Community trigger (ASB case review)
What is it?
The Community Trigger is a process which allows members of the public to ask their local Community Safety Partnerships to review responses to incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB).
The Trigger, introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, came into force on 20 October 2014 and ensures that all agencies are working together to resolve incidents of anti-social behaviour that are affecting residents quality of life. This will be done by appropriately sharing information between agencies, reviewing the actions that have been taken, use available resources to try and reach a solution and make recommendations that will hopefully prevent the situation re-occurring.
The Trigger does not replace the existing complaints procedures of individual organisations, or your opportunity to complain, when appropriate, to the Local Government Ombudsman or Independent Police Complaints Commission.
When can you use the Community Trigger?
The Community Trigger can be used if you have reported at least three incidents of anti-social behaviour to a relevant organisation within the previous six months. These are incidents where the same behaviour, nuisance or problem has reoccurred and was reported in one month of it happening.
For the purpose of the Community Trigger, an incident of anti-social behaviour is defined as behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress to a member, or members, of the public. This could include behaviour such as vandalism, public drunkenness, noisy or abusive neighbours.
The Community Trigger is not designed to replace existing anti-social behaviour reporting lines or for the reporting of general acts of crime, including hate crimes, although these can be included in the number of incidents you have reported if you feel they were part of the anti-social behaviour.
How do you use the Community Trigger?
You will need to provide details of the date of each incident that you have reported, to who (name of organisation and/or Incident Reference Number – if available) and information about the anti-social behaviour you were reporting. By completing a trigger application you agree to allow details and information about you being shared with other agencies.
The Trigger can also be used by any person on behalf of a victim, for example a family member, friend, carer, councillor, Member of Parliament or other professional person. However, the victims consent will be needed before a person can use the Community Trigger on their behalf.
What can you expect?
Once a Community Trigger application has been received and accepted, your local Community Safety Unit will contact the other agencies involved to confirm the details of the reported incidents to verify the threshold has been met. You will then be contacted to confirm that the Trigger has been met or if it has not been met what action will be taken to deal with the issues raised.
Following validation of the threshold your local Community Safety Unit will request that agencies provide complete details of the case and any actions that have been taken to resolve the issues reported to them.
Arrangements will be made for a review panel to be formed who will then carry out a case review. The panel will involve senior staff from the appropriate Community Safety Partnership agencies, the Registered Social Landlords and /or other partners that may have involved. The panel will discuss the anti-social behaviour and the actions taken.
Your local Community Safety Unit will write to you soon after the panel meeting to inform you of their findings and recommendations. They aim to do this as quickly as possible within a maximum 25 working days. Should the review take longer than this they will contact you to explain the delay.
The relevant bodies who undertake a case review may make recommendations to other agencies. The legislation places a duty on a person who carries out public functions to have regard for these recommendations. This does not mean that they are obliged to carry out the recommendations but they should acknowledge them and may be challenged if they choose not to carry them out without good reason.
The Community Safety Partnerships will report the number of Community Trigger applications and provide a summary of key findings to the Kent Community Safety Partnership Executive group and the Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner.
What if I am unhappy with the way the review was handled?
If you are unhappy with the way your community trigger application has been handled or the way in which the review panel was conducted then you can request that a secondary review be carried out by an independent panel.
The secondary review is the last step that can be taken in this process and if you are still unhappy you will be directed to the relevant organisations standard complaints procedure.