The main focus of the Community Relations Unit (CRU) is to resolve antisocial behaviour through support measures and early intervention.
The multi-skilled team deal with everything from personal relationships and neighbour disputes to persistent offenders and youth disorder.
Some of the more common complaints they investigate are around regular very loud music or noisy parties, threats and harassment, and vandalism, but ultimately antisocial behaviour is any course of conduct that causes alarm or distress to someone of a different household.
Investigations can range from weeks to a couple of years dependent on the complexity of the issue. Community Relations Officers will investigate your complaint by interviewing complainers and witnesses, gathering statements and getting information from other agencies. They may also use surveillance to assess the most appropriate way to resolve the complaint.
Following their investigation, if formal action is needed, they will issue warnings, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, Unacceptable Behaviour Notices or, as a last step, prepare a case for court action to obtain an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO). If an ASBO is breached, it's a criminal offence and it can carry penalties of up to six months in prison and/or maximum fines of £5,000.