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The cost of anti-social behaviour on the public purse

Published on Wednesday, 16th November 2022

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council spent a whopping £69,530 during 2021/22 on repairing damaged property due to anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The cost forms part of the Council’s housing budget, known as the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

In line with the Council’s Recharge Policy, £36,308.30 of the total has been identified as repair costs that can be recovered because of a tenant breaching the terms of their tenancy agreement.

The Council is determined to stamp out ASB with a zero tolerance approach aimed at investigating all reports and taking appropriate action against perpetrators, helping to reduce repair figures, and making the Borough a safer place to live. 

With an increase in anti-social behaviour seen across the Borough in the past few years, combined with a rise of the complexity and seriousness of the cases, the Council, under the Cabinet leadership of Cllr Clare Golby, has introduced several new measures to effectively deal with the issue.

Two specialist teams have been created, comprising of a Tenancy Management Team and a Neighbourhood Team.

The Neighbourhood Team are solely responsible for dealing with tenant-based issues and is made up of three dedicated Officers who specifically target ASB and neighbourhood/ estate problems.

The ASB Officers have a strong community involvement, carrying out estate inspections and walkabouts with the Police on a regular basis, ensuring that residents' views are listened to and acted upon. The team also look at wider ways to help eliminate crime across the Borough.

Officers will also be trained to lead on injunctions in Court. This will enable the Council to take swift enforcement action without the need of any additional solicitor or legal support, resulting in cost savings being achieved across the HRA in future.

As a result of the specialist teams combined work, the Council has already seen not only a reduction in repair costs but a marked increase in legal action against ASB cases, providing a positive impact within neighbourhoods. As of August this year, 114 legal interventions were carried out, an increase of 51 on last year’s figures already.

Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, Cllr Clare Golby, said:  

“Anti-social behaviour is a scourge on our communities. When I came into this position I was shocked at the lack of willingness by the previous leadership to take action against perpetrators.

“When I said we would take a more zero tolerance approach, I meant it.

“Not only does anti-social behaviour negatively affect people in their own homes, but it comes at a high cost to the hard working taxpayers in our borough and that’s not acceptable. 

“My housing teams have been happy and eager to get stuck into this new way of working and are doing a great job. The message I have for those causing trouble in our communities is you don’t get a free ride anymore.

“We’ll deal with anti-social behaviour and criminals in our property in the strongest way possible, you could end up with nowhere to live or in prison and we’ll come after you for costs of repairs, too."