Community conduct rules and sanctions
We know that the majority of you are going to be considerate neighbours during your time in Leeds. However complaints about noise and antisocial behaviour have been on the increase in the local community over the last few years. This includes complaints about students breaking local covid restrictions on socialising with others in their homes.
We are working closely with Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team, West Yorkshire Police, other Universities and Leeds University Union to resolve this issue. If you are thinking of holding or attending a party and meeting friends in yours or their homes, please be mindful of the risks that you are placing yourself and others in.
Those found to be breaking covid restrictions or causing a nuisance and negatively impacting others, may face sanctions from the University and our Partners, which could result in legal action being taken against you. Please be aware of the consequences of unneighbourly conduct.
UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS AND COMPLAINTS ABOUT NOISE, ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AND SOCIALISING WITH OTHERS
The University has a clear process for complaints about noise, antisocial behaviour and for breaking local covid restrictions on socialising with others. As part of this process students causing any neighbourhood issue will be invited to attend a citizenship training workshop run by the University, where you will learn about university expectations on behaviour, the consequences of unneighbourly conduct and how to mitigate negative community impact.
An outcome of this training, is the mandatory completion of a feedback form which requires you to agree to a binding statement which declares they understand the University’s process when dealing with noise nuisance and potential consequences should this agreement be breached.
For severe noise nuisance in the community, such as noise from large, disruptive house parties, or frequent antisocial noise and behaviour, the University will follow our General Disciplinary Procedure. The University will also take reports about any students involved with breaching government COVID-19 guidelines very seriously and may take disciplinary action against those involved, as well as referring to relevant authorities, such as the Police.
For a breach of the agreement or severe conduct in the community this could lead to:
- A fine of up to £500
- Disqualification or conditions imposed around a University service or facility
- Ordering an apology to an aggrieved individual and/or compensation, and/or payment for damage to property
- Suspension from the University
- In extreme cases, expulsion from the University
- For frequently asked questions about the University process for handling complaints and the citizenship training, please see https://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/student-citizenship-faqs/
COVID RESTRICTIONS ON SOCIALISING WITH OTHERS
Additional restrictions on meeting others outside of your household are in place in Leeds for your own safety and for the safety of members of the local community. It is important that you understand the current rules to avoid getting any penalties or sanctions. Leeds City Council have created a simple webpage that lists all the local Leeds guidelines (https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/local-rules)
As of the 14th October, in Leeds it is now against the law to:
- have guests inside your home
- go inside someone else's home (in or outside of Leeds)
- meet people you do not live with inside any other indoor venue, such as a pub, cafe or restaurant (in or outside of Leeds)
- meet with more than 5 other people outside
Restrictions on socialising with others will be enforced by the Police. This includes £10k fines for anyone organising illegal parties, as well as £200 individual fines for those attending and those breaking laws on socialising with others.
LEEDS CITY COUNCIL SANCTIONS
Leeds City Council also responds to complaints about anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance through the Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team (LASBT). LASBT have the powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, to take legal action against residents causing noise nuisance. This could lead to:
- A Section 80 Noise Abatement Notice being issued where a statutory noise nuisance is witnessed. If such a notice is breached LASBT have the power to seize noise emitting equipment such as speaker, DJ decks, stereos etc. LASBT can also seek a prosecution through the courts for a breach of this notice. This could result in a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £5000 plus legal costs.
- A Community Protection Notice (CPN) can be issued by LASBT where it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the conduct of the accused; is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality; is persistent or continuing in nature; and is unreasonable. If a CPN is breached this could result in a Fixed Penalty of £100 and legal action being taken.
- A civil injunction being applied for under Part 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to stop a person’s anti-social behaviour escalating and to set a clear standard of expected behaviours. The injunction is designed to offer a fast and effective protection for victims and communities
- The use of Closure Powers being used to restrict access to a property to non-occupants or to have a property closed down completely for 3-6 months. If such a Closure Order is put in place this would make the occupants homeless for the duration of the Closure Order. Breaching a closure order is a criminal offence carrying a penalty of either imprisonment for a period of up to six months or an unlimited fine, or both.
- As of 1st July 2020, Leeds City Council have also introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which covers Headingley and Hyde Park; Weetwood; Little London and Woodhouse. This will be in place for a three-year period and includes powers to tackle antisocial behaviour in public spaces. Prohibited and enforceable behaviour includes: gatherings of two or more people and parties in residential streets and public spaces; and being in possession of, and consuming alcohol and/or using psychoactive substances in public spaces. leaving bins and bags of waste on streets and public spaces. A breach of a PSPO is a criminal offence that can result in a fixed penalty notice, fines of up to £1000 or prosecution.
You can find out more about this on the Council website and the PSPO.
WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE SANCTIONS
In order to provide a comfortable environment for all residents West Yorkshire Police will be using the below powers to ensure that all residents respect each other’s rights to live a quiet and private life.
Section 35 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
This is a power to disperse a group of people from a designated area with the authority of an Inspector or above.
Section 76 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
This provides an officer of the rank of Inspector or above the power to close a premises.