Orbit believes that all residents have the right to live peacefully in their homes and recognises the distress that anti-social behaviour can cause to individuals, families and whole communities.
The following section gives advice on how you can address some problems yourself and what Orbit can do to help you.
- What is anti-social behaviour?
It is behaviour that unreasonably interferes with other people’s rights to the use and enjoyment of their home and community. Anti-social behaviour ranges from serious acts of violence and harassment to issues such as barking dogs or overgrown gardens.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether what is happening is genuinely anti-social and who is responsible. Please look at our Common Myths page for help.
- What should I do if I am experiencing anti-social behaviour?
Before making a complaint to us, consider whether you can resolve the issue yourself by talking to your neighbour. They may not be aware that their behaviour is upsetting you. You can download and use our "Dear Neighbour" card.
From our experience the best long term solutions are achieved when those involved talk to each other about their concerns. We can give you advice on how to approach your neighbour so that you have the best chance of successfully resolving the problem.
Where this is not possible, or there is a risk of violence, you can contact us any of the following ways:
- Report it online
- Email us with details of your complaint
- Telephone us
- Write to us
- Call into our local office, where a member of staff will be able to help you
- What happens when a complaint is made?
To ensure we deal with complaints of anti-social behaviour in a consistent, effective and professional way, we have a step-by-step procedure:
1. We will receive, acknowledge and record the complaint
2. We will assess the complaint and contact you to discuss the problem
- within 3 working days for nuisance behaviour
- within 1 working day for serious incidents
3. We will allocate your case to a named Housing Officer
4. We will draw up an action plan detailing the action to be taken in response to your complaint
5. If appropriate (and with your permission) we will visit the person or household being complained about
6. We will review the evidence and advise you of what action is to be taken
Our response will often involve working in partnership with other agencies such as the Police, Environmental Health, Social Services and local Mediation Services.
We will always talk to you before closing your case and write to you when we have resolved or closed it.
- What is in an action plan?
An action plan is likely to cover the following:
- Arranging for you to keep a diary of events. This is very important as the information may be used as evidence in court at a later date
- Agreeing which other agencies need to be involved
- Arrangements for contacting other witnesses
- Arrangements for updating you
- A date the case will be reviewed.
- What can Orbit do?
The action we can take depends on the type of anti-social behaviour that has caused the complaint and includes:
- Visiting the perpetrator and liaising with both parties to try and resolve the issue
- Involving other agencies such as the Police, Environmental Health and Social Services
- Arranging independent mediation
- Negotiating acceptable behaviour contracts.
Taking legal action to obtain an injunction, demotion order, Anti-social behaviour order or a possession order.
- What do I need to do?
Cases can take a long time to resolve due to the time it takes to gather evidence and the time it takes to go through the legal process. However, we will do as much as we can as quickly as we can, but we will need your cooperation, patience and help to try and resolve the problem.
Please help us try and resolve your complaint by:
- Answering our phone calls and letters
- Collecting information on the nuisance behaviour and returning incident log sheets
- Being available for meetings or home visits
- If after several attempts we cannot contact you, we may have to close the case.
Please be aware that we only take legal action in severe and persistent cases and we usually work with people causing the problem in the first instance, to help them to change their behaviour. This may take time. However, we will keep you informed of progress throughout the case.
- What support will I receive?
We appreciate that this is a difficult time for you and we want to help and support you as much as we can.
We will give you the contact details of a specific Neighbourhood Manager/Housing Officer who will manage your case and give you regular updates. We will also identify any other agencies who can help you, such as Victim Support.
If you feel frightened and intimidated, there are a number of ways we can help:
- Arrange extra security for your home such as additional lighting, new door locks, spy holes and door chains
- Work with the Police to help improve your security and help you feel more secure.
If you have to go to court, we will support you before, during and after the court hearing. This includes arranging a visit to the court before the hearing, arranging transport to and from the court and being with you throughout the process.