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The Community Trigger

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can have a real impact on communities, both on the lives of victims and communities and can be a precursor to more serious crime.  It is important that the challenge of ASB continues to be given the priority it needs so that people everywhere feel safe in their homes and communities.  

The second UK-wide ASB Awareness Week takes place this week, between 18 - 24 July 2022.

Despite more than half of people (56%) believing that ‘more needs to be done’ to tackle ASB in their community, just one-in-fifty (2%) fully understand their rights to challenge the problem, according to a YouGov survey conducted in April 2022.

The Community Trigger (also known as the ASB case review) is one of the Government’s flagship ASB policies. It gives people the right to request a multi-agency review of their case if they feel their complaints about anti-social behaviour have not been dealt with.

However, 94% of people said that they had never heard of the Community Trigger, with just 2% saying that they ‘fully understand’ their rights. So what exactly is the Community Trigger?

The Community Trigger was introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 and went live on 20 October 2014, as part of a shake-up which also saw Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) replaced with civil injunctions and the Criminal Behaviour Order.

If a victim feels like they have nowhere to turn for help – for example they may have reported the anti-social behaviour but no-one seems to be doing anything or appears to listening and the anti-social behaviour is continuing - the Community Trigger has been designed to resolve this.

Essentially the Community Trigger is an ASB case review and is designed to give victims of anti-social behaviour the right to a review of their case, bringing together partner agencies to find a joined-up solution or identify additional tasks that will bring about a resolution. It allows victims of persistent ASB the opportunity to voice their concerns and be heard.

Any case that meets the threshold requires the relevant organisations to undertake a formal review of the case, to find out the impact on the victim and the effect that it is having. Organisations include police, local authorities, health services and providers of social housing.

Activating the Community Trigger

If a victim has reported 3 incidents (or more) of ASB – or one incident of hate crime (or more) – to the police or their housing provider within a 6 month period, they can activate the Community Trigger through their Local Authority. Each Local Authority has a point of contact for activating the Community Trigger and for ensuring that applications made are passed on to all the relevant bodies in the local government area.

A Community Trigger can be requested by the victim themselves, who could be an individual, business or community group, or by someone acting on their behalf such as a family member, carer, MP or councillor. Any third party requesting a review on the victim’s behalf will need to obtain the victim’s consent in writing to instruct a review of the case and to receive copies of correspondence sent to the victim.

Requests for a Community Trigger must be submitted to the relevant local authority for the victim’s area. The local police or local council will be able to provide further information about the Community Trigger process in each area.

Once a request has been submitted, confirmation will be made within five working days that the request has been received. A preliminary review will be undertaken to determine whether the request meets the threshold and, if it does, a full review will be undertaken.

The requestor will be advised of the outcome of the review and advised of what actions will be taken within 20 working days of the review. This includes:

- the outcome of the review
- any recommendations made as an outcome of the review

If the requestor is unhappy following the review, they can make a request for the decisions to be reviewed within 10 days of being notified of the initial outcomes.

The Community Trigger is designed to ensure local organisations work together to resolve a complaint and is not a replacement for an individual organisations’ own complaints procedures which looks at faults in the way an agency has responded.

Criminal offences are outside of the scope of Community Triggers and should continue to be reported to Police by calling 101 or, in an emergency, by calling 999.