New ASB tool offers a stronger voice to communities

16th of March 2012

The Community Harm Statement, designed to help social landlords highlight the impact of anti social behaviour on the wider community, was launched today.

The new tool will help that the harmful impact of anti social behaviour (ASB) on a community is presented to the court in a consistent manner.

The Community Harm Statement has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in partnership with Kettering Borough Council and the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group (SLCNG) alongside a steering group.

The Community Harm Statement has been piloted by 10 SLCNG members over the last six months. The benefits of using the tool has been shown in its use in 21 cases through the courts and has helped assess the impact on community and local resources.

Steve Boyd, chief executive of Solihull Community Housing, which took part in the trials said: “Our experience shows that Community Harm Statements were effective in court and that judges took notice of them. We feel it is important that community suffering is heard and the statements paint a more detailed picture of how neighbourhoods can be damaged by the behaviour of individuals.”

Over the coming months SLCNG and CIH will be encouraging all social landlords to implement the Community Harm Statement as part of their toolkit for tackling ASB.

Evaluation of the pilot areas shows the Community Harm Statement:
• has been used by the pilot landlords for a variety of intervention actions including 21 cases though the court
• provides good summary of evidence to help barristers answer judges questions about case background, impact on the community and local resources
• is particularly useful at pulling together relevant information on longer, more complex cases.
The Community Harm Statement and related guidance can be downloaded here

The pilot organisations included in the trials were: Community Gateway Association, Gloucester City Homes, Helena Partnerships, Kettering Borough Council, Solihull Community Housing, South Essex Homes/SMAART, Sovereign, Stockport Homes, Taunton Deane Borough Council, TOR Homes, Viridian Housing.

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