Frequently asked questions

General questions

What are the contact details for the anti-social behaviour (ASB) operations team?

Community safety service operations

Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
E1 1BJ

Who is my case investigation officer?

Once you have logged your complaint, you will receive a call from a dedicated ASB customer services officer who will take further information from you. You will be then be informed of your investigation officer which will include contact information.

Incident reporting questions

How do I report an incident?

  • Report ASB and Hate Crime incidents to the Police via the non-emergency 101 number.
  • Report ASB (including drug dealing) to the police online.
  • Report ASB to the council online.

What will happen once a victim has reported an incident to the council?

The councils aim is to make contact with the victim within five working days of the incident being reported. This applies to incidents reported via the internet, customer contact centre or in person.

A letter confirming receipt of the report will be sent to the complainant within three working days of the incident being reported.

How long does it take to investigate an incident?

The length of the investigation is dependent upon each individual case. The more complex cases will take longer to investigate. Your investigation officer will keep you informed about the progress of your case. As a general rule a case investigation can last from three to six months.

What is happening to my case?

If you have already reported an incident you should speak to your dedicated case officer. The officer's details are on the letter that was sent to you.

Is my case going to go to court?

The case investigation officer will be able to advise you once the investigation process has begun on whether your case is going to the court or not.

Do I have to give my details?

You may report an incident anonymously, but if you do we cannot contact you. We encourage you to give your details, as this will make the investigation process more efficient and effective. We will not share your information with other agencies without your consent.

Why can't the police do something about my problems?

If you have already made a report to the council the investigation officer will liaise with the police to find solutions to the problem.

I have youths hanging around outside, what can be done?

You will need to make a report the incident, which will be used to initiate an investigation or contact your local safer neighbourhood team. 

Once a report has been logged a dedicated investigation officer will be allocated to this case, which will involve interviewing the victim and also any witness that can provide evidence of allegations.  The investigating officer will decide on the appropriate outcome.

At this point we are unable to provide any solutions without a proper investigation.

I think gangs of youths are about to fight, what can be done?

In an emergency call 999.

The rapid response team (RRT) will respond to any incident involving groups of youth that is likely to escalate into serious youth disorder and violence.  This would include:

  • fight involving groups of youth
  • incident involving youth, which is likely to escalate
  • serious or life threatening injury
  • any serious incident likely to have a adverse impact on the community
  • discovery of weapons

Customer contact centre staff can refer customers to the RRT for any of the above on 07957 44 19 36 (24 hours).

I am a private resident, can you still help me?

Yes we can help you.  We advise that you check with your current landlord to see if they have an ASB team, if so please report the incident to your ASB team. If your landlord does not have an ASB team, we can take your report and initiate the process.

I am a housing association resident, can you help me?

Your details can be taken by the customer services team, and sent to your landlord to initiate the process. 

I am a business can you help me?

Yes we can.  If this is the first time you are reporting an incident we can take a report now. If you have already made a report you will need to speak to your investigating officer.

Where do I go, I've been attacked?

If you have just been attacked please report it immediately to the police on 999. Once you have reported to the police, you are not required to make additional reports to CSS Operations team.

Support related questions

What type of support can I get?

The team will endeavour to help victims and witnesses feel safe at their residence and can provide further safety advice.  The team will also brief and prepare witnesses throughout the court process to provide evidence in court.

I am not satisfied with the case investigation outcome, where do I complain?

Find out how to make a complaint, and submit a complaint online.

Where is my closest neighbourhood housing office?

Find your local housing office  online.

Description or services and terms

What are professional witnesses?

A specialist team that gathers information and evidence, and supports the investigation process using the latest surveillance equipment, operated by professional witnesses.

What is anti-social behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) ranges from serious acts of violence and harassment to more everyday incidents and situations like noisy dogs or overgrown gardens. Anti-social behaviour includes general nuisance and different types of conduct or activities that could cause interference and annoyance in the community.  For a list of activities that constitute ASB please refer to the mediated contact document.

What is an ASBO?

Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) are civil orders made by a court which prohibit the perpetrator from specific anti-social acts and from entering defined areas on a map (exclusion zones). An order lasts for a minimum of two years. The purpose of an ASBO is to protect the public from behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment or alarm or distress, not to punish the perpetrator.

ASBOs are community-based orders that involve local people in collecting evidence and helping to enforce breaches of the prohibitions in the order. They are designed to encourage local communities to become actively involved in reporting crime and anti-social behaviour, thus building and protecting the community.

The police, council, registered social landlords and the British Transport Police can apply for these orders.

What is an ABC?

An acceptable behaviour contract (also known as acceptable behaviour agreement) is an intervention designed to engage an individual in acknowledging his or her anti-social behaviour and its effect on others, with the aim of stopping that behaviour.

An (ABC) is a written agreement made between a person who has been involved in anti-social behaviour and their council, youth inclusion support panel (YISP), landlord or the police. ABCs are not set out in law, which is why they are usually called agreements. Any agency is able to use and adapt the model.

Although ABCs have often been made with young people, they are a tool that can be used for a person of any age. The informal, flexible nature of the contract means they can be used for various types of anti-social behaviour.

ABCs can be used to promote effective partnership work with a range of agencies. For example, it is important that the youth offending team is contacted and becomes involved when completing an ABC with a young person.

What is a dispersal order and the good behaviour zone?

Part 4 (sections 30-36) of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 gives the police, working with local authorities, new powers to target action in problem areas to help communities remove intimidation and anti-social behaviour from their streets. These powers have been available since 20 January 2004.

The powers enable a senior police officer to designate an area where there is persistent anti-social behaviour and a problem with groups causing intimidation. This area could be as small as a cash point or shopping arcade where groups often gather, or it could be as wide as a whole local authority area, as long as there is evidence of anti-social behaviour. The local authority must also agree to the designation, usually this decision will be made as part of the strategic work of a crime and disorder partnership.

The decision to designate an area must be published in a local newspaper or by notices in the local area, the designation can then last for up to six months. The designated area must be clearly defined, usually by a description of the streets or roads bordering the area.

Within designated areas the police and community support officers (CSO) have the power to:

  • disperse groups where the relevant officer has reasonable grounds for believing that their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public from being harassed intimidated, alarmed or distressed. Individuals can be directed to leave the locality and may be excluded from the area for up to 24 hours.
  • a refusal to follow the officer's directions to disperse is a summary offence. The penalty on conviction for this offence is a fine not exceeding level 4 or a maximum of three months' imprisonment (for adults).

What are Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) and what do they do?

Dedicated teams of police officers and police community support officers based on each ward in Tower Hamlets will provide additional policing resources to the borough of Tower Hamlets and therefore provide additional reassurance to those who live, work or socialise in Tower Hamlets.

Safer Neighbourhood Teams will each consist of a minimum of one police sergeant, two police constables and three police community support officers. Contact information for all Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhood Teams can be found via this link.

When and who refers customers to the Safer Neighbourhood Teams?

Customers should only be referred if they want to get involved or wish to know more about the services provided by SNTs in their local area. The Community Safety Service will deal with long-term disputes between neighbours while the SNT will deal with the more day to day issues such as abandoned vehicles.

What will the safer neighbourhood team do about the problem?

The team, with the community and partner agencies, tackles locally identified issues such as quality of life problems like graffiti, abandoned cars, noisy neighbours, drunks and vandalism.  Each team is dedicated solely to the needs of one specific neighbourhood.