Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC's)

An Acceptable Behaviour Contract is a written agreement between a person, a parent or guardian, Bromley Council, Police and - where appropriate - schools and registered social landlords. The subject of an ABC agrees not to engage in or carry out any behaviour that causes alarm, distress or harassment to other people in the borough. 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 ABC?

An ABC 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 ABC be used for?

An ABC can be used for behaviour such as graffiti, unruly loud behaviour, minor damage to surroundings and fly tipping, but not for neighbour or domestic disputes.

How long does an ABC last?

An ABC 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 ABC will come to an end.

Does the person have to sign an ABC?

No. Signing an ABC is voluntary. However, by signing an ABC, it shows that the person has thought about their behaviour and is seriously trying to change.

Is an ABC 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 ABC 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.

ABC's - the benefits

  • gets young people to take responsibility for their own behaviour
  • sets boundaries and help change bad behaviour
  • prevents young people, influenced by peer pressure, becoming young offenders
  • can reduce conflict at an early stage
  • can reassure the community that action is being taken
  • act as a supportive process for the person, including mentoring and counselling