ASB ‘moving toward a 999 service rather than a preventative community response’ | Housing Management Network news

ASB ‘moving toward a 999 service rather than a preventative community response’

More resources are needed to tackle the root causes of Anti-Social Behaviour, a former ASB officer has said.

Speaking at HQN’s ASB Week, Nick Pettigrew said: “A lot of the proactive stuff in ASB is going. We are moving toward a 999 service rather than community response. Mostly due to resources.

“ASB is the smoke alarm and not the fire. Most of the time when people are acting out, it is because there are other aspects at play you need to deal with.”

Pettigrew is author of ‘Anti-Social: The Secret Diary of an Anti-Social Behaviour Officer’ and was sharing his insights, building on many of the stories in the highly recommended book.

Keen to not be political, he rued the fact short term gains are often outweighing the long-term strategies that are most effective. Also mentioning the importance of the “safety net” that is currently being eroded away.

He spoke of the “certain amount of detachment” that was needed to be an ASB officer and how there are some things that no amount of training can prepare you for.

And he said this is why you cannot manage an ASB team, unless you have worked as an officer.

Expanding, the former ASB officer said: “There are many jobs that have transferrable skills. But with ASB, it is a job you can't manage effectively if you haven't done it. You need to have someone with a good knowledge of legislation and best practice, or you make bad decisions.”

But above all that, he had this to say on social housing: “I've seen people acting at their worst but I still think that social housing is a fantastic place to live. This book was never about being another poverty porn piece.”

Also speaking on the third day of HQN’s ASB week was Associate Tim Horsley, who was covering the legislation that could be used, especially at these times.

He emphasised the effectiveness of toolkits, which HQN had produced for all delegates of the session, and spoke about the importance of using “risk matrixes”.

But he said there are a myriad of tools at an ASB teams disposal, namely:

  • CPWs and CPNs
  • Civil injunctions and committals
  • Use of PSPOs to support
  • Police dispersal powers
  • Closure orders
  • ASB Case Reviews


HQN’s ASB Week still has one more day left! Do you want to hear from Resolve’s CEO on the trends from lockdown? Or maybe you want to be part of a landlord roundtable, looking at all the key issues from legislation to on the ground community work. There are still a few places left for each!