The Community Safety Manager summarised the ASB Update on the work of the Partnership and in doing so highlighted the following to Members:
· The update report was provided as a result of a request at Overview and Scrutiny Committee that an update on ASB was provided at the annual Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel meeting.
· The report looked at activity undertaken by the Community Safety Partnership to address ASB.
· ASB was a key theme in the data provided by the Community Safety Partnership and was regularly monitored and was a key priority for partners.
· Early intervention was key when dealing with ASB and there were a number of tools that were used to prevent the escalation of problems.
· Introductory Tenancies/Starter Tenancies were a very useful tool for Redditch Borough Council to use in the authority’s role as a social housing provider as they clarified landlord and tenant expectations from the outset of the tenancy.
· Community Protection Warnings had been issued in 2019/2020 around various ASB incidents.
Members expressed an interest in whether there had been an increase in the amount of fly-tipping over the lockdown period. It was confirmed by the Community Safety Manager that, unfortunately this had been the case as during lockdown there had been less natural surveillance and footfall in certain areas. In addition to this, enforcement had been made more difficult due to lockdown restrictions. It was hoped that once restrictions were lifted this would have a positive impact on both enforcement and investigations of fly-tipping.
The Chair queried the effectiveness of the Community Protection Warnings that had been issued. It was confirmed that they were effective and that only one warning that had been issued had proceeded to a Community Protection Notice. These were more formal notices and a breach of a Community Protection Notice resulted in a criminal offence.
There was a question in regard to the two Community Trigger applications for issues relating to disruptive neighbour nuisance that had been noted in the ASB report. Members expressed an interest in whether these cases were still ongoing or had been resolved and if they been issued in the current municipal year. The Community Safety Manager clarified that the cases were ongoing and had been issued in the current financial year, which started in April 2020. The process and criteria of the application for a Community Trigger was clarified to Members and it was explained that the process was predominantly concerned with finding action and outcomes for the applicant. The process was then monitored, reviewed and assessed by officers. Anything further that could be done to help the applicant was then identified.
One Member questioned whether a Closure Order could be applied if there was disorder and breaches in respect of Covid-19. The Community Safety Manager explained that there was specific legislation dealing with Covid-19 and that this legislation was enforced by the Police and Worcestershire Regulatory Services and was a swifter method of dealing with these kinds of breaches.
The Chair queried with officers whether the suspension of evictions was still in place and the Head of Community Safety and Housing Services reported that currently evictions were still suspended but that there were concerns about what would happen in the longer term.
Once the presentation had been completed the Chair thanked the Community Safety Manager for the detailed and informative report. She also thanked the Portfolio Holder for Community Services and Regulatory Services, Councillor Nyear Nazir and the Head of Community Safety and Housing services for their attendance.
the report be noted.