New scheme aims to give victims of anti-social behaviour a voice

Social issuesSocial issues
Social issues
A new scheme will give victims of persistent anti-social behaviour the right to question agencies on how they are tackling the problem.

Today (Monday), Dacorum Borough Council has launched Community Trigger, which aims to give victims of bad and nuisance behaviour a voice.

If a person reports the same incident of anti-social behaviour three times in a six month period, and believes that agencies have not made every effort to address the problem they can activate the ‘trigger’, which requires those involved to get together to find a solution.

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Agencies involved could include the police, the fire service and Dacorum Borough Council.

Councillor Neil Harden, who oversees residents and regulatory services, said: “We take anti-social behaviour very seriously and the new Community Trigger will provide an extra safeguard for our residents. It means no single agency will be working in isolation as we’ll be working together to consider more creative solutions in tackling anti-social behaviour problems.”

However, the council is keen to point out that the ‘trigger’ should not be used as the first port of call and should only be put into action if a householder believes there has been a failure to respond to their complaint.

The Community Trigger also does not replace the agencies’ own complaints procedures and residents will still have the opportunity to complain to the Ombudsman or the Independent Police Complaints Commission if they are unhappy about the services they have received from an individual officer or service.

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Council group manager of resident services Julie Still said: “Responding to and tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for the council and the new figures released by the Office for National Statistics show a fall in the number of reports of anti-social behaviour in Hertfordshire. In 2010/11 Hertfordshire was ranked twentieth best in England and the latest figures show Hertfordshire is now second (behind Thames Valley). This is great news and whilst we are in no way complacent, the figures speak for themselves.”

To find out more about the Community Trigger and whether you have a case that meets the criteria click here.