Helping victims of ASB to get the right response

More than 30 community safety organisations will receive training today to ensure victims of anti-social behaviour get the right response, thanks to the region’s Police Commissioner.

Emily Spurrell has united with charity ASB Help to run the online workshop today (Wednesday 23rd June) which aims to increase awareness and understanding of the ‘Community Trigger’.

The Community Trigger, also known as the ASB Case Review, was introduced in 2014. It is a legal tool which gives victims of persistent anti-social behaviour the right to demand that local agencies review their response.

A member of the public can request a Community Trigger from their local council if they have reported three incidents of anti-social behaviour in the preceding six months, and they feel further action is needed to resolve their case. Anyone can activate the community trigger, including practitioners, with the consent of the victim.

Once a Community Trigger is activated, the local council must notify the other organisations involved, including the police, local  health teams and registered providers of social housing,   and hold a multi-agency case review, which sees all the various agencies come together to identify actions that can be taken to resolve the case.

If a victim is not happy with the response, they can appeal to the Police Commissioner who will examine the case review and may ask the agencies to conduct a further review of their case.

Today’s virtual training will be led by ASB Help’s Chief Executive Rebecca Brown, and is due to be attended by 33 representatives from partner organisations, including each of the region’s five Local Authority community safety partnerships, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue and a host of housing associations and community organisations.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “The Community Trigger was brought in seven years ago to give victims of persistent ASB who feel nothing is being done and no-one is listening, the chance to get answers.

“Yet sadly, this important legal tool is still little known and little understood. I wanted to change that here in Merseyside, so that all the agencies involved in the process know how it should be used and feel confident promoting it to victims in their area.

“Anti-social behaviour is often, wrongly, viewed as ‘low-level’, but for victims who are repeatedly and persistently targeted it can have a hugely damaging effect, leaving people too scared to leave their front door and even afraid while they are inside their own home. It causes fear, stress, anxiety, depression. People who are subjected to this type of treatment deserve to get help and, if it isn’t forthcoming, they deserve to know why.

“I hope by running this training event today, more people will be able to come forward and get answers promptly and proactively. Crucially, I hope it will give more victims the confidence to come forward if they are suffering.”

ASB Helps’ Rebecca Brown said: “The community trigger is an essential mechanism for both victims and practitioners. It enables victims to use their voice and explain clearly the harm being caused to them and give their opinion on what a resolution would look like. For practitioners, it gives them back some control to raise the profile of a case and collaborate with community stakeholders to create an action plan to resolve it.”

Organisations were also invited to take ‘The ASB pledge’ – a six-point commitment which asks agencies to promote awareness of the Community Trigger, ensure their process is accessible and inclusive and puts the victim first.

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