22nd July 2021
Addressing anti-social behaviour is a priority for Sandwell Council: it is not a low-level crime as it can devastate the lives of victims and communities, and cases have risen during the lockdown. That is why the council is supporting the first-ever Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week, which runs until 25 July.
For some people, anti-social behaviour is about nuisance vehicles, graffiti, litter or abandoned cars but others may experience more personal anti-social behaviour, such as verbal abuse or being a victim of crime.
The council has been working hard with our partners to investigate and tackle issues relating to anti-social behaviour throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so with a range of projects and initiatives.
New taskforce set up to help tackle anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour is a high priority – because we know it’s a big priority for our residents.
We have now set up a special taskforce to help respond to anti-social behaviour incidents.
The taskforce will seek to support evidence gathering to help with investigations.
It will liaise with different council services, the police and other partner organisations to strengthen our multi-agency response to dealing with anti-social behaviour.
Local councillors will now be able to report issues to the taskforce for teams to respond and investigate.
If you experience anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood, contact West Midlands Police through their LiveChat facility at www.west-midlands.police.uk or call 101 if you’re not online.
You can also report to Sandwell Council online at www.sandwell.gov.uk/asb or by calling 0121 368 1166 if you are not online.
Always dial 999 in an emergency.
Smethwick: Adopt a Street
The council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, local partners and Litter Watch have encouraged Smethwick residents to ‘adopt a street’, empowering them to take ownership of whole/part of a street, keep it clean, and take pride in their community.
During Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week, the team will be undertaking inspections of high-rise blocks with colleagues from West Midlands Police. These visits allow the team to immediately act on and address anti-social behaviour issues that are noted during the patrols.
Tipton: Community Reparation Work
This joint venture is a pilot programme between the council and West Midlands Police, working with young people who have been found engaging in anti-social behaviour – and subject to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts – and whose parents support reparation activity.
The Wednesbury Team has been doing detailed work with the Canal & River Trust, looking at ways to reduce nuisance from off-road bikes on canal paths, and allow residents, who are wheelchair users or families with pushchairs, to enjoy the canals.
The West Bromwich Anti-Social Behaviour Team is working closely with the police, West Bromwich Business Improvement District, environmental protection officers, Housing Solutions and other partners to address street drinking and aggressive begging in the town centre. Engagement and support are offered and several individuals have accepted this. However, some refuse and five key offenders have been served Community Protection Warnings to keep out of the town after midday; if these are breached and enough evidence gathered, they may be served with a Community Protection Order. This is being monitored by Sandwell Council’s CCTV control room.
The Oldbury Team is working with partners to address a number of issues in some of the high-rise blocks, including engaging and supporting homeless individuals in the area.
Enforcement activity cross the borough
The Anti-Social Behaviour Team undertook an investigation into a recent hate crime in the Rowley Regis area, which resulted in the offender being issued with a Notice Seeking Possession, allowing the council to make an application for possession of their property.
The Tipton Anti-Social Behaviour Team served Notices of Seeking Possession on a man who was convicted of making threats of violence to his neighbours, and on a woman who admitted to being guilty of burglary and fraud committed against her elderly neighbour. The team also went to court and secured an Interim Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction, against a Tipton man who racially abused his neighbours in the street.
The Oldbury Anti-Social Behaviour Team secured an Interim Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction against a resident who assaulted a neighbour and secured a county court undertaking against another woman who had engaged in the harassment of witnesses.
The teams will also be carrying out joint patrols with Black Country Housing and the Neighbourhood Police Team around Princes End, Tipton, targeting anti-social behaviour from young people in the area, such as vandalism and arson.
Councillor Maria Crompton, Cabinet Member for Strong and Resilient Communities, said: “Our anti-social behaviour, housing, environmental protection, environmental health, CCTV and young people’s services teams work with a range of partners to tackle anti-social behaviour issues across Sandwell: from noise nuisance and neighbour disputes, through to serious criminal activity, including burglary, assaults and drug dealing.
“And I want to take the opportunity presented by Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week to remind our residents that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour. Council tenants face losing their homes if they are involved in persistent anti-social behaviour. People deserve to feel safe where they live.
“If you experience anti-social behaviour, contact West Midlands Police through their LiveChat facility or call 101 if you’re not online.”
Councillor Rajbir Singh, the Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “We use a wide variety of preventative tools to resolve issues at the earliest opportunity, but we will not hesitate to use enforcement action where necessary. Last year, the team issued 18 notices of seeking possession, seven civil injunctions and 19 community protection notices.
“We want our communities to respect each other, to take care of each other, and we – along with our partners – will do all that we can to ensure that they feel safe and protected in their homes and neighbourhoods.”