A council tenant who had human faeces smeared on their front door by an anti-social neighbour was told to clean it off themselves.
The victim reported their nightmare neighbour’s behaviour repeatedly for more than a year during which time, an official report suggested, insufficient action was taken against the perpetrator.
And there were delays dealing with another nightmare neighbour who continued to suffer because different council teams appear not to have worked together.
The examples are included in a Brighton and Hove City Council report as tenants press for “a single point of contact” so that problems are tackled more quickly.
The report – to a housing management panel – said:
“The head of housing acknowledged a rise in ASB (anti-social behaviour) during the covid period though figures were not yet available.”
The report said:
“In Woodingdean, a tenant reported having human excrement smeared on their front door.
“This was not an isolated incident but was part on an ongoing case of anti-social behaviour they had been reporting for over a year.
“They were asked to clean off the excrement themselves, rather than having action taken against the perpetrator.”
The report to the housing management panel for the east area also said:
“Residents in Craven Vale repeatedly reported anti-social behaviour by a resident on the estate for nearly a year before they eventually found out that the perpetrator was in temporary accommodation.
“This meant it was the responsibility of the temporary housing team to deal with the issue, rather than the anti-social behaviour officers. This caused unnecessary delays.
“Living with anti-social behaviour can be very traumatic and sometimes a victim will feel the need to move away to make a fresh start.
“This can take a very long time, which can have a detrimental impact on those concerned.
“It is recognised that anti-social behaviour can be very difficult to resolve and can be a long process involving a lot of input from those impacted by it.
“However, improvements could be made in the way reports are responded to, action taken by officers and outcome reporting to area panels.”
The report said that residents wanted the council to give a high enough priority to victims of anti-social behaviour when being moved so that they could move quickly.
And they called for a full review of the council’s anti-social behaviour policy, echoing a request by tenants and leaseholders at a west area panel meeting.
The council’s head of tenancy services Justine Harris said:
“We will be undertaking a review. The format of this review will need to be decided but we will consider the option of setting up a task and finish group as residents have suggested.
“We will include residents in our plans for this review. We will start the process to plan for this to happen and hope to start the review in June this year.
“This will include reviewing the setting up of a single point of contact (SPOC) for all reports of anti-social behaviour on council estates regardless of tenure and the priority given to victims of ASB when they need to move.”
The agenda papers for the panel said that from July to December no tenants were evicted as a result of anti-social behaviour.
At the end of December, there were 290 active – or unresolved – cases of anti-social behaviour in Brighton and Hove.
And from October and December, the council received 155 reports of anti-social behaviour – down from 209 in the previous quarter – and 176 cases were closed.