• Does the Authority state that it may use sanctions available to it should people refuse or fail to attend meetings?
• Are those invited, or their parents/carers, ever threatened with loss of tenancy?
They are made aware that in serious circumstances if all else fails and unacceptable behaviour continues then all available tools and powers will be utilised to prevent any further alarm, harassment or distress in the local community. This could include eviction proceedings in the most serious of cases.
• Had this ever been carried out?
No, not required due to other interventions.
• Where loss of tenancy is not available, what other sanctions may be threatened?
All sanctions are considered including ASBO and injunction. Each case in judge on its own merits.
• Are those asked to attend, or their parents/carers advised whether they can bring a representative or a friend or adviser to such a meeting?
Yes they are given an information leaflet and are also told that they are welcome to bring an advocate whether that is professional or personal.
• Has the Authority/Partnership sought any legal advice on the use of ABC’s?
None other than that available through issued guidance. ABCs are not legally binding contracts.
• Has the Authority/Partnership considered any Human Rights aspects re use of ABC’s?
All considerations are given as explained earlier. Each case is judged on its merits. However, it is unlikely that anyone’s Human Rights would be adversely affected. We are extremely careful that anyone offered an ABC is supported through the process and ultimately they have the right to refuse.
• With reference to Article 6.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, does the Authority/Partnership consider this to have any relevance to its use of ABC’s?
As stated earlier an ABC is not a legally binding contract which is explained in information provided prior and at the meeting. Every young person, parent or representative is given the opportunity to discuss concerns, and if after such discussions they do not wish to sign the Contract then they are not forced to do so. However it is made clear that should the unacceptable behaviour continue other sanctions would be considered.
• If a person refuses to co-operate by signing an ABC does the Authority/Partnership Employ Professional Witnesses to gather information?
• Do the ABC’s contain a warning/statement that an ASBO may be sought if there are breaches of the ABC?
No. This is contained in the information leaflet which is given separately to both the parents and the young person. This forms part of the ABC declaration where they have to sign to say they have received it.
• Do the ABC’s contain a warning that a breach of an ASBO may result in prosecution possibly leading to fine and/or imprisonment?
No. As above