In a bid to combat anti-social behaviour across the city, Manchester Council is set to unveil a revamped strategy, marking a substantial overhaul since the last policy update over six years ago. The proposed strategy, slated for approval on Wednesday, 14th February, outlines a comprehensive approach to addressing problematic behaviour while clarifying which incidents will prompt investigation and which will not.
The newly disclosed policy delineates specific categories of anti-social behaviour that Manchester City Council will either investigate or delegate to other authorities for scrutiny. Among the behaviours that will prompt council intervention are hate crimes or incidents, instances of violence or threats thereof, repeated abusive conduct, harassment, property damage, and domestic abuse.
However, the council has opted not to pursue investigations into certain incidents, including children playing ball games without associated anti-social behaviour, routine household noise, instances of people staring without additional anti-social conduct, parking disputes lacking further anti-social behaviour, and interpersonal conflicts deemed insufficiently severe to warrant council involvement.
Instead, the council will direct complainants to report such matters to other relevant organisations, such as Greater Manchester Police or housing associations, depending on the nature of the complaint.
For instance, cases involving illegal drug activity in the absence of associated anti-social behaviour will be referred to Greater Manchester Police, while complaints concerning neighbours’ CCTV installations will be addressed through discussions with housing services, particularly for council tenants.
Furthermore, environmental or housing issues affecting private residents, such as noise disturbances, fly-tipping, overcrowding, and disrepair, will be handled by other council departments, with reports being lodged through the council’s website.
Emphasising flexibility in its approach, the council underscores that the enumerated lists are not exhaustive, and officers will exercise discretion in determining an appropriate response to reported incidents.
Upon identifying anti-social behaviour, an Investigating Officer will assess the situation based on available information, with actions tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. The council advocates for the use of informal methods, such as mediation, restorative meetings, informational sessions, or warning interviews, to resolve issues in the initial stages. However, in urgent situations involving violence or threats thereof, legal measures may be swiftly implemented.
These legal actions range from injunctions with arrest powers to criminal behaviour orders, community protection notices, public spaces protection orders, police-issued dispersal orders, closure orders, or noise abatement notices, among others.
The council’s executive is expected to greenlight the updated policy during its meeting on Wednesday, 14th February, scheduled for 2 pm.
In summary, Manchester Council’s revised approach to tackling anti-social behaviour underscores a commitment to addressing significant issues while ensuring a proportionate and nuanced response tailored to the unique circumstances of each case. By delineating clear guidelines and fostering collaboration with other agencies, the council aims to uphold community standards and promote a safer, more harmonious environment for all residents of Manchester.