According to data compiled by benchmarking organisation Housemark social landlords deal with around 300,000 anti-social behaviour cases each year, at a cost in excess of £300 million.
Based on a survey of 402 landlords, it has been estimated that the workload equates to 56% of the police’s total Anti-Social Behaviour workload.
According to its watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the police deal with around 3.2 million Anti-Social Behaviour incidents annually. Using the Social Landlord’s Crime and Nuisance Group’s estimate that each ASB case includes an average of six incidents, the Housemark figures would mean social landlords handle 1.8 million incidents a year.
Housemark’s data includes employee time, overheads and direct costs such as court fees. They do not include the cost of repairing damage caused by vandalism or loss of income from void rents, meaning that the overall cost to landlords could be far more.
Landlords said anti-social behaviour stopped in 90% of cases following their intervention and tenants were evicted in just 1 per cent of cases.
John Wickenden, knowledge manager at Housemark, said: “Our analysis demonstrates that [social landlords] are investing substantially [in ASB], and this is generating a return – value for their tenants, for their communities, and for the taxpayer.”
Eamon Lynch, managing director of the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group (SLCNG), warned that cuts to local authority budgets might bring pressure on landlords to take on even more ASB work.
Liz Chambers, head of community safety and support at Peabody, said councils are increasingly leaning on housing associations for help with ASB initiatives.
The Housemark findings come a month after HMIC published an ASB report which claimed that a lack of data on how social landlords handle ASB was hindering efforts to tackle it.