Neighbourhood safety help and support

Find out about the neighbourhood safety help and support we offer including support officers, mediation, acceptable behaviour agreements or contracts, and positive engagement.

Get help and support

If you would like to use any of the available help and support, call 0191 525 5000 and select option 4, or email safetyandsupport@

Support officers

Our support officers will help you in any way they can. They will give you unbiased, non-judgemental support for as long as you need it. They will:

  • offer you support and advice
  • talk with you about your options and what you want to do next
  • work with other organisations to get you the support you need

A Support Officer can meet you wherever you feel safest. If you want them to visit your home, they do not wear Gentoo uniforms or badges so your neighbours will not know they are from Gentoo.

They will talk about how to keep you safe and give you emotional and practical support. This may include:

  • housing advice
  • alternative safe accommodation if needed
  • going to court with you
  • help you deal with any agencies like the police and Sunderland City Council
  • refer you to professional support bodies like counselling services


Mediation is our first choice for dealing with neighbourhood disputes and we offer an impartial mediation service through an external company.

Acceptable behaviour agreements or contracts

An acceptable behaviour agreement or contract is a written agreement or contract that gets the person who is behaving in an antisocial way to recognise their behaviour and how it affects others.

The agreement is between:

  • the person behaving in an antisocial way
  • us
  • the police
  • any other involved agency

The agreement aims to:

  • make the person responsible for their actions
  • make the person admit to everyone involved that their behaviour may be unacceptable
  • include information about specific incidents as examples of things they will stop doing

Notice of seeking possession

In most cases, before we serve a notice of seeking possession, we will send a customer a letter to let them know we are going to serve them with a notice. The letter explains the parts of their tenancy agreement they are breaching and gives them time to change their behaviour before any further legal action.


We use CCTV and noise monitoring equipment in neighbourhoods to prevent, investigate and detect antisocial behaviour and crime.


If you need to be rehoused, we will give you housing advice and talk with you about safe housing. We will give you advice and support if you cannot get into your home or are afraid to stay in your home. The police may go with you if you need to get personal belongings from your home.

We usually find alternative housing when there is a proven threat of violence or intimidation and the person threatening or intimidating you knows where you live.

Positive engagement

Positive engagement is support for people who are responsible for antisocial and abusive behaviour because of:

  • alcohol misuse or alcohol dependency problems
  • drug misuse or drug dependency problems
  • mental health conditions

They may also be at risk of losing their tenancy.

If you are behaving in an antisocial or abusive way and recognise this and want your behaviour to change, speak to one of our support officers. You can call 0191 525 5000 and select option 4, or email safetyandsupport@

Organisations we work with to support people

Our experience has shown us that working with partners is essential to reduce antisocial behaviour and make people feel safer and more secure.

We work closely with agencies and partnerships, like the police, Sunderland City Council, Wearside Women in Need, ManKind, and the Safer Sunderland Partnership. This allows us to develop a shared understanding of responsibilities with one another.

Our most important partner is our customers and our neighbourhoods. We will listen to what people tell us and get involved with neighbourhoods to help:

  • prevent and reduce antisocial behaviour
  • change perceptions of antisocial behaviour
  • telling people what we have done

We are part of the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) to improve the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse. Organisations that are part of DAHA work together and share best practices. Find out more about the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance.