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How we Manage Anti-Social Behaviour Cases

 How We Manage Anti-Social Behaviour Cases

 

Once the Safer Communities Team has accepted a case of anti-social behaviour (ASB) for investigation we have a procedure that is followed by the ASB Officer, here referred to as the Case Officer.  However, we recognise that no two cases are alike and victims of ASB are all individuals with various needs and we will attempt to adapt our approach to meet those needs.

 
  • Firstly we will assess a victim’s vulnerability to determine the level of risk of harm and therefore how quickly our response time needs to be.
  • High risk victims should be visited as quickly as possible and within at least three working days.
  • Victims identified as of lower risk of harm will be visited within 10 working days.
  • All victims will initially be sent diary sheets and a letter explaining our process.
  • At a home visit the Case Officer will discuss the case with the victim in an effort to gather evidence, identify the perpetrator and any witnesses, identify any further needs or vulnerabilities, signpost to other services and begin to develop an action plan.
  • We will also ask you to sign a consent form allowing us to record and share relevant information.
  • We will also agree with you how often and by what means you want to be contacted and up dated on progress.
  • Before and after any home visit the Case Officer will have begun to gather evidence by contacting the police, landlord, Children’s Services, witnesses and anyone the victim has identified as being able to contribute towards building a case.
  • The Case Officer may conduct house to house enquiries in the neighbourhood hoping to gather further evidence, witnesses or useful intelligence.
  • During the life of the ASB investigation the Case Officer will support any victims to ensure they are informed of progress, future plans and are feeling safer.
  • The Case Officer will visit the alleged perpetrator, only with the agreement of the victim, to discuss their behaviour and agree how this will change. Sometimes the perpetrator will deny the allegations or make counter ones. It is on these occasions where strong, corroborative evidence is required if we are to make progress.
  • In severe and persistent cases we or our partners may have to use legal remedies to stop the ASB and to protect victims and communities. We will discuss these measures with victims to determine what role they need to play and how we can support them through it.
  • The Safer Communities Manager regularly reviews all high risk cases, and a random selection of other cases with the Case Officer
  • When the ASB has ceased, or we can make no further progress or we no longer hear from the victim we will close the case and inform the victim. If further incidents occur we are happy to reopen the case and investigate further. In these instances our processes may begin again.
 
High risk victims of anti-social behaviour
 
If the Case Officer has identified a victim as high risk using a specially designed assessment tool an additional process to the one described above will be automatically put in place.  Alongside our partners in the Safer Poole Partnership we have developed a High Risk Victims of Anti-Social Behaviour Protocol that sets out how together we will protect and support victims of ASB.
 
The main points of this protocol are:
 
  • The Case Officer after identifying a high risk or repeat victim will refer them to the Victim Support Officer to this service and to the Vulnerable Victims Conference (VVC).
  • The VVC is a multi agency meeting made up from representatives from Dorset Police, Poole Housing Partnership and the Borough of Poole (Children’s Services, Adult Social Care, Safer Communities) plus appropriate guests. The VVC meets monthly and its aim is to share information that leads to decisions on how together we will support and protect the victim and their family and deal with the offender.
  • Another key decision of the VVC is to appoint a Case Officer who is best placed to deal with the case and a Case Manager who will have overall responsibility for the case and will review it regularly with the Case Officer.
  • The Victim Support Officer will work to offer emotional and practical support to victims so they are better able to cope with what is happening and enable them to get on with their lives.
 
By adopting these principles all agencies can ensure a plan is in place that safeguards the most vulnerable victims in our community.
 
Data Protection and Information Sharing
 
During the course of any investigation the Case Officer will gather information that may be of a sensitive, confidential or personal nature.  In accordance with our procedures relevant information is stored on a web based case management system called E-Cins provided by Empowering Communities. This can be shared when necessary with our partners who use the same system.  This information is stored and shared with our partner agencies in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and destroyed after five years of the case being closed or the last.  Section 115 Crime & Disorder Act 1998 allows the council to share relevant information with its partners in pursuance of preventing and tackling crime and disorder.  The sharing of Information is also governed by the multi-agency Dorset Overarching Information Sharing Protocol.  If information comes to light that indicates a vulnerable child or adult is at risk we will share this information with the relevant social care team.