Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

NIHE in plea for help to drive down antisocial behaviour

Almost 300 instances of anti-social behaviour were recorded by the Housing Executive’s Bangor office in the last year.

In Newtownards the NIHE recorded 188 instances of ASB — 288 were recorded in Bangor.

A total of 4667 cases of anti-social behaviour were dealt with by the Housing Executive across Northern Ireland during the past year.

The majority — 87 pe cent of these reports — related to minor incidents of ASB which were speedily resolved without recourse to legal action said a spokesperson from the NIHE.

They say the problem of excessive noise remains the biggest issue for complainants with reports including reports of noisy neighbours, noisy parties and clashes of lifestyle.

“In addressing this type of problem the Housing Executive has developed a range of early interventions including the use of warning letters, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and referrals to its mediation service.

“The Housing Executive accepts that while many reports are termed minor, they still cause misery and anxiety for local residents who wish to live peacefully in their own homes,” said a NIHE spokesperson.

Acting Chief Executive of the Housing Executive, Stewart Cuddy said: “Anti social behaviour remains a key issue of concern amongst our tenants.

“This year our district offices have taken a proportionate and incremental approach and it is significant that we have used our legal powers only as a last resort.

“Having said that, we are not complacent about the impact such behaviour can have on communities and we will continue to deal with those who engage in it. The increase in repossessions this year is indicative of our commitment to protect communities from this scourge.

“At a local district office level we continue to work closely with communities to ensure that ASB does not take hold. We have made significant progress this year in identifying and dealing with individuals who have been involved in unacceptable behaviour and this will continue.

“However, to be truly effective in challenging ASB we need people to come forward and report incidents as and when they occur. Unless we know about such incidents, we cannot tackle them, so I would ask anyone who has experienced or witnessed ASB to come forward and report it to their local district office.”

Mr. Cuddy added: “The problems created by ASB are not always easy to resolve. Individual victims are often fearful of coming forward and this is understandable. However it is vital that we have the support and evidence provided by local people, because, without it, the job becomes even more difficult.”

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