Health and social care teacher Gary Mallet has switched classroom theory for front line practice by becoming an anti-social behaviour (ASB) officer at housing association, North Hertfordshire Homes.

The social landlord has over 10,000 homes and has seen its ASB reports go down over the last 6 months. Although this seems a good sign, they want to make sure that they are doing all they can to support the community as a great place to live.

Gary, from Letchworth previously taught psychology and sociology to adult and 16 year old students training for social work, mid-wifery and nursing at North Hertfordshire College. At North Hertfordshire Homes he will be working with neighbourhood officers encouraging tenants to highlight ASB problems and with culprits helping them understand the issues.

Gary said: “I want to find out if the ASB issues are really going down or whether people are worried about reporting them in case of backlash, or worse, don’t think we take them seriously.

“Excessive noise is the largest element of anti-social behaviour. The good news is that the majority of cases can be resolved quickly if they are highlighted early enough, before they get to boiling point. I had a recent experience where I went to visit someone who had been creating excessive noise. We had a relaxed chat about how the sound was travelling through the flat and there have been no further issues.

“Quite often, noise is amplified because of lack of sound-proofing, like carpets. So we are looking at alternative solutions such as providing discounted carpets for where that can help. Of course, carpets can’t help in all situations but I think a constructive approach is better for a quicker and more positive outcome.”

North Hertfordshire Homes has a dedicated phone line 01462 705499, where you can leave a message about any concerns related to ASB.