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ASB pledge to spread the word on community triggers

Organisations across the city are teaming up with other agencies to help spread the word about tackling anti-social behaviour.

Plymouth Community Homes, Livewest Housing Association and The Guinness Partnership have joined with Plymouth City Council and Devon and Cornwall Police to sign the ASB Pledge, a commitment to support victims of anti-social behaviour by promoting and using the ‘community trigger’ process.

The community trigger or an ASB case review is designed to make it easier for people affected by anti-social behaviour to get the support they need and to be listened to.

The pledge was set up by ASB Help, a registered charity which provides advice and support to victims and the charity’s CEO Harvinder Saimbhi were at the signing as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Alison Hernandez.

This year there have been six trigger requests in Plymouth and the organisations signing the pledge hope to raise awareness of this process. 

Cabinet Member with responsibility for Community Safety, Councillor John Riley said: “We need to let people know that more can be done to tackle anti-social behaviour.

“We know there are often some really complex issues involved in these cases, but that does not mean we shrug our shoulders and say it is too difficult.

“Signing this pledge is a very public signal from all of us that we will do all we can to put the victim at the heart of the process and work to end the problems they are experiencing.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “For too long victims of antisocial behaviour have sometimes been given the impression that their complaints are not taken very seriously.

“Antisocial behaviour blights lives, it can escalate to the point where crimes are committed and people’s health is severely affected. When I surveyed residents of the force area tackling it was their top priority, that’s why it is a priority in my new Police and Crime Plan, the strategy for policing for my term of office.

“The community trigger is a vital tool in the armoury for victims of antisocial behaviour and I am delighted these organisations have made clear their commitment to support it for those we serve and I am able to assist people who feel let down by agencies they have reported their concerns to.” 

Anyone who has experienced anti-social behaviour can ask for a community trigger as long as they meet the criteria, ie they have reported an incident about the same problem to Devon and Cornwall Police, the Council, a registered social landlord or an NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group three or more times within six months and where further actions are available to resolve the case.

They can also ask for one if they have reported an incident of anti-social behaviour, relating to same problem, to any of the above organisations twice or more times within the past six months and if at least one of the incidents involves a hate crime.

The review aims to offer a fresh pair of eyes on a case. A multi-agency panel chaired by an independent professional can make recommendations for actions to the agencies involved.

Carl Brazier, Director of Homes and Neighbourhoods for Plymouth Community Homes said: “We are serious about tackling ASB and we’re delighted to be a part of this public pledge to provide further multi-agency support for our residents living in our communities and for people across the city. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself and your community, but it can make a real difference and we’re committed to doing the right thing and helping people feel safe and secure in their homes.”  

By signing the pledge, organisations commit to complying with the law and the spirit of the community trigger, to make sure that the triggers are part and parcel of their process and that everyone, including the most vulnerable, know what it is and how to invoke it.

For more information about the community trigger or ASB review visit https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/crimepreventionandantisocialbehaviour/antisocialbehaviourcasereviewscommunitytrigger