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| 1 minute read

Ombudsman urges Councils to do more to tackle ASB

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has today published a report urging those on the frontline of tackling antisocial behaviour to fully embrace their roles and powers.

The report sets out the role of the LGSCO in making decisions on whether councils have properly investigated reports of antisocial behaviour. It sets out that within investigations carried out by the LGSCO, they frequently found that councils had failed to grasp the problems presented by antisocial behaviour and their own powers to act. In 2022/23, 74% of detailed investigations about antisocial behaviour were upheld by the LGSCO. The report also details the LGSCO’s involvement with the Housing Ombudsman, confirming that they work with the Housing Ombudsman to share information and have the power to investigate complaints jointly if the issues in the complaint span the investigative powers of both ombudsmen.

The report sets out various powers available to councils, to include issuing a community protection notice, making a public spaces protection order, closure order and applying for an injunction order pursuant to the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The report gives guidance on early and informal interventions available to councils which may be used to address antisocial behaviour.

Common issues and learning points are set out within the report to include gatekeeping, a failure to make decisions, a failure to make use of the full range of powers available, delays and poor communication, and a failure to liaise with other agencies including the police and social housing providers.

The report also highlights an issue of councils referring to other agencies, such as the police and social housing providers, without considering their own role. It comments that ‘councils cannot simply wash their hands of a matter by passing responsibility to another agency… joint-working and information-sharing between councils and other agencies is a critical part of effectively responding to ASB and councils should work with other agencies to identify, assess and tackle reports of ASB and coordinate a response’.

The report looks at Community Triggers, finding that councils have sometimes treated these as another complaint process, focussing on reviewing whether other relevant bodies have acted properly. It was also found that councils reviewed the situation looking at their action only, without involvement of other agencies. The report urges councils to work proactively with other agencies to tackle the situation.  

Finally, the report identifies some positive steps councils can take to improve services.

A copy of the full report can be viewed here


housing management & property litigation, anti-social behaviour, nuisance, safeguarding, social housing, government, housing associations, landlords, local government, registered providers, housing sector