Supporting perpetrators of anti-social behaviour

For local authority social care staff

You should:

The courts have referred to the importance of supporting people with care and support needs and anti-social behaviour. [13] Previous Government guidance [40] advises against ‘drastic interventions’ in favour of other methods such as supporting people with anti-social behaviour, in particular if their behaviour is related to drug or alcohol use, mental illness or disability. While this guidance is no longer in force, its advice remains sound.

It is vital that housing, social care, health and the police work together to provide the right support for people who may present a risk to people with care and support needs because of their own inability to cope. Cullen [41] argues that when individuals have not been able to access local authority support because do not meet the eligibility criteria they place demands on emergency services. These demands can be minimised by joint working to assess risk and early intervention.

The ‘No secrets’ consultation [23] noted inclusive housing responses to anti-social behaviour perpetrators:

For many housing officers perpetrators were just one of the categories of people who needed housing, and they had the same housing rights as anyone else. The landlord responsibility was to try and help keep them safe in the community and to keep the other tenants safe from any of their offending behaviour. Other supported housing organisations went further and said it was important to work with them. “Unless work takes place with abusers, they will continue to abuse”.

In all cases it is important for agencies to work together to ensure that people identified as a possible risk to others as a result of their own circumstances receive the support they need to reduce their behaviour and the risk they pose to others. The danger of ignoring people with such complex needs was graphically illustrated in the serious case review into the death of Steven Hoskins, where one of the principle perpetrators, Darren Stewart, was clearly in need of support himself.

Resources

Social Care TV: Safeguarding adults: lessons from the murder of Steven Hoskin

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