Everyone has the right to enjoy life in their own way provided they do not upset the people living near them. Good neighbours communicate with one another and are able to understand that different lifestyles can affect others.
Antisocial behaviour includes everyday incidents, such as overgrown gardens or noise nuisance from music, dogs nuisance and shouting, to more serious acts such as threatening behaviour, harassment and hate crime.
Hate crimes are unwelcome or hostile acts, including harassment or violence, which are related to the victim’s:
- ethnic or national origin
- sexual orientation
- marital status
We consider hate crime to be any incident that is perceived as hate crime by the victim or any other person.
We take all hate crime very seriously and we will record and look into every report we receive. We work closely with the Police and other agencies to ensure your safety and that you receive the required support. If you want us to and it is appropriate we will take action against any tenant or leaseholder who is committing hate crime.
In an emergency please always call the Police on 999 or 101.
We take all incidents of antisocial behaviour seriously and will help you to resolve the problem. However, we are not responsible for the behaviour of our residents and can only take action if there is a proven breach of tenancy. We will expect you to take responsibility to resolve disputes with neighbours and to use mediation services.
If you would like to discuss antisocial behaviour, please contact us on 01206 507341 or through customer services on 01206 282514, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls and conversations are confidential.
Tell us and the Police immediately if you have been assaulted, threatened or are the victim of a hate crime. Contact them directly by dialing 101 or report it online.
Concerns relating to the welfare of an adult or child should be reported to Essex County Council in the first instance, or call 999 in an emergency.
How we deal with antisocial behaviour
In most cases, we will contact you within two working days of your complaint being received. If the incident involves incidents of a more serious nature, including hate crime we will contact you within one working day.
Our action will depend on the type of issue you are reporting.
- Speak with the person to explain the effect of their behaviour on neighbours
- Refer cases to an independent mediation service, free of charge
- Advise and help victims and witnesses on gathering evidence
- Issue warnings such as Acceptable Behaviour Agreements
- Refer you to relevant support agencies
- Provide extra security measures where necessary
- Consider taking more robust enforcement action
- Ask you to download the Noise App to gather evidence relating to noise
Mediation is an effective way of resolving neighbour disputes without the need of going to court. It helps you and your neighbour to reach an agreement. It is a voluntary process , however by taking part it could help you resolve your problem(s) with your neighbour without involving other agencies. Mediation cannot be used if there has been a serious act of violence or a criminal act.
If you are in dispute with your neighbour, mediation could help you resolve your issue. Other reasons to choose mediation include:
- It allows you to reach a mutually acceptable solution
- It is confidential
- It is informal
- It aims for a win/win situation
- It let’s you decide what happens
Mediation is a free service
How does it work?
Mediation can be arranged with or without both parties meeting face-to-face. The mediator will work with both parties to help them communicate better, to understand each other’s concerns and jointly come up with solutions to help resolve disputes.
The mediator’s role is to arrange a meeting on neutral ground and encourage each person to:
- Talk freely
- Explain their point of view
- Find common ground
- Come up with an agreed way forward
In some cases, where this is not possible, the mediator can act as a go-between, handling messages between each party until you both reach an acceptable solution. Remember, the mediator cannot take sides, but they can encourage you both to work towards a solution you can be happy with, which will prevent the situation getting out of hand.
Is it for me?
Tips for resolving your own neighbourhood disputes:
- Speak to your neighbour about the problem
- Plan what you are going to say before seeing your neighbour
- Listen to your neighbour; your neighbour is more likely to do the same
- Avoid shouting or using abusive language