Community safety and crime

Anti social behaviour

What is anti-social behaviour?

There are many interpretations of anti social behaviour and it can cover a broad range of offences and behaviours. The Government definition describes anti-social behaviour as:

"Acting in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not in the same household as themselves."

Remember that if you witness or are the victim of crime, you should contact the police: In an emergency: 999 At all other times: 101.

Anti-Social Behaviour and Noise

Anti-social behaviour and nuisances include: litter, dog fouling, neighbour noise and other behaviour which negatively affect a community's quality of life, is deemed to be unreasonable and persistent.  In these circumstances, Officers may be able to target those responsible by serving a warning letter which identifies the problem behaviour and requests them to stop.  It also highlights the consequences if they continue.

Where the behaviour continues, the officer can serve a Community Protection Notice which includes a requirement to stop doing something, to start doing something or to take reasonable steps to avoid further anti-social behaviour.

Failure to comply with a Community Protection Notice is a criminal office.  If appropriate a Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued or a fine of up to £20,000 for businesses and £2500 for individuals.

When deciding whether the behaviour is having a detrimental effect, officers will consult with the victims and or potential victims to better understand the effect the behaviour is having.

What should I do if I am suffering from someone's anti-social behaviour?

If you believe you are a victim of anti social behaviour, you should contact either the Police or if you are a social housing tenant contact your housing representative. They will refer your initial enquiry to an officer who will get in touch and discuss your concerns. Alternatively you can report this behaviour through the our Anti-social Behaviour Reporting Line (01243 534700) and we will support you in resolving the issues. This could include the following measures:

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs)

This is a written, voluntary agreement between an individual, the police, housing association and district council. There is no need to apply to the courts to action this. ABCs are seen as a quick and flexible response to anti-social behaviour.

Criminal Behaviour Order

The Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) will replace the ASBO on conviction and the DBO on conviction and will be available in the Crown Court , Magistrates Courts or Youth Court. The CBO will be available for the most seriously anti -social individuals and could be applied for on conviction for any criminal offence in any criminal Court. The CBO can only be made on the application of the prosecutor, generally the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), either at their own initiative or at the request of the Police or Local Authority.

As with previous orders the Court must be satisfied the offender had committed behaviour causing harassment, alarm and distress and that granting the order would help prevent further ASB. Hearsay evidence is allowed in CBO proceedings.

The Dispersal Power

The purpose of the power is a flexible which the Police can use in a range of situations to disperse anti-social individuals and provide immediate short term respite to a local community. The power allows an officer to deal with someone's behaviour before it escalates.

The dispersal power can be used by Police Officers in uniform. Police Community Support Officers can also use this power if designated by their Chief Constable. Use of the dispersal power must be approved by an officer of at least the rank of Inspector. The authorising officer can sanction the use of the power in a specified locality for a period of up to 48 hours or make a decision on a case by case basis. The authorising officer must record the authorisation in writing, specifying the grounds on which it is given and sign the authorisation. The authorising officer should ensure the wider impacts on things such as community relations are considered properly before use. This power must be used proportionally and reasonably in a manner compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998.

Injunction

The new injunction is purely a Civil Order and is available against individuals aged 10 or over. It is modelled on the existing ASB Injunction (ASBI) which has been used successfully by Social Landlords over the last 10 years but can be used by a wider range of agencies. It will replace the ASBO on application, the drinking banning order DBO on application, Intervention Orders and Individual Support Orders. The injunction will be available in the County and Youth Courts. The Court must be satisfied that an individual has engaged in or threatened to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance. As well as prohibitions to prevent ASB the Court could also include positive requirements. Breach of the injunction would not be a criminal offence.

The Community Protection Notice

The purpose of this notice is to stop a person aged16 or over, a business or organisation from committing ASB which spoils the community's quality of life. They can be issued by Council Officers, Police Officers, PCSO's (if designated) and Social Landlords (if designated by the Council)

The test is the behaviour has to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, be of a consistent nature and be unreasonable. The notice is a written warning informing the perpetrator of the problem behaviour, requesting them to stop and the consequences of continuing. If breached a Fixed penalty notice (FPN) of up to £100 can be issued. For business this could be a fine of up to £20,000.

The CPN can be used to deal with a wider range of behaviours including noise nuisance and litter on private land not open to the air. It can be used against a wider range of perpetrators and can include requirements to ensure that problems are rectified and that steps are taken to prevent the ASB recurring. It can be appealed within 21 days of issue.

Public Spaces Protection Order

This Order is designed to stop individuals or groups committing ASB in a public space. Councils can issue Public spaces Protection Order (PSPO) after consultation with the Police, Police Crime Commissioner and other relevant bodies. The behaviour being restricted has to be having or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, be persistent or continuing in nature and be unreasonable. The restrictions will be set by the Council and these can be blanket or targeted against certain behaviours , by certain groups at certain times. They can restrict access to public spaces where that route is being used to commit ASB. More than one restriction can be added to the same PSPO meaning that a single PSPO can deal with a wide range of behaviours. They can be enforced by a Police Officer, PCSO or Council Officer. Breach is a criminal offence.

Anyone who lives in, or regularly works in or visits the area can appeal a PSPO.

Closure Power

The purpose of this order is to allow the Police or Council to quickly close premises which are being used or likely to be used to commit nuisance or disorder. They can be applied for by the Police and Local Council.

A Closure Notice can be used to close a premise for up to 48hrs and a Closure Order to close a premise for up to 6 months. A Closure Notice is issued out of Court for the first instance, following on from this the Closure Order can be applied for through the Courts. A notice cannot stop the owner or those who habitually live there access the premise. The Order can restrict all access. Breach is a criminal offence and for a notice can be up to 3 months in prison and for an order up to 6 months in prison.

Appeal can be made by the person served the notice or Order, the Council if the Order was not granted and they served the notice or the Police where the Order was not made and they issued the Notice.

Other remedies

Some disputes such as difficulties between neighbours may be suitable for mediation. Mediation involves parties giving their side of the story to an independent trained mediator who will then work with both sides to try and find a mutually agreeable solution. The law offers other solutions to anti-social behaviour. These may involve compulsory parenting counselling, child curfew schemes or even eviction if the perpetrator is a social housing tenant. For more information, see the 'Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour' leaflet.

Community Trigger

The Community Trigger gives victims and communities the right to require action is taken where an ongoing anti-social behaviour or hate crime problem has not been addressed. It helps us and you by making sure that no-one suffering the harmful effects of anti-social behaviour and hate crime falls through the net.

Responding to and tackling anti-social behaviour and hate motivated incidents are a top priority for Chichester District Council.  We have strong mechanisms which allow the police, the council, housing providers, other organisations and communities to work in partnership with each other to tackle anti-social behaviour and hate incidents.

The system is an initiative which is led by the Home Office as part of the Anti-social Behaviour (ASB), Police and Crime Act in 2014 and has previously been piloted in four locations in England, including Brighton and Hove. The launch of the Act has also enabled residents to have a say in the joint-agency approach for how incidents are dealt with through the Community Trigger, as coordinated by Police & Crime Commissioners.

Who can use Community Trigger?

Anyone can use the Community Trigger if their concern is about anti-social behaviour or a hate incident / crime and meets the criteria below:

  • You or the person who you are reporting on behalf of has been a victim of three separate incidents.

How do I use the Community Trigger?

If you think you that your issue or concern is relevant to the Community Trigger system and meets the criteria, you need to complete the Community Trigger referral form below. You will receive an automatic response, when you submit your form.

Your form will then be assessed within two working days and you will be contacted. If your referral meets the criteria, an officer from an appropriate lead agency (in discussion with you) will review your situation and agree appropriate actions with you within ten working days. If your referral does not meet the criteria, the officer will advise you on what alternatives might be appropriate for your case.

Graffiti

Graffiti is a form of vandalism. The official term used by the police for graffiti or vandalism is criminal damage: Vandalism in the British Crime Survey ranges from arson to graffiti. Cases where there is nuisance only (e.g. letting down car tyres) are not included.

Contrary to popular belief crimes such as criminal damage and graffiti are not victimless (crimes).  Damage to buildings and property is both unsightly and costly to remove.  If left unchecked it can ultimately affect business and tourism and send visible signals of decay to the local community.

Chichester District Council is working with a private company to remove all graffiti from public areas as quickly as possible.

If you are a victim of graffiti or see some in a public place, please contact Graffiti Solutions:

Name:
Graffiti Solutions
Address:
United Kingdom
Telephone:
+44 0845 1265555

Neighbourhood watch

The neighbourhood watch scheme is well known for the work that is does within the local community to prevent crime, help reduce the fear of crime and improve the quality of life. By working together, communities in the UK have so far established over 155,000 Neighbourhood Watch schemes covering up to 25% of all households.

How do they work?

Neighbourhood watch schemes can be large or small covering all the houses in one estate or just a few. The scheme is generally lead by a coordinator who is kept in touch with the local police about possible problems in the area or any initiative that are taking place to prevent crime.

How to set up a neighbourhood watch scheme

There are a number of ways to set up or join a scheme in your neighbourhood:

Community Safety Partnership

The 1998 Crime and Disorder Act (amended by the Police Reform Act 2002 and The Crime and Disorder Act Review published January 2006) placed a requirement on a range of organisations to work in partnership to create previously a three year Community Safety Strategy and Crime Audit now this will be an annual Strategic Assessment and a rolling three year Partnership Plan.

Members of the Chichester Community Safety Partnership (CSP) are:

  • Chichester District Council
  • Sussex Police
  • West Sussex County Council
  • West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
  • Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
  • Western Sussex Primary Care Trust
  • West Sussex Drug and Alcohol Action Team
  • Sussex and Surrey Probation Service

The CSP are committed to ensuring that the responsibilities outlined in Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), which places a statutory duty on all partners to take into consideration the effects of crime and disorder, are respected in all aspects of their work.

The CSP have completed their Strategic Assessment and Partnership Plan, if you have any comments to make about crime and disorder in the Chichester District please contact the Community Safety Team.  The CSP recognises that the issue of crime and disorder effects us all.  A great deal of work continues to be done to achieve out targets, however it is important for us all to work together for the benefit of Chichester District, to reduce crime and disorder and make it an even safer place to live, work and visit.

Some of the initiatives the CSP and it's subgroup are working on:

  • Halloween and Bonfire night initiatives
  • Bike Marking
  • Domestic Violence/Abuse
  • Anti-social Behaviour
  • Personal Safety
  • Hammered and Last Orders
  • Weeks of Action

Within the Policing Grant, which is received from Government, the Police & Crime Commissioner provides funding for Community Safety in Sussex. This is allocated to Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) across the county to help tackle crime and address specific community issues.

The collective priorities of all the CSPs have also helped to shape the local Police & Crime Plan .

In addition to supporting the county's CSPs, the Police & Crime Commissioner has established a Community Safety Fund  providing financial support to projects that deliver a lasting and positive impact on the local community.

Discarded needles

Occasionally members of the public may come across discarded needles, we advise that they do not attempt to retrieve them themselves and to cover with a box if possible and then do the following.

If discarded needles are found on public land, people should contact 'Contract Services'; their Cleansing team are specially trained to remove and discard used needles.

Alternatively, if a needle is found during the weekend, people should call the Community Careline out-of-hours service, who will contact the Cleansing team.

Community Wardens can also remove needles, contact information can be found on the 'Community Warden Contacts' page.

Via either route, we will attempt to remove needles within 24 hours. We monitor all discarded needle reports to identify potential hotspot areas.

Please note, should discarded needles be found on private land, please report the fact to the landowner or housing association.

Hate incidents / crimes

A hate incident is any act of hostility that you, or any other person, feel was motivated by your perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or disability.

Examples of hate incidents are: name-calling, threats, harassment, graffiti, and anti-social behaviour.

A hate crime is any crime that you, or any other person, feel was motivated by your race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or disability.

Examples of hate crimes are: assault, burglary, sexual assault, harassment, murder.

Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident or a hate crime. You could be targeted because someone perceived you to be gay, even though you are not; or because someone in your family has a disability.

It is important to report these types of incidents and crimes so agencies can stop what is happening and provide appropriate support to those affected. To report a hate incident or crime in West Sussex please go to the  West Sussex County Council - Report a hate crime incident  webpage.

In West Sussex, the Hate Incident Support Service run by national charity Victim Support provides support to victims of hate incidents and hate crimes. For more information please visit the Victim support  website.

 Child sexual exploitation

Chichester District Council recognises that Child Sexual Exploitation can happen anywhere and are supporting Sussex Police's Operation Kite. West Sussex County Council are also producing a WSCC exploitation campaign .

Keeping your Child Safe Online

On one hand, the internet is an amazing resource enabling everyone to connect, communicate and be creative. On the other hand, the internet is a minefield and being able to keep up to date with your children's use of technology can be a challenge. Below is a guide for parents and carers. If you have any concerns about a child and want to speak to someone, please contact the NSPCC .