04 March, 2008
Anti-Social Behaviour has been a long-standing problem for many social landlords and, until now, tackling it has proven to be even more problematic.
Incidents of public-drinking, drug use, youth gangs and truancy cause substantial nuisance which often blight local communities and many social landlords have felt isolated in their efforts to fight back.
However, all this could soon change.
Communities Secretary, Hazel Blears has announced that guidance will be made available to Housing Associations to encourage engagement with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP).
CDRPs are statutory partnerships which place a duty on responsible authorities to work with other local agencies and organisations to devise and implement policies and procedures in an effort to tackle wide ranging crime and disorder, which includes anti-social behaviour.
The thinking behind the current guidelines is explained in the guidance note itself:
"If RSLs are to play a larger part in delivering interventions to tackle antisocial behaviour and helping create a culture of respect, it is essential that they work closely with CDRPs and understand more clearly what partnership working has to offer. CDRPs stand to benefit from having RSLs on-board in helping to develop and deliver strategic approaches to continue to address crime and anti-social behaviour in the communities they represent."
Such openness with CDRPs will assist social landlords in meeting problems head on through the conjoining of resources and expertise. By establishing partnerships between housing associations and independent agencies, specialist knowledge can be shared which will only have the positive effect of delivering speedier and more efficient responses to anti-social behaviour.
The manner in which Housing Associations interact with the CDRP is a matter that will be decided at local level. Social landlords will be able to decide upon which activities they wish to take on, thereby catering to their own specific needs.
However, whatever level of engagement social landlords choose to employ, it is hoped that increased co-operation will trigger an enhanced ability to contend with Anti-Social Behaviour.