Antisocial behaviour (ASB) can devastate the lives of victims and communities. YouGov research commissioned by RESOLVE shows that almost 1 in 7 people have had to consider moving home because of the impact ASB was having on them. That’s why we are delighted to announce that our national ASB Awareness Week campaign will be returning in 2023.
Taking place between 3 - 9 July, the overarching theme for the week is Know Your Rights. There is lots planned for the week and plenty of ways for you to get involved (see: www.resolveuk.org.uk/act). As a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator or community member, there are 3 main things you could do:
- Learn about your rights
- Write to your MP
- Spread the word!
1. Know Your Rights
As a victim of antisocial behaviour, you have 2 rights in particular that can be extremely helpful, but which remain relatively unknown.
► ASB Case Review
If you are a victim of persistent antisocial behaviour and you have reported the ASB at least 3 times you have the right to activate an ASB Case Review. The ASB Case Review demands that the Police, Local Authority and/or any other relevant agencies (such as your housing provider) come together to try and find a solution to stop the ASB. You have a right to attend or to make your views heard.
Unfortunately, our research shows that just 2% of people fully understand and know how to activate the ASB Case Review. You can learn all about the ASB Case Review and how to request one here.
► Community Remedy
The Community Remedy provides a vital opportunity for victims to be consulted and have input on the outcome and resolution to an antisocial behaviour offence. The Community Remedy suggestions will depend on the views of the community in each local area but could include, for example:
- Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
- Community payback work
The aim is to provide victims with the opportunity to ensure justice and reparation for an offence, as well as an important opportunity for perpetrators to learn about the impact of the offence and change their behaviour in the future, without being criminalised through court proceedings.
2. Write to your MP
Unfortunately, despite the harm that antisocial behaviour can cause, victims of ASB do not have the same rights as victims of other crimes. As Dame Vera Baird KC (former Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales) said in her report published during ASB Awareness Week 2022,
“ASB can make victims’ lives a living nightmare, causing stress, misery and despair. It can also often be the precursor to serious crimes including knife crime and gang activity. It’s so important that it is taken seriously by the agencies responding to it. Yet I have found victims of ASB are often treated as second-class victims, unable to access the support and resolution that victims of crime can.
“With the Victims’ Bill on the horizon, it’s time this was remedied. Victims of persistent ASB, whose suffering has made them entitled to activate the Community Trigger provisions, must be recognised as victims of crime in their own right, with all that entails.”
The Victims' Bill features a Code of Practice (The Victims' Code), which ensures that you have legal rights as a victim of crime. This includes the right
- To be able to understand and to be understood
- To be referred to services that support victims and have services and support tailored to your needs
- To be provided with information about compensation
- To be given information about the trial and trial process
- To be given information about the outcome of the case and any appeals
- To be paid expenses and have property returned
Tragically, if you are a victim of ASB you will not be covered by the Victims' Bill and not protected by the Victims' Code. We think this needs to change as a matter of urgency.
If you want to see victims of ASB protected, write to your MP using our template: http://bit.ly/victims-bill [Time required: 3 minutes]
3. Spread the word!
Now that you know about the ASB Case Review and have learned that victims of ASB are not afforded protection under the Victims’ Bill, tell your community!
- Retweet this: https://twitter.com/resolveasb/status/1651198840853200904
- Repost this (LinkedIn): https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7052253885960179712
- Share this (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/ResolveASB/posts/pfbid02rsfsw4BKqoMrQ3V6DuB8qMra1xsZuMQf3vVCyVCq93ALdbdTgLVV2DAgzn249bjml
You can also direct people to our Take Action page for Communities and Individuals: www.bit.ly/ASB-victims, or share this resource that we helped Neighbourhood Watch put together on how to Recognise, Record and Report Anti-Social Behaviour: https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/asb
Where to go for support
ASB Help is a registered charity in England and Wales set up to provide advice and support to victims of antisocial behaviour. If you're suffering from antisocial behaviour, you can go to ASB Help for information and advice: https://asbhelp.co.uk/local-support/