Wrexham Council has become the first local authority in Wales to receive the Wales Housing Management Standard for its work in tackling anti social behaviour.
To achieve the award the council’s Housing Services department had to provide detailed evidence of its policies and procedures and working practices relating to preventing or tackling anti social behaviour.
When tackling anti social behaviour the council has many options available to it from mediation and warning letters to acceptable behaviour contracts, injunctions, possession proceedings and ultimately to eviction.
Neighbours affected are also encouraged to play their part in tackling anti social behaviour by initially reporting offenders and keeping diaries of incidents and sound or noise monitoring.
The evidence can then be used by the council, police or courts to ensure the problem stops. The majority of cases reported are dealt with at local level without the need for tenancy enforcement.
In 2011 Wrexham Council evicted two tenants on anti-social behaviour grounds, in December one tenant was evicted for begging, anti social behaviour and intimidation.
The council has also considered proposals to take tougher action against anti-social tenants under new Welsh Assembly Government legislation.
However, the local authority stressed that the eviction route is only ever taken after all other means have failed.
In receiving the award the councilin’s Housing Services was praised for its commitment to tackling anti social behaviour, further strengthened by its partnership approach and multi agency working.
This includes working closely with the police, social services, environmental health, education, health professionals, youth service, schools and the Community Safety Partnership.
Lesley Griffiths, AM, was on hand to present the award on behalf of the Welsh Government and to pass on her congratulations to all those involved, she said: “Anti-social behaviour can destroy the feeling of sanctuary and security people have a right to associate with their homes. The Welsh Government created the Wales Housing Management Standard as something positive to which local authorities can aspire and to promote best practise in eliminating this blight on communities.
“I am truly thrilled Wrexham Council can call itself first to achieve this benchmark, and wish to congratulate all who have worked so hard towards achieving this. Their work is making a difference day-in-day out to our communities and the quality of the lives of Wrexham people.”
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Lead Member for Housing and Planning, said: “This is excellent news and demonstrates that partnership working is essential to creating communities that everyone can live in peace and quiet. I would like to thank all the staff involved who have worked hard to bring in policies and procedures that are proving successful in the fight against anti social behaviour.
“Residents too are to be thanked for their courage in standing up for their communities and providing evidence which allows the council or its partnership to take action against individuals.”