Residents will be given new powers to tackle anti social behaviour in their neighbourhoods thanks to a new scheme being tested in Manchester.
Under the community trigger scheme, launched in the city on Friday June 1, the police and Manchester City Council can be required to review how they have dealt with complaints about anti social behaviour if residents do not feel they have been handled properly.
The Home Office chose Manchester as one of three areas to pilot the scheme nationally because of the City Council’s history of working closely with police and residents to tackle anti social behaviour.
The Home Secretary Theresa May visited Hulme on May 22 to announce the pilot as well as to launch a white paper proposing changes to anti social behaviour legislation.
Under the community trigger scheme, the police, City Council and other organisations can be required to review their response if a resident has complained about the same problem three or more times but is not satisfied with the response, or if five separate residents remain unsatisfied after complaining about the same issue.
These complaints must all have been made within a six month period, but may have been made to different organisations such as the City Council, police and a registered housing provider (social landlord).
Once a review has been launched, a senior City Council officer will deal directly with the resident’s case and will ask the organisations involved to provide details of what they have done.
A meeting will then take place between the different organisations, which may include the police, the City Council and other bodies such as a registered housing provider, which will then share information to review the complaint and recommend ways to resolve the issue.
The resident will receive a personal response explaining exactly what is going to be done.
However, they are able to launch another review if they are still not satisfied with the response.
Councillor Bernard Priest, Manchester City Council's executive member for neighbourhood services, said: "We have always found that the best way to tackle crime and anti social behaviour is to work closely with the people who are affected by it, and so we welcome the fact that we’ve been chosen as a pilot area for this important scheme providing residents with more powers.
“The community trigger scheme also builds on the partnership work we’ve already done, enabling the police, City Council and other organisations to sit down together and decide on the best ways of dealing with residents’ concerns, helping turn our city into a safer place to live.”
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "Tackling anti social behaviour is one of our main priorities for the coming year as we all know the negative impact that it can have on communities. Therefore we welcome the decision to pilot the community trigger scheme in Greater Manchester.
"We have been asked to pilot this scheme because of the successes we have had in working with partners and communities to tackle anti social behaviour. For example, there has been a 33 per cent reduction in the number of reported incidents across the county since 2009.
"The development of the community trigger will enable us to build on the significant progress that has already been made. We hope that it will allow us to further evaluate our collective response to anti social behaviour and to focus more on repeat and vulnerable victims.”
Home Secretary Theresa May said: "There is a lot of good work going on in Manchester to tackle anti social behaviour but speaking to local residents, police officers and the council on my recent visit to the city it is clear everyone recognises more can be done to help repeat and vulnerable victims.
"Manchester should be congratulated for taking a lead and piloting the new community trigger. It means local people will have the power to make sure repeated complaints about anti social behaviour are followed up and victims are taken seriously.”
The resident, or group of residents, can launch a community trigger review by contacting the City Council with information about when their complaints were made, by visiting www.makingmanchestersafer.com and clicking on the community trigger button on the left hand side of the screen.
They can also provide this information by phoning 0161 234 4612, e-mailing email@example.com or writing to:
Crime & Disorder Team
PO BOX 532