harassment by dfsiopmhy6



Oxford Citizens Housing Association
housing people – building communities
Harassment                     What is
We do not accept any           harassment?
form of harassment,
including:                         We define harassment as ‘any
                                   deliberate act designed to
n racial harassment;               interfere with the peace, safety
n sexual harassment;               or comfort of an individual
n harassment of gay men            or group whether because of
   and lesbians;                   their colour, race, nationality,
n harassment of people             ethnic or national origin, sex,
   who are HIV-positive or         sexual preference, HIV/AIDS
   who have AIDS;                  status, age, mental or physical
n harassment of people             health or ability, or otherwise’.
   with disabilities;
n harassment of people
   with physical or mental-    What can we do?
   health problems; and
                               We can work to
n harassment of people
                               prevent it happening
   because of their age.
We will do all we can to       Preventing harassment means showing
stop it and support the        that we do not accept it. We can
                               do this by promoting our policy to
victims. We believe that
                               residents at the start of their tenancies.
all residents have the right
to live their lives without    If you harass someone, you will be
fearing for their safety and   breaking the conditions of your
personal wellbeing.            tenancy and we may evict you.
                               We can work with
                               other agencies
                               We work closely with other agencies
                               to tackle harassment. Harassment

is a criminal offence and we would talk       out an injunction at short notice, if
to the police and would recommend             someone’s safety is threatened.
that you do so as well. However, we         n Taking action under the Criminal
promise we won’t reveal your                  Justice Act 1994, the Crime and
identity without asking for your              Disorder Act 1998 or the
permission first.                              Prevention of Harassment Act 1997.
                                            n Getting a court order to evict a
We also work with the local authority’s
                                              resident or make their tenancy less
nuisance teams and with the county
                                              secure, so that it’s easier to evict
council to protect children and
                                              them if their harassment continues.
vulnerable adults.
                                              Eviction is a last resort, but
If your property is managed                   sometimes residents leave us no
by another agency – such as Mind              choice if other warnings and legal
– they will tackle the problem                steps fail to stop their behaviour.
and report back to us. We will
                                            Other agencies can also take legal
ask your permission to share
                                            action, depending on the kind of
information or evidence with
                                            problem. For example, the police can
them to allow them to deal
                                            use the Protection for Harassment
with the matter.
                                            Act or prosecute people for offences
We can take legal action                    such as criminal damage, assault or
We – or another agency – can take           drug-dealing.
legal action if we have evidence of         We need evidence to take legal action.
harassment. There are a number of           That’s why it’s so important that
legal solutions open to us, including       people keep a detailed record of any
the following.                              problems that happen.
n Taking out an injunction – this is a
                                            We can support you
   court order that tells someone what
   they must or mustn’t do (for             If you are being harassed, or your
   example, visiting a certain property).   safety is threatened, we’ll talk to you
   If they break the injunction, they can   about what kind of support or
   face a fine or prison. We can take        protection you need.
www.ocha.org.uk                                                                       2
This could include extra security           supporting your application to your
measures in your home or practical          local authority.
and moral support if you need to go
                                            We have a Housing Support Team,
to court as a witness. For example,
                                            who can provide short-term or
we can arrange transport or go with
                                            long-term support if you need it. We
you to court. We will also explain
                                            can also contact other agencies who
the court process and arrange an
                                            provide specialist support, such as
interpreter if you need one.
                                            Oxfordshire Race Equality Council,
If you want to move away, we will do        the Terrence Higgins Trust, Mind and
what we can to help you, including          Victim Support.

Our service standards –
what you can expect from us

     n If you are reporting an incident,      to identify and interview all
       someone from our Housing               the people concerned.
       Services Team will contact you       n We will agree a plan of
       within two working days (within        action with you and contact
       24 hours if violence is involved)      you to keep you up to date
       to discuss the problem.                with our progress.
     n We will repair any damage and        n We will encourage you to keep
       remove graffiti within 24 hours         a diary of incidents, as this will
       of taking photos for evidence.         provide evidence if we need to
     n We will provide extra security         take legal action.
       measures (when appropriate) to       n We will aim to enforce the
       help you feel safer in your home.      terms of the tenancy agreement,
     n If we can take action, we will aim     if it has been broken. We will

 3                                                                     harassment
     explore the full range of legal     n We will investigate and deal
     solutions if the case is serious      with complaints from and about
     enough, and support you if you        our residents.
     need to appear in court.
                                         n We will tell you if we are going
   n If we are not able to take any        to contact the person who has
     further action (for example, if       harassed you. If you don’t want
     the complaint can’t be proved or      us to contact them because
     if there is not enough                you’re worried about how they
     information), we will tell you as     may react or you feel it may risk
     soon as possible.                     your safety, we will respect your
   n We will work with other               wishes. However, it may be
     agencies, such as the police and      difficult to solve the problem if
     local authority, to find the most      we can’t talk to them about
     effective solutions.                  what they’re doing.

What we need from you                    Things to consider
n Keep a clear record of the dates,      We take harassment very seriously
  times and nature of any incidents,     and we will do everything we can to
  including how the incidents made       make sure that all of our residents are
  you feel.                              able to live their lives without fearing
                                         for their safety and personal wellbeing.
n We need you to work with us
                                         However, you need to realise that
  to tackle the problems that affect
                                         sometimes there are no quick solutions
  you. Without your evidence, it
                                         to harassment. It can take time to
  can be very difficult to take the
                                         gather enough evidence and, if the
  matter further.
                                         issue goes to court, it can be a
                                         long process.                      ‹
www.ocha.org.uk                                                                4
How to tell us about                       Childline
harassment                                 Phone:                  0800 1111

If you are one of our residents, or        Crimestoppers
complaining about someone who is,          Phone:               0800 555111
you can:
                                           National Drugs Helpline
n Phone our Customer Service
                                           Phone:                0800 776600
  Team on 0800 980 9272 or
  01865 773000;                            NSPCC National Child
n Write to us, or visit us, at 244 Barns   Protection Helpline
  Road, Oxford, OX4 3RW;                   Phone:               0800 800500
n E-mail info@ocha.org.uk; or
n Speak to any member of our staff.        Oxfordshire Racial Equality Council
                                           Phone:               01865 815239
If you believe a crime has been
committed, you can also call               Racial Harassment Action Line
Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. They         Phone:              01865 791891
will keep your details confidential
– they aren’t interested in who you        Resolve Mediation Service
are, just what you know. (To find out       Phone:              0118 959 7420
more, visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.)
You can also report the problem to         Samaritans
us without giving us your name, but it     Phone:              08457 909090
may be difficult for us to deal with the
                                           Thames Valley Police (for incidents
problem or tell you what we are doing
                                           not classed as emergencies)
about it if we can’t contact you.
                                           Phone:                01865 846000

Useful contacts                            Turpin, Miller and Higgins Solicitors
                                           Phone:                01865 779111
Agnes Smith Advice Centre
Phone:              01865 770206           Victim Support
or:                 01865 717041           Phone:             0845 450 3883

 5                                                                 harassment
Customer service
0800 980 9272 (Freephone)                    Oxford Citizens Housing Association
01865 773000                                 housing people – building communities

You can talk to our Customer Service         244 Barns Road
Team about all your housing queries,         Oxford OX4 3RW
including rent arrears and repairs.          Fax 01865 773555
Please have your tenancy number              E-mail info@ocha.org.uk
ready when you call – you’ll find this        www.ocha.org.uk
on your quarterly rent statement.
                                             Oxford Citizens Housing
Our offices are open from 9am to              Association Limited
                                             An Industrial and Provident Society
5pm, Monday to Friday (not including         with charitable status 12305R
bank holidays). When our office is            Housing Corporation Registered No. LO893
closed, we provide an out-of-hours                             Part of GreenSquare
emergency repairs service and a                                Group Limited
non-urgent message service, which you
can use by calling the numbers above.

Other versions
If you would like to have any part of
this document explained or translated,
or in a different format such as in
larger print, in braille or on audio tape,
please contact us on 0800 980 9272.
                                                                      Published: November 2008

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