In his speech on 4 January 2023, the Prime Minister set out that tackling anti-social behaviour and creating safer and stronger communities is a key priority for the Government. He is clear that Government action should be informed by stakeholder views and experiences of anti-social behaviour. As such, on Monday we had the privilege of being able to give our Members a voice and to share our expertise with Michael Gove and other key national stakeholders at an ASB Roundtable at 10 Downing Street.
ASB is not low level and is often the pre-cursor to more serious crime. We know that there were 1.7 million incidents reported to the police last year, but our YouGov research shows that over 50% of victims or those who witness ASB don’t report it. Imagine doubling the 1.7 million and then also adding the number of incidents reported to Local Authorities and Housing Providers rather than to the Police - and then you would have a real sense of the problem!
So what is the answer?
1) Understanding the problem - collecting data on how many incidents there actually are and the use of the tools and powers available to authorities on a national basis would be a good start. But we also know that the drivers of ASB are often complex, with adverse childhood experiences, mental health, drug and alcohol misuse needing much more attention. A focus on longer term challenge and change through civil action and positive requirements and better funding provisions for those who need it most would make a big difference.
2) Recognising that tackling ASB requires a partnership response with the community seen as a key stakeholder.
We know more resilient communities are safer, have less crime and ASB, thrive and are invested in - true levelling up! Let’s build on the one positive of the covid pandemic - communities coming together - and support them to become more resilient, sharing messages on how to make them safer.
Our research also showed that just 5% of people had noticed information about what to do if you are a victim or witness of ASB. Better communications don’t cost much but do improve the perception of individuals and communities and make them feel that they are listened to and that we are collectively doing something about the problem.
3) Early intervention and prevention work - we need more mediation, restorative justice, mentoring and a focus on community leadership and ownership.
4) Keep victims at the heart of our approach. We must not lose sight of the harm ASB causes to victims and communities up and down the country. In addition to improving knowledge of what to do if you are a victim of ASB and increasing our support and understanding of victims, ASB should absolutely be included in the victims bill - why not grasp the opportunity to support those who are suffering?
This is why our ASB Awareness Week (3-9 July 2023) will have a large focus on victims and the rights/options that are available to victims. We hope you will join us in our awareness raising and engage with our Take Action pages.
Rebecca Bryant OBE, CEO of RESOLVE
ASB Awareness Week 2023
Following a hugely successful campaign in 2022, the return of ASB Awareness Week has been confirmed for 3rd - 9th July 2023!
The theme for 2023 is ‘Know Your Rights’, with a particular focus on the Community Trigger - a powerful tool for victims of ASB that only 6% of people know about.
ASB is not low-level, it devastates the lives of victims and communities and can be a precursor to more serious crime.
YouGov research commissioned by Resolve shows that almost 1 in 7 people have had to consider moving home because of the impact anti-social behaviour was having on them.
Despite the harm ASB is causing, many victims and witnesses do not report it.
A staggering 51% of ASB victims and witnesses surveyed did not make a report because they ‘didn’t think anything would be done’. 15% said they did not know how to report ASB or where they would turn to do so.
Victims do not know what to do if they are unsatisfied with the handling of their case.
The Community Trigger was introduced in the 2014 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act for victims who have reported ASB but are unhappy with the response or lack thereof.
As noted in the 2021/2022 Victim’s Commissioner’s Annual Report “It empowers a victim to bring agencies together to commit to purposeful action to bring an end to repeat ASB. It can represent the best hope for victims to escape their nightmare. But it remains poorly promoted and underutilised.”
This is highlighted by further research commissioned by RESOLVE, which shows that 8 years after its introduction, just 6% of people have heard of the Community Trigger, and only 2% of people fully understand how it works.
ASB Awareness Week 2023 will seek to address these issues - and others - but this will only be possible with your support and involvement.
How can I get involved?
ASB awareness week is taking place on 3 - 9 July 2023. There will be lots of opportunities to get involved, to share your best practice and to learn from other practitioners. More information on the week’s activities and a media pack will be released in the coming weeks. For now…
- Please save this date in your diary and ensure that your leadership and communications teams are aware.
- 2. Invite your communications/media team to join our ASB Awareness Week mailing list: https://www.subscribepage.com/comms
- 3. Share your ideas and tell us what resources you want to see: https://www.subscribepage.com/asbaw23