John case study - DOC by whq15269


									This case study is an example of the work that is undertaken by the caseworkers
within the Anti Social Behaviour Team

John* case study

John is 20 yrs old. He was referred to the newly formed ASB Casework Team by Hove
Police in August 2004 when he was 18 yrs old. He had previously been subject of an Anti
Social Behaviour Order, which had just expired, for persistent anti-social and aggressive
behaviour, both in the neighbourhood where he lived and Brighton town centre.

John had breached his ASBO on two previous occasions, and was involved in a fight in the
town centre two weeks before his ASBO expired, for which he was arrested and charged
with a third breach of ASBO. He had also been arrested and charged with ABH for an
incident that occurred one week after his ASBO expired.

I went to visit John to explain that the Police and Local Authority were considering another
ASBO application against him, and that if his ASB didn’t cease, he was running the risk not
only of another ASBO, but also custodial sentences if it was breached, especially now that he
was an adult.

John was quite hostile at first and said he didn’t care, though we did arrange that he would
see me again. He visited me at my office, and accepted that he needed some support to stay
out of further trouble, especially as he was extremely scared of going to prison.

I assessed his needs, and he identified his triggers to ASB as excessive alcohol use, plus
boredom, and a feeling that he was always going to be judged as a “bad boy”, so what was
the point in being any other way.

John gave me permission to talk to his Probation officer, and the three of us met. We
referred John to the local Substance Misuse Service due to his problematic alcohol use,
where he completed a twelve week course. When John felt more stable and ready to take
the next step, he was referred to Working Links, an organisation that helps people with
“barriers” back into employment. I also accompanied him to see his GP, as he felt his anti-
depressant medication wasn’t working. The GP changed his medication, and referred him for
counselling, to begin when his twelve-week Alcohol programme finished.

Once every four weeks all those involved in his “care” would get together, with John, to
review his progress. I was also in regular contact with the Police to monitor whether he was
coming to their attention due to ASB.

John completed his Alcohol programme and is now seeing a regular counsellor once a
fortnight. He has begun working at a warehouse, and at his trial for ABH and breach of
ASBO, the judge agreed to not send him to prison as he could see the effort that John is
making to stay out of trouble, and decided to extend his probation order instead.
John has not been involved in any incident of crime or ASB since August 2004.

Anti Social Behaviour Team

* this name has been changed
Case Study - Seafield Road

Seafield is a road containing a children’s home and two premises of temporary
accommodation, used mainly to place young people who have left local authority
care or have become homeless for other reasons. The road was known for
occasional minor issues of young people causing nuisance.

Fairly suddenly, however, these issues escalated to major concerns, involving not just
(or even primarily) residents but also ex-residents and visitors, mainly young people
between 16 and 22. There was shouting and other noise, criminal damage, and
drinking. Robberies, burglaries and assaults in the area were thought to be related.

In addition, this group began to mix with a group of older street drinkers who
frequented the churchyard at the end of the road. This combined group included
problem drinkers, convicted sex offenders, hard-drug users, and a number of people
convicted of acquisitive crimes. Many within the group were vulnerable as well as at
risk of offending. Several young women, including two fourteen-year-olds, were
identified as being part of the group.

The information first came to the ASB Team with regard to disturbances at one of
the temporary accommodation premises. These centred on two young men who
had been high profile anti-social behaviour (ASB) cases a few years previously but
had moved out of area. Their ASB caseworker immediately reopened their files,
made enquiries about their current status, and arranged appointments to see them.
They proved to be among the most problematic in the group, as well as being care-
leavers still receiving support from social services. The ASB caseworker liaised with
their social workers to discuss methods of enforcement and support to stop their
behaviour. She also notified ASB Teams of four other local authorities, where these
two had also offended, of the level of concern. In due course, one of the young men
received an ASBO Warning Letter, and considerations of an ASBO are still
underway. (The other was returned to prison for licence breaches and new

Next, the ASB Team received information about the two young women. A referral
was made to the Targeted Youth Support Service (TYSS), who visited the homes and
began intensive work with the two and their families.

Finally, the full scope of the situation, including a number of names of the young
people and of older adult drinkers, was reported to the ASB Team. The ASB
caseworker asked the police to continue to pass all incident reports from the area
to her. She arranged for the street outreach services team, who were already
familiar with the adult drinkers, to report on the presence of young people alongside
them. The street team also gave words of advice to the adult drinkers that they
were being monitored, and that they could be both at risk, and in difficulty should
harm befall any of the vulnerable young people.

The ASB caseworker emphasized to the police that as long as she continued to
receive the names of everyone of concern who was found in the area, she could deal
with them effectively by dealing with them according to individual needs and
In addition to the four discussed above, a number of the young people were in care
or with post-16 social services provision – many from a neighbouring authority. The
ASB caseworker contacted all relevant social workers and Youth Offending Team
(YOT) workers. Through them she arranged for the young people to receive
information about the level of risk of associating with this group, the possible
consequences of continued anti-social behaviour, and her willingness to discuss
related issues of behaviour or support directly with them. A further six young
people were dealt with in this way. For one of them who was considering a move to
Brighton, it was made clear that an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement would be
required before a social tenancy would be arranged within Brighton.

When two of the street drinkers were housed nearby, their case was passed from
the street services outreach team to the ASB caseworker, to deal with any
displacement issues.

The traditional method of dealing with such a hotspot would have been for the
police to break up the group whenever they were seen and send the participants
elsewhere. The likelihood is that they would continually return, and the level of risk
of both harm and offending would remain the same. Agencies already working with
the individuals would not find out about the level of risk or the likelihood of
offending of their clients. The individuals themselves would not understand the level
of risk to themselves, or the possibility of receiving ASBOs or other enforcement

In contrast, the ASB Team strategy engaged intense partnership working between
police, street services outreach team, social care, YOT, TYSS, and ASB Teams -
across local authorities - to ensure that everyone involved was appropriately
informed, that support was given where needed, and that enforcement action was
taken where appropriate.

This potentially dangerous and ugly situation was largely defused within a few weeks.
There is currently minimal nuisance in the area.
                              Tanya – Case Study

Tanya, 27, was referred to FIP (Family Intervention Project) in January 2007 by
social services, while subject to an interim Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
brought by her housing association. Neighbours reported abuse and threats from both
Tanya and young people who congregated at her property. Also reported were
underage alcohol use, possible underage sexual activity, and suspected drug use in
and around the property.

Many of the young people involved, including her boyfriend, 17, were known to the
ASB team and police. Tanya regularly took young people and her own children on
day trips to seaside resorts to play gambling machines. At the time of referral, social
services were considering care proceedings on her two children, a daughter (10) and
son (13), and her housing association was considering eviction.

A FIP caseworker first met Tanya at custody in February after an arrest for breach of
ASBO. She accepted responsibility for her behaviour and acknowledged that she
needed help. A FIP assessment was undertaken and work began; however, in March
Tanya’s children were placed with foster parents, the courts granted a full ASBO, and
her housing association served an injunction prohibiting her return to her property.
She moved in with her parents, which unfortunately meant with her previously
abusive father, also a problematic alcohol user.

As there was no “family” with the children in care, FIP referred the case to the main
ASB Casework Team, who began to see Tanya weekly. She engaged well and began a
period of abstinence from alcohol and reflection upon her current situation prompted,
she said, by her children going into care. Multi-agency support was put in place and
the consequences of further breaches of her ASBO were discussed.

Tanya responded well to this clear message of support and enforcement, and used the
latter as a motivational tool. Monthly multi-agency meetings assessed her engagement
and progress, and she found it helpful to know all the agencies were communicating
and working together to help her. In May she was allowed to return home and
informed that her children could be returned to her within 9-12 months, which became
her focus for sustaining the changes.

The ASB Team helped Tanya plan how to protect herself from the young people with
whom her ASBO prohibited contact, but who continued to come to her property. Her
local PCSO provided information and advice about home security and suggested that
her landlord might also be able to help. When she she lapsed from her alcohol
abstinence due to stress at the release of her boyfriend from prison, the ASB team
contacted him on her behalf to advise him not to return to the property, nor to contact
her if he was using alcohol.

In August the young people again tried to gain entrance to her property, verbally
abusing her and causing criminal damage when she refused. All were visited by the
ASB team and warned with regard to their future behaviour.

In July the ASB Team had reduced to monthly sessions due to Tanya’s consistent
engagement with substance misuse services and significant period of abstinence. The
action plan was working and no further enforcement was being considered. By
October the review decided that the ASB Team could withdraw. The caseworker
reflected with her on the changes she had made, and Tanya acknowledged that the
threat of enforcement, and the desire to have her children returned, had been
crucial to her recovery, as she probably would not have had sufficient motivation
without them.
Pankhurst Avenue case study March 2006

Pankhurst Avenue is a long residential road that cuts Brighton’s Queens Park estate
in half. At the middle of Pankhurst Avenue is a crossroads, which has junctions with
Plumpton Road and Hallett Road. A high percentage of the accommodation on the
estate is social housing, and the estate is a Neighbourhood Renewal Fund priority

In Summer 2002, the residents of Pankhurst Avenue had reported a lot of anti-social
behaviour to Sussex Police, which led to anti-social behaviour orders(ASBOs) being
obtained on two brothers, aged 16yrs and 14yrs.

In August 2005, the Anti-Social Behaviour Team began to receive reports of youth
disorder on the estate. These reports came mainly from two local residents,
including the chair of the local Community Association, and a local Park Warden.
The reports stated that up to fifteen young people, almost exclusively male, were
congregating at the crossroads drinking alcohol until late in the evening, often
shouting and swearing. Criminal damage was taking place, objects were being thrown
at local people, and young people were entering resident’s gardens. Some residents
who asked them to be quiet were being verbally abused, and in one case threatened.

The reports of anti-social behaviour identified four young people, all males between
the ages of 13 and16yrs, as being the main perpetrators. After completing the
relevant background checks with Sussex Police, social services, schools etc, all four
boys were visited jointly by Police and ASB Team. These remit of these visits was to
make the young people aware of the possible consequences for them of being
involved in further anti-social behaviour i.e. Housing action against their families
and/or ASBOs against them, and to look at what support they could be offered as
individuals or as a group to help them reduce their anti-social behaviour. One of
these young people and their family agreed to sign an Acceptable Behaviour
Contract. When the father of the 16 year old refused to let us into his house, we
gave our core message i.e. the consequences of further anti-social behaviour, whilst
stood on his doorstep. The content and outcome of all these visits was clarified in
writing to the perpetrators.

The Community Association organised an meeting, attended by the ASB Team,
Police, Council Housing, the Community Development Worker, the newly
appointed Youth worker, the ward Councillor, and local residents, including some of
the young people involved in the anti-social behaviour, to look at instigating a plan
for solving the problem. There was a general consensus that the behaviour had to
stop, that local people needed to report crime and anti-social behaviour if they
wanted to see a difference, that there needed to be more diversionary activities for
young people, and that members of the community needed to play a more significant
part in tackling these issues. The majority of the young people at the meeting
appeared genuinely surprised at the impact that their behaviour had, and vowed to
stop it. They gave a voluntary agreement to not hang around the crossroad after ten
in the evening, and to be aware of the effect that bad language and loud voices had
on those living nearby.
Actions that came from the meeting were:

      The Community Association agreed to encourage local residents to report
       anti-social behaviour through the Association to the ASB Team.
      The Police agreed to regularly patrol the area, and take the names of anyone
       involved in anti-social behaviour to pass on to the ASB Team, and to put a
       rapid response camera in place. Police Community Support Officers and the
       ASB Team would liaise with residents who report anti-social behaviour to
       keep them supported and updated.
      Housing Department agreed to write to all their tenants requesting
      The ASB Team would visit young people identified as being involved in anti-
       social behaviour, and instigate enforcement action if necessary.
      Youth and Community Development Workers would initiate outreach in the
       area, to engage with young people and find out what diversionary activities
       they would like to be involved in.
      Residents agreed to get more actively involved in their community.

All of the young people visited, as well as their parents and other adults in the
community, complained that there was little for young people to do in the area. This
also came across during the outreach sessions. When asked what they would like,
the young people suggested a football team. The idea was publicised by the
Community Association, the ASB Team and the outreach workers, and seventeen
young people between the age of 12 and 17 yrs, including the four boys that had
been visited, expressed an interest. Of these seventeen young people, eight of them
were already known to the ASB Team. A clause was written into the team’s
constitution, and the players’ individual contracts, that being involved in anti-social
behaviour on the estate would lead to a suspension from the team. Local healthy
living group Active For Life agreed to provide training for the team. Two of the boys’
parents took on management roles, and various players took on the roles of
secretary and treasurer. The Anti-Social Behaviour Team agreed to fund the first ten
training sessions whilst other funding was sought.

Anti-Social Behaviour Team Caseworkers keep in touch with the boys through going
to watch them train, often chatting with them about general anti-social behaviour, or
specific reports of it, and reminding them of the possible consequences of it. One
member of the team has recently been served with an ASBO Warning letter for
persistent anti-social behaviour, and is currently suspended from the team, and
another has agreed to sign an acceptable behaviour contract.

The four boys originally visited are not reported as currently being involved in anti-
social behaviour, and the one who signed an acceptable behaviour contract at that
time completed it successfully.

Feedback on all of the above, plus ongoing work and proposals for future activities, is
given through the Local Action Team and Neighbourhood Action Plan Forum.
Update Aug 2007

Aug and Sept 06 saw a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour resurface in
Pankhurst Avenue. The Police and ASB Team responded quickly and visited the six
young men identified as being involved. Four of these young men are members of the
football team, now called Racehill FC. They were warned as to the consequences of
further anti-social behaviour i.e. possible ASBO and loss of place in the football team.
All bar one took this message on board, and their anti-social behaviour in the area
stopped. One young man continued to commit anti-social behaviour, including
coming back to Pankhurst Avenue after his family had moved to a different
neighbourhood. The ASB Team took out an ASBO against him in Nov 06, which
banned him from entering Queens Pk estate, and from associating with other
members of Racehill FC in public. To this date, he has not breached his order.

During 2007, The ASB Team received virtually no reports of anti-social behaviour in
Pankhurst Avenue. Residents of Pankhurst Avenue report that 2007 has been the
quietest in terms of anti-social behaviour for five years.

Racehill FC continues to flourish and competes successfully in local competitions.

Peter Wileman
Senior ASB caseworker
Partnership Community Safety Team
                     Roundhill case study
An elderly resident from the Roundhill area of Brighton contacted the ASB
Team through the hotline and informed us that the eleven-year-old boy next
door to her and two of his friends were harassing her on a regular basis.

This harassment included
      damaging her drain-pipe
      dumping rubbish on her front doorstep
      regularly banging on her front door and windows,
      shouting abusive language through her letterbox
      throwing eggs at her windows

I contacted a neighbourhood police officer and they jointly visited the lady in
question. A statement was taken and we asked her if she would keep a diary
of future incidents. She was happy for us to approach the family next door.
We informed her that we would contact her once a week to update her on our
progress and to see how things were.

The Police Officer and I then visited the next-door neighbours and spoke to
the boy in question and his parents. He admitted harassing his neighbour, and
stated that he felt that he was protecting his family, as they had been involved
in an ongoing neighbour dispute with the woman next door for some time. We
advised the parents that they needed to resolve their dispute with their
neighbour and suggested mediation, a service that the complainant had
already agreed to. Both parties were referred to mediation. The boy also
signed an acceptable behaviour contract (ABC) which was monitored through
regular home visits over the next three months. He was made aware that if
the harassment continued he risked criminal prosection and possible ASBO

Next we visited both of the neighbouring boys friends, and spoke to them with
their parents present. Both sets of parents were appalled by their respective
sons’ behaviour. It was arranged that their sons would apologise to the lady in
person, and a week later both families visited her with me present and the
boys apologised for their behaviour. They also agreed to clean her windows
once a week for four weeks.

All of these interventions proved successful as the lady received no further
harassment. The Police officer and I received a thank you card for our efforts.

Peter Wileman
ASB Caseworker
NRF Communities

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