Partnership working sees successful outcome following racist incident

Sovereign Housing Association has successfully obtained two emergency injunctions against three people living in Weavers Mill, St George, Bristol, following allegations of physical assault and racially motivated abuse.

Working in close partnership with Avon and Somerset Police, Sovereign responded to the incidents, both of which the housing association takes extremely seriously as it strives to create better homes and places for its residents.

Excellent partnership working with Avon and Somerset Police played an important part in obtaining evidence and ensuring the service of the orders, which prohibit those they apply to from a range of activities and come with the potential sanctions of an unlimited fine, up to two years imprisonment and the potential for mandatory possession proceedings, should the injunctions be breached.  

The prohibited activities listed by the injunctions include harassing or intimidating people, causing or threatening to cause a nuisance, and using any racist language or gestures towards any person residing in, visiting or otherwise engaged in lawful activity in the area. The injunction also forbids those they apply to from contacting or communicating with witnesses or complainants.

Barry Rees, Anti-Social Behaviour Officer for Sovereign, said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to act quickly to put strong measures in place to protect our residents from physical harm and being subject to abhorrent racially motivated abuse.

“Without the support and help provided by Avon and Somerset Police and in particular, PC Claire Coates, we may not have been able to act so swiftly and obtaining these orders may not have been possible.”  

The housing association wants to send a clear message to their residents and other people in the area, that even during these unusual times, it has a range of tools and powers available to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour, alongside partner agencies.

PC Claire Coates, Avon and Somerset Police Beat Manager for the Weavers Mill and St George area, said: "As a force, we have a zero-tolerance stance when it comes to racially-aggravated crime. We brought this matter to the attention of Sovereign and we’re grateful for its support as it has allowed us to take action that will improve the lives of the local community. This is something that everyone on the Bristol East Neighbourhood Team strives for. We continue to urge anyone experiencing problems in their neighbourhood to report it to us so that we can investigate and take appropriate action."