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Building safer communities

Posted on 04 July 2022

Over the last twelve months our antisocial behaviour team has been working with the police in Lambeth to make our communities safer.

“We’ve been working with the police and safer neighbourhood teams to tackle antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Stockwell and Kennington for a number of years,” said ASB Service Manager Nic Haig. “Our priority is the safety of our residents and their families, creating estates they can enjoy and call ‘home’.” 

We’ve also been working with local agencies and our colleagues across Hyde to provide long-term solutions. ASB officers including Sharon Nutsugah, Yvonne Crossley, Sandra Joseph and Christina Harris have taken robust and swift action against problematic residents that are making their neighbours’ lives a misery.

For example, in November 2021, we helped the police get a closure order at one of our homes in Kennington that was being occupied by drug users.

Nic explained: “The closure order meant no-one was allowed into the home for three months, which stopped the drug use and any associated ASB, so local residents felt much safer. We went to court and gave evidence to support the initial application and also supported the police’s application for an extension in February 2022.”

Commenting on the case, the local police said: “Thank you for the hard work you’ve put into our joint case, including attending court. The closure order has restored peace to the area. This is a great example of how a multi-agency approach can be invaluable and help with long-term local issues.”

In April 2022, we evicted a customer who’d been involved in drug use and dealing in Lambeth. While we had been aware of the problem for a couple of years, COVID-19 meant the eviction process was significantly delayed.

“We worked really hard with the police, keeping local residents informed of our progress throughout the pandemic,” Nic said. “We were really pleased to finally get the eviction order this year. The police praised us for helping to disrupt and shut down the organised drug dealing gang.”

Securing evictions from our homes is essential to making the communities a better place to live, and the people in them feel safer. It also means that homes can then be made available to other people who need them, and who will treat their home and their neighbours with respect.

Practical solutions to ASB

Sometimes we can’t identify who’s causing ASB, but we can still come up with practical solutions to put a stop to it. For example, in 2021, we solved two long standing ASB issues affecting people living in Stockwell.

Nic explained: “The first issue was a low wall outside one of our blocks, where groups would smoke drugs and drink alcohol, make noise and intimidate residents. Because we couldn’t identify anyone in particular, we decided to build the wall higher, so no-one could sit on it. This simple solution means groups don’t gather there anymore, so residents feel much safer.

“We also had some issues with rough sleepers in one of our blocks. Again, we couldn’t identify individuals easily, so instead we installed CCTV and worked with Streetlink, a local organisation that helps homeless people. Not only did we stop the rough sleeping, we also didn’t just move the problem elsewhere. We made sure the rough sleepers were given much-needed support.”

Find out more about our ASB work.