In October 2014, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 brought in a range of significant for power for dealing with anti-social behaviour. This included a case review process for victims of anti-social behaviour, which is known as the ‘Community Trigger’.
Here on Merseyside, each of the Local Authorities’ Community Safety Partnerships (CSP’s) came together with the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, to agree that the Community Trigger should also be available to victims of hate crime.
Victims can use the Community Trigger to request action, starting with a review of their case. Agencies including councils, the police, local health teams and registered providers of social housing will have a duty to undertake a case review when someone requests one and the case meets a locally defined threshold.
To ensure consistency for victims, the relevant agencies in consultation with the Commissioner, have agreed a pan-Merseyside threshold.
Community Trigger Threshold
The threshold for applying the Community Trigger here on Merseyside is:
If you (as an individual) have complained to a local authority, Merseyside Police and/or a Registered Housing Provider (social landlord) three times about separate incidents in the last six months.
If five individuals in the local community have complained separately to local authority, Merseyside Police and/or a Registered Housing Provider (social landlord) in the last six months about similar incidents of anti-social behaviour
If you (as an individual) have complained to local authority, Merseyside Police and/or a Registered Housing Provider (social landlord) once about an incident or crime motivated by hate (hate incident/crime) in the last 6 months.
If the threshold is met, a case review will be undertaken by the partner agencies. Agencies will share information related to the case, review what action has previously been taken and decide whether additional actions are required. The review encourages a problem-solving approach aimed at dealing with some of the most persistent, complex cases of anti-social behaviour.
It should also be noted that when a request for a case review does not meet the threshold, a victim’s vulnerability will be considered to establish whether a review should proceed.
The local Community Trigger procedure should clearly state the timescales in which the review will be undertaken. The victim must then be informed of the outcome of the review.
Where further actions are necessary an action plan will be discussed with the victim, including timescales.
If your case satisfies the conditions set out in the pan-Merseyside threshold and you would like to use the Community Trigger case review process, please contact the local authority area for the area in which you live.
You can find details here:
Liverpool City Council
Wirral Borough Council
The legislation for case reviews highlights the need for victims to have a route of escalation if they are not content with the outcome of a review.
Home Office guidance published in July 2014 states that ‘the procedure must include provision for a person to request a review of the way an application for a Community Trigger was dealt with, and also the way their Community Trigger review was carried out'.
The Police Commissioner has agreed her role in the Community Trigger appeal process across Merseyside below:
Escalation of Community Trigger to Police and Crime Commissioner
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of a community trigger review you may escalate your concerns to the Police and Crime Commissioner. A community trigger may only be escalated where one of the following measures is satisfied:
- The community trigger review has failed to consider a relevant process, policy or protocol
- The community trigger review has failed to consider relevant factual information.
The role of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will be to consider due process and ensure that the Community Safety Partnership has properly and effectively undertaken a review. In considering a community trigger escalation the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner can either:
- Refer the case back to the Community Safety Partnership asking them to consider a particular process, policy or protocol not previously considered;
- Determine that the Community Safety Partnership have reviewed the case, considering all relevant policies, process and protocols.
A community trigger review cannot be escalated where a complainant is dissatisfied that a particular agency has not utilised a particular enforcement tool and where it has been established through the review that appropriate consideration has been given to the use of that tool but, having consideration of the facts and relevant protocols, that agency has determined that it would not be appropriate to utilise the enforcement tool.
Please note, the Commissioner does not have any statutory powers with regards to the Community Trigger process and can only make recommendations.
How to Escalate
Please note, you cannot self-refer your case direct to the Commissioner's office, instead you must contact your relevant local authority.
If you have requested a case review and are dissatisfied with the outcome, you may escalate your concerns by contacting your local authority (see contact details above) to request the case be escalated to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner expects to respond to your appeal within 21 working days. If this is not possible, you will be informed of any delay.