Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

NIHE reports more than 200 ASBOs in south Belfast

An example of the behaviour that the NIHE has been issuing ASBOs over.

South Belfast has seen over 200 Anti-Social Behaviour Orders issued in the last year, according to new Housing Executive figures.

They say they dealt with 954 cases of anti-social behaviour across Belfast in the last year — 230 of those cases were in south Belfast.

The Housing Executive also stated they repossessed three homes in south Belfast and had an increase in the number of houses they repossessed across the city.

The NIHE statistics show south Belfast to be the area with the second lowest amount of ASBOs with north Belfast having 270 issued and west Belfast 328 — east Belfast had 92.

On repossessions south Belfast was also second lowest in the statistics with three houses being repossessed compared to nine in the north, five in west Belfast, and one in east Belfast.

NIHE say the majority of these reports are related to minor incidents of ASB which were speedily resolved without recourse to legal action.

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.

“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,” added Mr Cuddy.

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