Acceptable Behaviour Contracts 545/11
Dated: 01 Aug 2011
Date of request: 20/07/2011
Date of response: 01/08/2011
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your email dated 5th July 2011 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
We are seeking information concerning your Forces involvement with Acceptable Behaviour Contracts with people under 18 years of age.
Name of Police Force *
Contacts email *
Contacts Tel no *
Is your Force involved in the issuing of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts to people under 18 years of age? *
If Yes, is your Force part of a partnership of bodies?
If applicable, give name of partnership
If applicable, is this a formal Crime Reduction Partnership?
If applicable, give names of all other bodies in partnership
Please supply by separate email copy of standard first letter sent to parents of person aged under 18 years
Is a person who is to be interviewed regarding a possible ABC informed of a right to be represented at such a meeting? *
Where a minor is involved, does your Force or any other Partner ever warn parents that the option of loss of tenancy is a possibility in relation to your ABC procedure?
Please read the text below and answer whether your Force takes it into account in the operation of ABCs *"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly by the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice." Article 6.1 of the European Convention of Human Rights
Please give the composition of an ABC interview - what Partners are represented? *
Is the person to be interviewed given prior written details of allegations? *
How is the person to be interviewed given opportunity to question, cross-examine or challenge allegations, evidence etc? *
Has your Force sought legal opinion/advice concerning the applicability of the Human Rights Act 1998 to the operation of ABCs by your Force? *
Is an independent person present at ABC interviews? *
At the conclusion of an interview, is a decision made by an independent person as to whether or not alleged behaviour occurred and was committed by the person being interviewed? *
Is any written record of the interview and any decision/action made/agreed published? *
In developing ABCs were children and young people consulted by your Force or Partnership? *
Does your Force or Partnership submit any reports or statistics to the Home Office concerning your use of ABCs? *
For the period 2008-2010, please give the total number of ABCs issued by your Force or Partnership *
Of these how many were male? *
Of the total, how many were aged under 18 years of age? *
If this can be done within available allowed time, are you able to list below the frequency of conditions set out in ABCs issued by your Force/Partnership?
If Yes to the previous question please list the 7 most common conditions set for those under 18 years
Considering the last answer, please tick whether any of the following conditions are set?
Playing in the street
Gathering with other children, generally, in an area
Gathering with other named children
Being present in a defined area
Adhering to any restrictions as to time and hours of being outdoors
Riding a cycle
Riding a motor cycle
Skating or skateboarding
Arguing with adults
Making rude gestures
Damaging private or public property
Stipulating a limit as to the number of others with whom the person can associate with in public at any time
Intimidating or threatening others
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
To allow us to offer some response to your previous request, FOI 450/11 which exceeded the prescribed time limits of the Act, you then refined and limited the request for information from one area command. The information given below therefore is relevant to that area command only and should not be taken as a forcewide response.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Sunderland Area Command of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.
Please note these are not "contracts" but are agreements entered into between the partners and the individuals identified.
1-4. You clarified the contact details required were the ones of the person dealing with this request. This information is available at the bottom of this page.
5. The area command has a system in place a system for identifying those persons involved in anti social behaviour escalating to an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement. this is not specifically for those under 18 years.
6&7. The system part of the Safer Sunderland Partnership.
8. It is part of the Sunderland Crime and disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) .
9. In order to keep within the timescales of the Act we can provide the below, however it should be noted that this is not a comprehensive list of the other bodies within the Partnership.
Sunderland Local Authority
Alnwick District Council
Banks of the Wear Limited
Berwick upon Tweed Borough Council
Blyth Valley Borough Council
Bradford and Northern Housing Association
Castle Morpeth Borough Council
Cheviot Housing Association
City of Sunderland
Cowgate Landlord Project
Durham Aged Minerworkers Housing Association
English Churches Housing Group
Enterprise 5 Housing Association
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
Habinteg Housing Association Limited
Home Housing Association
Housing 21 Group
"Johnnie" Johnson Housing Trust
Riverside North East
Newcastle City Council
Newcastle Private Rented Project
Nomad Housing Association
North British Housing Association
North Tyneside Council
South Tyneside Council
Three Rivers Housing Association
Two Castles Housing Association
Wansbeck District Council
William Sutton Trust
10&12. There are 3 preset type letters as shown below however if the circumstances are not covered in these standard letters a bespoke letter is completed at sector level for the incidents in question. Copies of templates for these letters is provided below.
11. No formal action can be taken until the identity of the offender is confirmed - at that point when identity is confirmed the procedure must follow Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE).
13. The system operates in accordance with the Human Rights Act.
14. When a personal visits is deemed necessary the evidence relating to that visit is viewed on a case by case basis and the interview is conducted taking the previous evidence into account. Therefore the Composition of acceptable behaviour Agreements is unique on each occasion."
15. The previous allegation have been posted to the suspected person
16. The letters do point out "If you wish to discuss this matter further, please to not hesitate to contact the Sunderland Central Neighbourhood Team,"
18. Each case is formatted according to the individual circumstances and events. therefore this question can not be answered as a generic response.
19&20. Each case is formatted according to the individual circumstances and events. therefore this question can not be answered as a generic response.
21. The Sunderland Area Command, together with the Sunderland Safer Partnership has undertaken many consolations with young persons, However Acceptable behaviour agreements are so specific to each case in question, consultation on this specific issue was not undertaken.
22. Sunderland Area Command do not submit any reports or statistics to the Home Office concerning the use of ABCs
23-27. The system retains information for only the relevant period of time to comply with the data protection act, therefore those agreements that have expired have been weeded from the system and can be counted. Questions at these points therefore can not be answered.
The Sunderland Area Command Safer Partnership have undertaken Acceptable Behaviour Agreements with persons identified as involved in antisocial behaviour. These agreements are entered into by individuals and may involve young persons or adults and follows a set protocol known as Operation Gryphon.
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.
Data Protection and Disclosure Advisor
Direct Dial: 01661 868347
DownloadsFOI Complaint Policy