Anti-social behaviour case reviews (The Community Trigger)

What is an anti-social behaviour (ASB) case review?

The anti-social behaviour case review (also known as the 'community trigger') was introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to provide a safety net for victims of anti-social behaviour who felt they hadn't received a satisfactory response to their complaints. It gives victims of persistent anti-social behaviour the right to request a multi-agency review of their case where the required threshold has been met.

For the purposes of an ASB case review, anti-social behaviour is defined as:

  • Persistent behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more person(s) from another household

In cases where the above threshold has not been met but the behaviour is causing a 'nuisance or annoyance', applications for ASB case reviews may be accepted where it can be shown that the cumulative impact of the behaviour is having a significant detrimental impact on the victim. 

Common examples of anti-social behaviour include, but are not limited to, verbal abuse, harassment, vandalism, noise nuisance, animal nuisance, anti-social drinking and fly tipping.

Thresholds for an ASB case review

  • If an individual(s) has reported an incident of anti-social behaviour, relating to the same problem, to Devon & Cornwall Police, Plymouth City Council, a Registered Social Landlord or an NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, three or more times within the past six months, and where there are further actions available to resolve the case, they would meet the threshold for an ASB case review. 
  • If an individual(s) has reported an incident of anti-social behaviour, relating to the same problem, to Devon & Cornwall Police, Plymouth City Council, a Registered Social Landlord or an NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group two or more times within the past six months, and one or more of the incidents involves a hate crime or incident,* and where there are further actions available to resolve the case, they would meet the threshold for an ASB case review. 

*A hate crime or incident is any incident that is considered by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice because of a particular factor. These factors include:

  • A person’s disability
  • Their race, ethnicity or nationality
  • Their religion or belief
  • Their sexual orientation
  • Their transgender identity
  • Their sex or gender

An ASB case review is not a process to complain about an individual or single organisation. If you have a complaint about an individual or organisation, such as Plymouth City Council, Devon & Cornwall Police or a Registered Social Landlord, you should use the complaints procedure for that organisation. Should you have a complaint relating to the activity of Plymouth City Council, please visit our feedback and complaints page.

Applying for an ASB case review

An ASB case review can be requested directly by a victim of anti-social behaviour or from a third party, with the victim’s consent (such as a family member, friend, professional, local Councillor or MP). Where a request is made by a third party, contact will be made with the victim to confirm they have consented to the referral and to establish who they wish to be the main point of contact for the review process. The victim will need to sign a declaration, giving the third party authorisation to be the main contact on their behalf.

In exceptional circumstances, Plymouth City Council may accept an ASB case review application made by a third party without the victim’s consent, e.g. if a victim is unable to give consent or is at significant risk of harm.

Ways to apply for an ASB case review

Online:  Complete the ASB Case Review online application form

Phone: Call Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 and ask for an ASB case review (or to activate the 'community trigger'). If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, you can text phone 18001 101.

By post: Complete the downloadable application form and post to Safer Communities Team, Community Connections, Plymouth City Council, Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth, PL1 3BJ. 

In person: Visit your local library and ask for an ASB case review or to activate the 'community trigger'. You will be offered the option of completing the application on a library computer or provided with the paper application form.

What happens next

We will confirm in writing that the request has been received and will provide the applicant with a reference number. We will check the threshold has been met. This will include:

  • contacting the applicant for further information
  • completing a risk assessment
  • offering any necessary support
  • contacting relevant agencies involved with the case for further information

We aim to have a decision on whether the threshold has been met within 10 working days from the date the request was received and will inform the applicant of this decision in writing. If a matter is exceptionally complex or a high volume of paperwork is supplied, the procedure may take a little longer.

Application meets the required threshold

The applicant will be informed of this decision in writing and a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) from the Safer Communities Team will be allocated to their case.

An Independent Chair will be appointed who will arrange a panel meeting with relevant agencies to review what action has previously been taken and decide whether further recommendations can be made to try and resolve the anti-social behaviour. The purpose of this meeting is not to apportion blame or hold agencies to account but to take a proactive, problem-solving approach to try and stop further anti-social behaviour.

We will ask whether the applicant (or a representative) would like to attend the beginning of this meeting to explain the impact that the anti-social behaviour has been having on them. If they do not wish to attend the meeting, they also have the option to provide a Victim Impact Statement which will be read out by the Chair at the beginning of the meeting.

Following the conclusion of the ASB Case Review, any recommendations made will be shared with the applicant, along with an opportunity for them to discuss or make any comment. A ‘lead agency’ will also be appointed by the Chair who will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of the agreed actions.

We aim to hold the ASB Case Review meeting within 30 working days from the date the request was originally received. If a matter is exceptionally complex or a high volume of paperwork is supplied, the procedure may take a little longer.

Application doesn’t meet the required threshold

We will write to the applicant to explain why and will give advice on what other options are available to them. The applicant is also able to appeal this decision and advice about how to do this will be included in the decision letter.

How to appeal

If an applicant is not satisfied with the way their ASB case review has been dealt with, an appeal can be made to the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, where one or more of the following circumstances apply:   

  • the relevant bodies have rejected an application to conduct an ASB Case Review on the basis that the threshold has not been met but the applicant considers that the threshold has been met
  • the applicant believes that the ASB case review has failed to consider a relevant process, policy or protocol
  • the applicant believes that the ASB case review has failed to consider relevant factual evidenced information

If an applicant wishes to escalate their case to the OPCC, they must do so within four weeks of notification of the outcome by contacting the Safer Communities Team to raise this appeal on their behalf. Individuals cannot self-refer their case directly to the OPCC.

Further information on escalating an ASB case review to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner can be found on the OPCC website.

If you have any queries please contact Community Connections on 01752 668000 or email communityconnections@plymouth.gov.uk.