Dozens of investigations after anti-social behaviour victims 'ignored'
Nearly 50 investigations have been carried out in Sandwell after victims of anti-social behaviour said their complaints were either ignored or no effective action was taken.
The figure comes as Sandwell councillors are being asked to back a new scheme which will make it easier for residents to use a 'community trigger law'.
Residents can use it if they feel they have been let down by the police, landlords or local authorities.
Sandwell Council's deputy leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: "Nobody should have to put up with the menace of anti-social behaviour and we do our very best to take timely and appropriate action where ASB causes problems in our communities.”
A report to Sandwell Council's cabinet says since the community trigger law was introduced in 2014, the borough has carried out 49 reviews into complaints of inaction.
The statutory power allows victims to demand an inquiry if they feel they have been failed by either the police, social landlords or councils.
Last year alone, the authority carried out 18 investigations and officers have warned that the numbers are climbing. Of those 18, 12 did not meet the threshold, three were withdrawn and in one case, the party moved away. Two decisions on more recent applications were pending at the end of the calendar year.
During the 2018/19 year, Sandwell dealt with 477 cases of anti-social behaviour (ASB).
Councillor Crompton added: "The action we take against people causing anti-social behaviour can range from formal warnings and acceptable behaviour contracts to ASB injunctions, legal notices, community protection notices and eviction or demotion of tenancies.
“Our ASB team works hard to tackle anti-social behaviour issues, working with our partners and our communities.
“We anticipate the revised community trigger policy will help further build the confidence of our residents that Sandwell is a safe place for individuals, families and communities and that we will respond positively to reports of ASB.
“Sandwell is the first council in England to design a community trigger process that meets the PLEDGE standard set by ASB Help, a registered charity that provides advice and support to victims of ASB.
“This new policy shows our commitment to delivering the very best practice in responding to ASB issues and other councils are now working towards this standard.”