What is an ABA?
An acceptable behaviour agreement is a written agreement between a person, a parent or guardian, Croydon Council, the police and, where appropriate, schools and registered social landlords. The subject of an ABA agrees not to engage in or carry out any behaviour that causes alarm, distress or harassment to other people. Each contract is individually drawn up for a particular person. Where a contract applies to a child, it will also help parents, where applicable, to take responsibility for their child's behaviour and maybe avoid legal action.
What is the aim of an ABA?
An ABA gives a person the opportunity to find out the impact their behaviour has on other people's lives. It also makes that person aware of the repercussions for themselves and their family. This could even include losing their home if their anti-social behaviour continues.
What can an ABA be used for?
An ABA can be used for behaviour such as graffiti, unruly loud behaviour, minor damage to surroundings and flytipping, but not for neighbour or domestic disputes.
How long does an ABA last?
An ABA usually lasts for six months although it may be extended in some circumstances. If during this time there have been no further incidents, the council will acknowledge this in writing and the ABA will come to an end.
Who can sign an ABA?
The agreements are generally aimed at young people aged 10-18, but they can be used for any age.
Does the person have to sign an ABA?
No. Signing an ABA is voluntary. However, by signing an ABA, it shows that the person has thought about their behaviour and is seriously trying to change.
Is an ABA a legal document?
No, but it can be used as evidence in court if an application for a possession order, an injunction or an anti-social behaviour order is made.
What happens if an ABA is breached?
The council and the police will investigate and, depending on the evidence, will decide the best course of action. This may include taking legal action against the offender.
ABAs - what are the benefits?
- get young people to take responsibility for their own behaviour
- set boundaries and help change bad behaviour
- prevent young people, influenced by peer pressure, becoming young offenders
- reduce conflict at an early stage
- reassure the community that action is being taken
- act as a supportive process for the person, including mentoring and counselling.
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Acceptable behaviour team
Bernard Weatherill House
10th Floor Zone A-B
8 Mint Walk
Croydon CR0 1EA