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Community remedies

This content applies to England

The community trigger gives victims of persistent antisocial behaviour the right to demand a review of their complaints and that action is taken to resolve them. The community remedy allows victims of low-level crime and antisocial behaviour an input into the out-of-court punishment of perpetrators.

The Home Office statutory guidance for frontline professionals has chapters on both the use of the community trigger and the community remedy.

Community trigger

The community trigger enables a victim of persistent antisocial behaviour to request a case review of her/his complaints in order to determine what remedial action should be undertaken.

Individuals, regardless of age, businesses and community groups can apply to use the community trigger. Another person, or body, can apply on a victim's behalf, for example a family member, a local councillor or an MP.[1]

The 'relevant bodies' in a local authority area must take a joined up problem-solving approach to find a solution for the victim. They set the review threshold at which the community trigger process is activated (see below). The relevant bodies are:[2]

  • local authorities
  • police
  • clinical commissioning groups (NHS)
  • private registered providers of social housing who are co-opted into the group.

Review threshold 

The threshold for a case review must be set at no greater than three complaints about a particular problem of antisocial behaviour in a six-month period. For this purpose antisocial behaviour is defined as behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress. However, agencies should consider the cumulative effect of the incidents complained of and the harm caused to the victim and not stick rigidly to this definition.[3]

The community trigger is designed to address current problems and as such the antisocial behaviour normally must have been reported within one month of the alleged incident taking place and the application to use the community trigger must be made within six months of the report of the antisocial behaviour. Local policies may specify that longer time limits are allowed.[4]

Case review and recommendations

The case review will involve the sharing of relevant information among different agencies and may include:

  • any previous complaints made by the victim
  • the effect of the behaviour on others
  • details of action taken to date.

Any other body that exercises public functions must provide relevant information if requested to do so, except when:[5]

  • in contravention of any provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998
  • prohibited by Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

If the perpetrator is aged under 18, the youth offending team should be invited to attend the review.[6]

Recommendations are likely to take the form of an action plan. Whenever possible, the victim should be consulted when devising the action plan.[7]

Responding to victim

The victim/applicant must be informed as to whether the threshold for a case review is met or not.[8]

Where a case review is carried out, s/he must be informed of the:[9]

  • outcome of any review
  • recommendations for further action, including timescales.

The relevant bodies must make provision about what is to happen if the victim/applicant is dissatisfied with the way her/his application was dealt with or the case review carried out.[10]

Publication of information

The relevant bodies must publish:[11]

  • the community trigger procedure
  • the point of contact in an area for making an application to use the community trigger.

Each year, the relevant bodies must publish the number of community trigger applications:[12]

  • received each year
  • that met the threshold
  • that resulted in further action.

Community remedy

The community remedy can be used by the police when dealing with low-level crime and antisocial behaviour and gives victims an input into the way in which perpetrators are dealt with out-of-court.

Menu of sanctions

Each local policing body must publish a community remedy document that outlines the menu of sanctions available in its area. The document should be produced after appropriate consultation with the community.[13]

The options on the menu of sanctions must pursue one or more of the following aims:[14]

  • punish the perpetrator
  • assist in the perpetrator's rehabilitation, by helping to address the causes of her/his behaviour 
  • ensure the perpetrator makes appropriate reparation for her/his behaviour.

The legislation does not specify the sanctions to be made available but Home Office guidance suggests the following:[15]

  • mediation
  • written or verbal apology
  • paying an appropriate amount for damage to property
  • participation in educational activities funded by the areas Police and Crime Commissioner
  • reparation by doing unpaid work in the community.

Outcomes

The police will invite the victim's view as to the appropriate sanction from those set out in the community remedy document. If there are multiple victims, the police must make reasonable efforts to take all their views into account. It will be for the police to decide whether the preferred sanction is proportionate to the offence.[16]

Engagement with the community remedy process is voluntary on both perpetrator and victim. The police will give the perpetrator the option of accepting the chosen punishment or potentially facing more formal action, such as a community protection notice or court action. Where an offence has been committed, the police may, after inviting the victim's view, attach one of the actions listed in the menu of sanctions to a conditional caution, or a youth conditional caution if the perpetrator is under 18 years old.[17]

Further information

The Home Office statutory guidance for frontline professionals has chapters on both the use of the community trigger and the community remedy.

Wales

The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] s.104(1) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; p.10 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.

[2] s.105(2) and part 2 Sch.4 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[3] s.104(4) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; pp.6-7 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.

[4] s.104(11) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[5] Part 3 Sch.4 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[6] p.9 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.

[7] p.9 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.

[8] s.104(6) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[9] s.104(8) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[10] para 3 Sch.4 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[11] s.104(2)-(3) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[12] s.104(9) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[13] s.101(1), (4) and (5) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[14] s.101(3) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[15] pp.12-13 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.

[16] s.102(3) and (4) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; pp.14-15 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.

[17] ss.102-103 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

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