This fact sheet is about complaints about anti social behaviour. It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain‘ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.
Councils have a wide range of duties and powers in relation to anti social behaviour occurring within the community and must work with other organisations such as the police to address such problems. Some behaviour may constitute a crime and should be dealt with by the police. As landlords, Councils and housing associations have specific duties to address anti social behaviour within the properties they manage. There are certain specific actions that only they can take (e.g. possession proceedings if the behaviour breaches the terms of the tenancy agreement). Anti social behaviour can include excessive noise, harassment, verbal abuse, threats and vandalism.
He can look at whether there is something wrong in the way that the council or housing association dealt with complaints of anti social behaviour. This can include failure to:
It is helpful if you keep a record of when the nuisance started, what form it took and when you brought these problems to the attention of the responsible body together with any correspondence you received in return, including emails. We will ask for this information and for your account of events to help us decide whether to investigate your complaint.
There are a number of organisations which give guidance to public bodies on dealing with anti social behaviour. Some of the key ones are:
The Home Office, with information on two of its websites: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/anti-social-behaviour/ and http://www.respect.gov.uk/
The Welsh Assembly Government: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/housingandcommunity/safety/crimereduction/antisocial/?lang=en
The Chartered Institute of Housing: http://www.cih.org/ ; and,
The Welsh Local Government Association:
The Ombudsman is independent and impartial; he cannot order public bodies to do what he recommends – but, in practice, they almost always do.
Examples of cases that the Ombudsman has looked at can be found on our website, on the ‘Publications’ tab under ‘Our Findings’ & ‘The Ombudsman’s Casebook’.