Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
An Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC), is a voluntary contract aimed at individuals aged between 10-17 years.
Though not legally binding, an Acceptable Behaviour Contract 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 us), who are in agreement that the offer of a contract is fair due to the level of anti-social behaviour 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 to that the child will be required to abide by for a period of six months.
Why contracts are offered
ABC’s are a preventative measure which are designed to address any anti-social behaviour 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 Anti-Social Behaviour team can provide information, help and support which is designed to divert their child away from falling further into the Criminal Justice System and to help set guidelines for future behaviour.
After an ABC is signed
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. Any issues you have regarding the effectiveness of the contract and the progress of your child can be discussed and any extra support that may be needed will be offered.
As a parent, you can support your child by:
- being available for the monitoring and review meetings;
- discussing the contract with your child and remind them about what they have agreed to;
- being aware of their movements and friends;
- encouraging your child to attend any organised youth events/clubs or support courses offered to them;
- considering any parenting support offered;
- ensuring that your child attends school; and
- reporting any breaches that you are aware of to your Anti-social behaviour officer.
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 and noise nuisance).
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 we can help
The Anti-Social Behaviour team can refer you or your child to relevant support services. Your child will be placed on a partnership project (if places are available), and we will support your child towards local youth activities. The Anti-Social Behaviour team will also try and mediate if your child's behaviour is causing a neighbour dispute.
Stevenage Borough Council