agencies. They hope that they can assist victims in accessing their local Community Trigger and as we gain more knowledge and experience in this area, undertake political lobbying ... view the full minutes text for item 21/25
Jane Hill, Strategic Community Safety Manager will provide a presentation regarding community triggers and how they can support victims of anti-social behavior.
A further discussion with the officers from ASB help will follow surrounding how the community trigger has helped in other areas.
Jane Hill, Strategic Community Safety Manager for Middlesbrough Council followed with a presentation in relation to community triggers. She started by reassuring the panel that Middlesbrough Council have an excellent team and victims of crime and asb are their upmost concern and we out them at the forefront of what the council do.
In terms of community triggers, as way of introduction:
• The Community Trigger was introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
• Purpose - To give victims and communities the right to request a review of their case and bring agencies together to take a joined up, problem solving approach to find a solution.
• Vulnerable or repeat victims of ASB being missed due to agencies working in isolation (Fiona Pilkington case)
• Information regarding problems in an area not being shared between agencies
• Poor coordination of problems and lack of problem solving or joint working between agencies
The following agencies are involved in the community trigger:
• Middlesbrough Council
• Cleveland Police
• Tees Valley Commissioning Group (CCG) if required
• Co-opted Housing Associations (Thirteen lead contact)
The community can ask for the community trigger to be activated when it hits the following thresholds:
• An individual, business or community group has made three or more reports regarding the same problem in the past six months to Middlesbrough Council, Cleveland Police, or their Housing Association Landlord, or
• More than one individual, business or community group has made five or more reports about the same problem in the past six months to Middlesbrough Council, Cleveland Police, or their Housing Association Landlord.
The request for the community trigger to be activated when:
• Requests cannot be made more than 6 months after the problems to review have occurred.
• Requests cannot be made where the problems were not reported to official agencies within 1 month of their occurrence.
• Generally requests cannot be made about problems that occurred outside of Middlesbrough.
• The Community Trigger process is a request for a review. It is not a complaint process.
The trigger process in Middlesbrough:
• All requests must be made by telephone, email or letter to the Council’s Neighbourhood Safety Team.
• Acknowledgement letter sent.
• Information request made to all ‘responsible’ agencies
• Legal Services decide if threshold met
• Case Review Panel meeting arranged
• Applicant informed of outcome
The community trigger process would be circulated to the members after the meeting. The Manager also acknowledge ASB Helps comment regarding victims and their attendance at the case review meetings. In the past Middlesbrough has not invited victims, however following on from the meeting the procedures would be updated and all victims would be invited in the future.
The Manager made reference to the comment made by a panel member with respect to not being aware of the community trigger, and the Manager felt that more work was required to promoting the community trigger, this has been done ... view the full minutes text for item 21/26
Chair's OSB Update
The Chair provided a verbal update to the Board from information received at the Overview and Scrutiny Board on 22 February 2022.
AGREED- That the update be noted.
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.
The Chair advised that the final report in relation to Enforcement in Middlesbrough would be submitted to the next meeting.