Why raising awareness of anti-social behaviour is crucial to community safety
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities takes a look at how the city tackles ‘ASB’ as part of Resolve’s first Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week.
Everyone wants to love where they live but anti-social behaviour – be it noisy neighbours, verbal abuse, threats or intimidation – can make residents’ lives a living hell.
Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week starts today, highlighting how residents can report incidents, and the work local authorities and their partners, such as police, fire services, housing associations and community groups are doing in partnership to support communities and tackle these vital issues.
Our community safety and housing teams will be visiting neighbourhoods across Birmingham and talking to residents about their concerns and experiences, the support they need, and advising them on how to report ASB issues affecting their neighbourhood.
Partnership working with organisations such as West Midlands Police is also crucial in addressing anti-social behaviour, such as training a new cohort of Police Community Support Officers.
On Thursday Housing Minister, Eddie Hughes MP, is due to meet housing and community safety colleagues who will showcase the council’s work around exempt accommodation and residents’ experiences of anti-social behaviour around that, including how it impacts their lives.
There’s been a considerable increase in the amount of exempt accommodation in some neighbourhoods like Stockland Green, which also creates challenges around anti-social behaviour. Under the current law, exempt accommodation is regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Birmingham City Council wants more powers from the Government so that we, together with our police colleagues can do more to regulate the exempt sector in terms of planning laws, local impact assessments and increased anti-social behaviour.
We’re lobbying Ministers hard on this issue, but any changes to the law will take time. So that’s why community safety initiatives to improve residents’ confidence and help reduce crime and fear of crime also form part of the council’s work in the most hard-hit areas.
The Minister will also hear about the challenges of addressing housing issues during lockdown and how the council found new ways of working with sheltered housing during this spotlight session.
Research by Resolve, who have organised this awareness week, has found that more than half of those who experience anti-social behaviour don’t bother to report it – but help is available:
Anti-social behaviour can be reported via the council’s website
Alternatively contact Birmingham Community Safety Partnership on 0121 464 4700, option 5 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog post was published on 19 July 2021.