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The Community Trigger is intended to encourage a collaborative problem-solving approach amongst relevant bodies dealing with persistent cases of ASB.

It gives victims, or victims' representatives the right to ask local agencies to review how they have responded to previous anti-social behaviour (ASB) complaints and consider what further actions might be taken where the behaviour persists.

It is not a complaints procedure. It is intended to offer a 'safety net' for vulnerable victims and to help avoid individuals being passed between agencies without resolution.

In the City of London the Community Trigger can be used for both ASB and Hate incidents.

Relevant bodies and their statutory duties

The Community Trigger was introduced in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Act came into force on 13 May 2014 and the Community Trigger became operational on 20 October 2014.

The Act places a number of duties upon 'relevant bodies' in relation to the Community Trigger process.

Relevant bodies in the City of London include:

  • City of London Corporation
  • City of London Police
  • City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group
  • The Guinness Partnership as the local Social housing provider who is co-opted into the group

Statutory duties and responsibilities

To have in place, and publish, a Community Trigger procedure.

  • Consult the Police and the chair of the Police Committee on setting up the procedure and whenever it is reviewed.
  • Undertake a case review when a victim activates the Community Trigger, and respond to them at particular points in the process. These include:
  • The decision as to whether or not the threshold is met;
  • The outcome of the review; and
  • Any recommendations made as an outcome of the review.
  • To publish the following information on their area (at least once a year):
  • The number of case review applications made during the period
  • How many times the threshold was not met
  • The number of case reviews carried out
  • How many case reviews resulted in recommendations being made

City of London Community Trigger procedure

The City of London Community Trigger guidance document provides a procedural framework to ensure that residents in the City of London receive the same quality response when they activate the Community Trigger.

Defining 'anti-social behaviour'

For the purposes of the Community Trigger, Section 105(4) of the ASB Crime and Policing Act states that: Anti-social behaviour means behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress to members or any member of the public.

When deciding whether this threshold is met, the relevant bodies will consider that in the City of London ASB is behaviour by an individual or group that results or is likely to result in another party feeling personally threatened, where that behaviour

  • creates a public nuisance, or
  • has a detrimental impact upon the environment, or
  • has a detrimental effect upon the quality of life of an individual or the community as a whole.

The Community Trigger threshold

In order to activate the Community Trigger an application for an ASB case review has to be made or at least three separate qualifying complains of anti-social behaviour or hate incidents must have been made within the past six months.

Other factors that will be taken into account:

  • Reported problems have not been acknowledged – i.e. no one contacted the complainant to advise what action would be taken
  • Reported problems have not been appropriately investigated
  • Victim's vulnerability and / or potential for harm have not been considered and this has affected potential service delivery
  • No action has been taken because information has not been shared between partners and this has affected potential service delivery.
  • Persistence of anti-social behaviour about which the original complaint was made along with the harm caused, or potential for harm to be caused, by that behaviour

This is not an exhaustive or prescriptive list; the above offers a framework to assist the designated officer in the assessment of whether no action has been taken, or whether whatever action has been taken is deemed to have been inadequate. Each case will be assessed on its own merits and use of discretion and professional judgment would be applied to include other factors as required.

The Safer city partnership will reject those triggers deemed malicious or vexatious, and ensure that the rationale for rejecting Community Trigger applications are quality assured in order to withstand scrutiny via any appeals.

The coordinator will be responsible for providing an appropriate response when a case has not met the threshold and therefore the application has been rejected. This response will include the reasons why the application has not met the threshold and it will signpost to the organizations or departments who can help with the problem or/and give advice to the complainant.

Qualifying complaints

S104 (11) of the Act defines a "qualifying complaint" as one which is made within one month of the incident occurring and that the application for the case review is made within six months of the incident being reported.

There is no minimum period prescribed for a Community Trigger to be activated, and as the latest activation point for the Community Trigger is 6 months after the 3rd incident was reported, this could be up to 13 months from when the first incident occurred as illustrated in the following:

Time schedule example
Incident Occurred Can be reported by Latest Trigger Activation date
Incident 1 01/01/14 01/02/14 -
Incident 2 01/03/14 01/04/14 -
Incident 3 30/06/14 30/07/14 31/01/15

Common sense and discretion would be applied to review each case on its own merits, even if they fall outside the parameters set out in the legislation.

Where the coordinator reviews an application and decides that it does not meet the threshold, the decision should be quality assured by a summary provided to the panel.

Activating the Community trigger

The Community Trigger can be activated by a victim, or a third party. If being activated by a third party, the written permission of the victim must be provided.

The Community Trigger can be activated by completing a Community Trigger form or e-form and returning it to either the Police, Council or the relevant social housing provider. It can also be activated by telephoning one of the above relevant bodies.

Community Trigger process

  • Request to activate Community Trigger received from victim or other person on their behalf e.g. family member, friend, carer, professional person or councillor (consent is required for 3rd party report)
  • Coordinator acknowledges receipt of request response is sent within 2 working days.
  • The Community Trigger coordinator contacts the relevant bodies (Council/Police/Housing Provider) requesting information relevant to the complaint.
  • Relevant bodies must send the information about those complaints, impact and risk to victim and actions taken within 10 working days to the coordinator. A decision is then made if threshold has been met.
  • If threshold is not met, the coordinator will contact the victim to advise this and will offer appropriate advice on what victim can do next, including their right to appeal. This decision will be quality assured by a relevant area manager.
  • If threshold is met, the coordinator will contact victim to discuss the case and obtain any further information about the case and what victim would like the outcome to be. This might be over the telephone or in person, and might include a joint visit with another relevant body.
  • The coordinator will then arrange an ASB Case Review Panel meeting involving all relevant agencies. When possible, the panel will be chaired by a lead officer, manager or inspector from an agency not subject to the Community Trigger complaint.
  • Case review - Relevant bodies and any other relevant agencies will carry out a case review (if the perpetrator is under 18 and the Youth Offending Team will be invited to the review). This will include reviewing information about the case, considering if any new information needs to be obtained, review previous actions, and proposing a response including any recommendations (which may include recommendations to other agencies). A Community Trigger case report is completed clearly outlining the recommendations and giving clear timescales as to when actions will be completed and by whom.
  • Once the recommendations have been confirmed the Community Trigger coordinator will report back to the victim by phone or in person to advise the outcome of the case review and inform them of any action plan. This will then be confirmed in writing to the victim/complainant.
  • If an action plan has been agreed, or recommendations made, the Lead Officer, or alternative named officer, will coordinate the action plan and ensure recommendations are carried out.

Appeals

A victim can request a review of the way their application for a Community Trigger was dealt with or the way the review was carried out. Where this occurs, the review will be carried out by the Chair of the Safer City Partnership or he can appoint a senior officer/manager to take his place.

When a Community Trigger review is carried out, the relevant bodies undertaking the review may make recommendations to other agencies. The legislation places a duty on a person who carries out public functions to have regard to those recommendations.

Accountability

All Community Trigger cases will be reported to the Safer City Partnership chair who will confirm responses are appropriate and may make recommendations.

Information sharing

Relevant bodies may request any person to disclose information for the purposes of carrying out a Community Trigger review. The information must be shared if the request is made to a person who exercises public functions. The only exception to this is where sharing the information would be:

  • In contravention of any of the provision of the Data Protection Act 1998; or
  • Prohibited by Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Acts 2000.

Existing information sharing agreements centred around Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 allow for the sharing of relevant information for crime reduction purposes.

There is a Safer City Partnership Information Sharing Agreement in place. The Community Trigger form will include the express consent of the victim to share information with relevant bodies and other relevant agencies in the case.

Communication

Advice on the community trigger and how to activate it will be available on Police and Council websites.

Publications

The Safer City Partnership Chair will be responsible to openly publish information about the number of community trigger applications received per annum/12 month period. Publications of statistical data for the Community Trigger will be anonymous.

Published:
04 November 2014
Last Modified:
14 November 2017

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