Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

Anti-social behaviour is acting in a manner which causes harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people not of the same household as the perpetrator.

What is an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)?

This is a voluntary contract aimed at individuals aged between 10-17 years; the contract is NOT legally binding or enforceable by the Police, however, it could be used as evidence by other agencies for example, Registered Social Landlords or Mortgage Providers if the household is in breach of any signed pre-agreement conditions involving anti-social behaviour which have been broken.

The conditions of the contract are drawn up in partnership between at least two agencies (for example the Police, Registered Social Landlord or the Council), who are in agreement that the offer of a contract is fair due to the level of ASB that the child has been involved in.

The proposed ABC is shown to both the offending child and their parent(s). A set of conditions is agreed that the child will be required to abide by for a period of six months.

Why has an ABC been offered?

ABC’s are a preventative measure, which are designed to address any ASB that has already occurred.  It is an opportunity for both the parent(s) and the child to discuss any problems that may be connected to their current behaviour. The ASB team can provide the information, help and support which is designed to help divert their child away from falling further into the Criminal Justice System and to help set guidelines for future behaviour.

We have agreed to sign the ABC what happens now?

Your child will be monitored approximately half way through the contract (3 months), this will involve either a home visit or an appointment being made for you and your child to attend the customer service centre or police station in order for us to discuss any issues you have regarding the effectiveness of the contract, offer any extra support that may be needed and the progress your child has made whilst on the ABC.

As a parent, how can I support my child?

  • be available for the monitoring and review meetings
  • discuss the contract with your child and remind them about what they have agreed to
  • be aware of their movements and friends
  • encourage your child to attend any organised youth events/clubs or support courses offered to them
  • consider any parenting support offered
  • ensure that your child attends school
  • report any breaches that you are aware of to your Anti-social behaviour officer

What is a breach of an ABC?

If any condition on the ABC is broken, it will be considered to be a breach of the contract.

Arrest for any anti-social behaviour offence counts as a breach of your child’s contract (for example, criminal damage, graffiti, noise nuisance and so on).

What happens if the ABC is breached?

You will receive a letter or a telephone call informing you that your child has breached their ABC. This will give us the opportunity to keep you informed of your child’s behaviour outside the home.

Each breach of the ABC is recorded and may be used in evidence to support an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) to the Magistrate’s Court or other enforcement action.

Your child may be required to attend a breach workshop. If your agreement has been signed in partnership with your housing provider, any breach may affect your tenancy.

How can the Anti-Social Behaviour team help to support you and your child?

  • refer you or your child to any other relevant support services (if needed or required)
  • mediation if your child’s behaviour is causing a neighbour dispute
  • support your child towards youth activities within Stevenage and North Hertfordshire
  • place them on a partnership project if places are available

Contact details

Stevenage Police Station
Lytton Way
01438 242835

ASB team
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
01438 242666