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Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

Requested on
Fri 10th February, 2012
Reference
FOI 1699
Resolution
Information provided

Question

This concentrates on Acceptable Behaviour Contracts in whose issue your Council may be involved
________________________________________
*Required

Name of Council *

Name of contact, phone no, email address *

Is your Council involved in issuing of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts? *
• Yes
• No

Is this within a Partnership? * Those answering 'No' to the previous question please return n/a
• Yes
• No
• n/a

Name of your Police Force *

Do you keep central statistics on the issuing of ABCs? *
• Yes
• No
• n/a

How many were issued in 2011, 2010, 2009 (separate for each year)? *

Over those three years together, what proportion were aged under 18 years? *

Over those three years together, what proportion were male? *

Which Council departments are involved in issuing ABCs? * Give the one most involved first etc

In the case of under-18s *
• there is a personal contact with a parent before a letter is sent
• a letter is sent to get child and parent to attend meeting
• the letter may contain a warning that non-attendance could result in Notice for Possession if social tenants
• the letter advises the child can have representation
• the letter makes no mention of representation
• the letter gives a summary of the alleged behaviour
• the parent is told s/he can have a more detailed, written statement of alleged activity prior to the meeting
• we don't issue ABCs

Does the Council regard this process as a means of seeking the alleged offender to accept his/her civil obligations around the issues at hand? *
• Yes
• No

Has the Council sought/ used advice on the legal status of ABCs? *
• No
• From our legal officers
• Used Home Office guidance
• Other:

Are reports on ABCs made to: *
• Council Officers
• Partnerships
• Home Office
• Councillors
• Regularly
• as-and-when
• non ABC Council

Has the Council considered the Human Rights Act with regard to the use and practice of ABCs *
• Yes
• No
• n/a we don't do ABCs

Does the Council regard ABCs as *
• wholly voluntary
• having a lawful basis
• as consistent with obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998
• we don't issue ABCs

Possession proceedings have been instituted by the Council with regard to ABCs *
• with Council tenants
• with RSL tenants
• with Council tenants where children are the subject of the concern
• with RSL tenants where children are the subject of the concern
• n/a Council non ABC user

ABCs have been used with *
• Private tenants
• Owner occupiers
• ABCs not used by Council

Is an independent person present at an ABC meeting? *
• Yes
• No
• n/a ABCs not used

Does the ABC agreement specify what the child will/ will not do? *
• Yes
• No
• n/a non ABC user

Does the Agreement warn that breach of the contract may lead to application for e.g ASBO? *
• Yes
• No
• n/a ABCs not used

ABC conditions can include *
• Restriction on how many people the person can be with in public?
• Not to make noise
• Not to abuse others through swearing
• Not to associate with named persons
• Not to enter certain areas
• Not to intimidate, harass, annoy or distress others
• Not to be rude to others
• N/a ABCs not used
Please summarise what actions are taken where someone refuses to sign an ABC? *
What is the youngest age of someone in your area signing an ABC? *

Answer

Is your Council involved in issuing of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts? *
•  Yes - Yes
•  No

Is this within a Partnership? * Those answering 'No' to the previous question please return n/a
•  Yes  - Yes
•  No
•  n/a

Name of your Police Force *  Leicestershire Constabulary

Do you keep central statistics on the issuing of ABCs? *
•  Yes Yes
•  No
•  n/a

How many were issued in 2011, 2010, 2009 (separate for each year)? * 

2009 (33) 2010 (48) 2011 (27)

Over those three years together, what proportion were aged under 18 years? *  40%

Over those three years together, what proportion were male? *  68%

Which Council departments are involved in issuing ABCs? * Give the one most involved first etc 

In the case of under-18s * Housing
•  there is a personal contact with a parent before a letter is sent Current process means that ordinarily prior to a written warning being issued, a verbal warning is issued to the young person in the presence of their parents.
•  a letter is sent to get child and parent to attend meeting If the verbal warning and written warnings are unsuccessful and an ABC is considered then an invite letter is sent.
•  the letter may contain a warning that non-attendance could result in Notice for Possession if social tenants ASB Warning Letters contain a reference to possession proceedings
•  the letter advises the child can have representation Parents/Guardians are required to attend meetings to discuss ABCS for young people – no other advise is given in terms or representation
•  the letter makes no mention of representation
•  the letter gives a summary of the alleged behaviour  - Warning Letters contain a full description of the behaviour being complained of.
•  the parent is told s/he can have a more detailed, written statement of alleged activity prior to the meeting -
•  we don't issue ABCs

Does the Council regard this process as a means of seeking the alleged offender to accept his/her civil obligations around the issues at hand? *
•  Yes The Council regards this as a low level intervention designed to assist the perpetrator to desist from perpetrating ASB – All ABCS contain supportive measures which run alongside any prohibitive measures.
•  No

Has the Council sought/ used advice on the legal status of ABCs? *
•  No
•  From our legal officers
•  Used Home Office guidance  - The Council holds the view that ABCS are not legally binding but may be of some legal consequence.
•  Other: 

Are reports on ABCs made to: *
•  Council Officers - Yes
•  Partnerships  - yes
•  Home Office The requirement to provide the Home Office with ABC statistics is no longer in place
•  Councillors Sanitised statistics only
•  Regularly Yes
•  as-and-when
•  non ABC Council

Has the Council considered the Human Rights Act with regard to the use and practice of ABCs *
•  Yes – yes, both from a victim and perpetrator perspective
•  No
•  n/a we don't do ABCs

Does the Council regard ABCs as *
•  wholly voluntary – wholly voluntary, not legally binding but of some legal consequence
•  having a lawful basis
•  as consistent with obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998
•  we don't issue ABCs

Possession proceedings have been instituted by the Council with regard to ABCs *  - Possession proceedings are a tool of last resort for our multi agency Community Safety Partnership which means other interventions will be considered prior to eviction such as FIP, Injunctions, ASBOS and CRASBOS – these measures do not depend on tenancy status and are equally applied to owner occupiers
•  with Council tenants
•  with RSL tenants
•  with Council tenants where children are the subject of the concern
•  with RSL tenants where children are the subject of the concern
•  n/a Council non ABC user

ABCs have been used with *
•  Private tenants  - Yes

•  Owner occupiers  - Yes
•  ABCs not used by Council

Is an independent person present at an ABC meeting? * - sometimes
•  Yes
•  No
•  n/a ABCs not used

Does the ABC agreement specify what the child will/ will not do? * - ABCS contain prohibitive and supportive measures
•  Yes
•  No
•  n/a non ABC user

Does the Agreement warn that breach of the contract may lead to application for e.g ASBO? *
•  Yes - yes
•  No
•  n/a ABCs not used

ABC conditions can include *
•  Restriction on how many people the person can be with in public? - rarely
•  Not to make noise - yes
•  Not to abuse others through swearing - yes
•  Not to associate with named persons - rarely
•  Not to enter certain areas - rarely
•  Not to intimidate, harass, annoy or distress others  - these precise words are rarely used, other more specific terms tend to be used
•  Not to be rude to others - sometimes
•  N/a ABCs not used
Please summarise what actions are taken where someone refuses to sign an ABC? *  - We explain to them that a record of their refusal to enter into an agreement will be made
What is the youngest age of someone in your area signing an ABC? *  - ordinarily 14 yrs and above but on very rare occasions as young as 12 yrs"

 

Are Communities and partnerships involved in issueing Acceptable Behaviour orders, or would this primarily be  Housing/CNH/ the police? – The raising of an ABC must be approved by our anti-social behaviour joint action group – at least 10 partner agencies are represented on this group

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