24 Nov 2023
Housing didn’t get many mentions in the King’s Speech, but government did reiterate its pledge to crack down on anti-social behaviour. The government’s Anti-social behaviour (ASB) Action Plan aims to deliver a new focus and revised tools to address ASB. Whilst broadly welcomed by housing providers the impact of many of these measures will depend on the detail behind them and implementation.
However, one thing that concerns me is that apart from the actions on cuckooing, the action plan is largely silent on the important links between ASB and safeguarding. Whilst there are implicit links with ASB, I’d like to see this called out in more explicit terms.
I recently spoke on this topic at the Westminster Insights – Tackling ASB conference. My basic propositions were:
We must not forget the lessons of tragic cases like that of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francesca or that of Stephen Hoskins. Whilst these cases contributed to systemic changes such as the Community Trigger (ASB Case Review) I still too regularly come across cases where the appropriate action has not been taken in the safeguarding space. The 448 references to ASB in the Safeguarding Adult Review library serves to underline this point.
In my opinion some of the primary questions our teams should be considering are:
Some of the questions leaders of those teams should be considering are – do our teams:
Lastly, it feels like there are opportunities to be had in this space – for example:
Multiagency working is much like four people each looking at one of the four sides of a grandfather clock. The person at the front sees a solid clock in good condition – it just needs the time to be set correctly. The person to the left sees the clock and its polished walnut as perfect in need of no attention. The person to the right sees sun damage from the nearby window and understands a little work is needed. The person to the rear can see the mechanism is broken and substantial work is needed to repair the clock. They are all valid views but only when info is shared do we get the full picture and right action.
Jon Cox is the head of tenancy sustainment at Sovereign Network Group, chair of the Safeguarding and Housing Best Practice Group (National), and a DHLUC ASB Advisory Panel member