Inspector Kevin Harmsworth, joined Wiltshire Police in 2003, and has since worked front line operational policing in Swindon, Melksham, Trowbridge, Armed Response, Roads Policing, and more recently from 2019, Neighbourhood Policing across the Warminster, Westbury, Tisbury and Mere community areas.
Kevin has lived in Wiltshire for 37 years and in his second article in the series he focuses on the problem of anti-social behavior.
Inspector Kevin Harmsworth writes:
Is anti-social behaviour (ASB) ruining your life? Are you scared and not sure what to do? Do not suffer in silence. Get help and advice!
ASB has many forms which are divided between the Police and Local Authority (including landlords/housing providers where applicable) to investigate as described in the Wiltshire Safeguarding Vulnerable People Partnership (SVPP) – Anti-social behaviour (wiltshiresvpp.org.uk).
ASB is defined as ‘conduct that has caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, nuisance, or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person’.
My teams continue to problem solve incidents of ASB in your local communities, but victims of persistent ASB may not have heard of ASB Case Review. The ASB Case Review gives victims of persistent ASB the right to request a review of their case, where relevant agencies work together identify any further action necessary to find a resolution.
An ASB Case Review can be requested by any victim of ASB, or another person acting on their behalf, and with their consent (e.g., family member, carer, local councillor or other professional). This person is referred to as ‘the requester.’ A requester can be an individual, business or a community group.
Formal applications for an ASB Case Review are made via the relevant local authority – requests can also be made by email or telephone if the requester is unable to complete the online form. While ASB in general can be reported anonymously, the ASB Case Review process requires communication with the requester throughout the process, so reports cannot be made anonymously.
There is an associated threshold that needs to be met consisting of ‘three or more separate, qualifying reports of ASB made to the police, council or housing provider in the past six months. Each incident must have been reported within one month of it taking place’.
Where the threshold is not met, a formal ASB Case Review will not take place, but the relevant agencies may review the case to determine any further actions that may resolve the matter. Where the threshold is met a case review will take place within 15 working days, and the requester has the opportunity to speak at the review.
Every partner agencies response to each incident will be discussed, as well as the wider context of the issue(s) presented, with partners collaborating to identify any further actions that may be appropriate to resolve the matter. The requester is updated at every stage of the process, including on the progress of any actions agreed.
‘No one should have to suffer in silence’
The Wiltshire Council ASB risk assessment conference (ASBRAC) then ensures progress on delivery of any action plans, including any further actions agreed through continuous review. If the requester is unsatisfied with the way in which an ASB case review has been conducted, an appeal can be made within 15 working days of being notified of the outcomes/decision.
A good source of further information outside of Policing and Local Authorities is Home – ASB HELP . I encourage local communities to report all instances of ASB, which greatly helps us understand the full extent of the issue(s) and target our problem-solving activity to best effect. No one should have to suffer in silence.”
Last modified: 22 September 2023