Last week, Black Country Housing Group (BCHG), an award-winning housing association based in Blackheath, highlighted its commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) by joining the national ASB Awareness Week campaign, which ran from July 19 to 25.

This campaign saw organisations and communities from across the country unite to take a stand against ASB and highlight the options available to those facing it.

Together with ASB officers from Sandwell Council and West Midlands Police, BCHG’s Operations Team conducted walkabouts around areas of concern where residents have reported issues, such as fly tipping and noise nuisance. This also provided an opportunity for the teams to directly speak to residents, giving advice and addressing any concerns they raised.

BCHG used its social channels to increase awareness and share examples of the great work being done by its Customer Relations Managers (CRM) in addressing ASB. The housing association also created a rota for its Operations Team to handle the telephone line throughout the week to discuss ASB related issues with residents.

Jay Gill, Head of Housing at BCHG said:

‘’We understand that ASB can cause worry for those who experience it. Everyone has the right to a peaceful and quiet life, and we want our residents to be assured that we take all matters of ASB seriously and that they can contact us no matter the issue.

‘’To tackle ASB and make our communities safer, we recognise the need to work in partnership with organisations around the Black Country and Birmingham. It’s been great working with Sandwell Council and West Midlands Police during the week to combat ASB in our neighbourhoods and we look forward to future projects together.’’

PCSO Kate Heatley from West Midlands Police, who conducted walkabouts around Oldbury with Tom Cannon (CRM at BCHG), also commented:

‘’It was good to meet Tom in person and put a face to a voice. The walkabout was very enjoyable and helpful in breaking down some barriers with local residents. We often find that once residents have spoken to us on an informal level, they are more likely to voice any problems they may be experiencing with us too. So, from this point, it was very valuable, and I look forward to more to come."

Organised by community safety specialists Resolve, ASB Awareness Week was backed by the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Local Government Association (LGA), National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC).