Forest of Dean Community Safety Partnership Joint Protocol on Information Exchange, Safer Estates, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts & Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.


1.1What is Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)?
1.2What is the Safer Estates Agreement (SEA)?
1.3What are Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs)?
1.4What are Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)
1.5Why SEAs
1.6The relationship between ABCs and ASBOs
1.7Why the ASB Protocol?
1.8Who are the Partners?
1.9Information Sharing
1.10Anti-Social Behaviour Bill (ASB Bill)
1.11ASB Bill Sanctions / Page
2.1How does the process work and who can apply?
2.2The SEA Process
2.3Monitoring and Evaluation
2.4Dealing with breaches
2.5Examples of documentation
2.6Diagrammatic illustration of process for initiating the SEA process
3.1How does the process work and who can apply?
3.2The ABC process
3.3Second Meeting to draw up the contract
3.4Monitoring and evaluation
3.5Dealing with breaches
3.6Examples of documentation
3.7Diagrammatic illustration of process for ABCs
4.1How does the process work and who can apply?
4.2Collection of evidence
4.3Evidence may include
4.4Interim Orders
4.5Duration of an ASBO
4.6What is an ASBO action plan?
4.7What records need to be kept?
4.8What happens when an application is made for an ASBO?
4.9Can people appeal against an ASBO?
4.10What happens when an ASBO is breached?
4.11Can ASBOs be charges/discharged?
4.12Diagrammatic illustration of process for ASBOs
4.13Process for an ASBO made on conviction in criminal proceedings
Appendix 1Human Rights Act and Convention Checklist


Forest of Dean Community Safety Partnership Joint Protocol on Information Exchange, Safer Estates, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts & Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.


1.1What is Anti-Social Behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour has a wide legal definition – to paraphrase the Crime and Disorder Act 1998,

It is behaviour, which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people who are not in the

same household as the perpetrator.

It is necessary to show that an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) will protect persons in the Local Government area in which the anti-social behaviour was caused or was likely to be caused from further anti-social behaviour. When applying for an ASBO, the lead agency will need to prove its case under civil rules of evidence and according to civil standards of proof. Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) and the Safer Estates agreement are additional methods available to agencies to deal with instances of anti-social behaviour.

Anti-Social Behaviour that can be tackled by the Safer Estates Agreement, ABCs and ASBOs includes such things as:

  • Harassment of residents or passersby
  • Abusive and Intimidating Language
  • Criminal damage
  • Vandalism
  • Noise nuisance
  • Writing graffiti
  • Engaging in threatening behaviour in large groups
  • Racial abuse
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol while under age
  • Drunken Behaviour
  • Fouling the Street with litter
  • Substance misuse
  • Joyriding
  • Throwing missiles
  • Assault
  • Vehicle crime
  • Drug Dealing

The terms of each agreement, ABC or ASBO should be tailored to the circumstances of the individual case.

1.2What is the Safer Estates Agreement?

The Safer Estates Agreement is a multi-agency partnership tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the Forest of Dean. The project aims to increase the confidence of residents in the ability of agencies to combat crime, harassment and intimidation on registered social landlord’s housing estates.

Safer Estates is an agreement between Gloucestershire Constabulary Forest & Gloucester Division, Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, local Registered Social Landlords and other agencies to work together to reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour and improve the quality of life of residents in the Forest of Dean.

The Safer Estates Agreement has been based on an approach that was first used on the Kingsmead Estate in Hackney, East London. In this Initiative the local authority used police evidence to initiate action to improve tenant behaviour or obtain eviction where this was not forthcoming. Following its success, other local authorities and constabularies have introduced such schemes. An agreement exists between the Tyne and Wear housing authorities and the Northumbria Police. Closer to home Forest of Dean District Council and Forest & Gloucester Police have had an agreement in place since 9th April 1999.

The Forest of Dean is fortunate that it does not suffer the same degree of crime and anti-social behaviour as other areas. However, it does have a small minority of residents whose behaviour spoils the quiet enjoyment of others. It is this small minority that Safer Estates will tackle, for they blight the lives of the majority and deeply affect people who have to endure their behaviour.

The nature and degree of problems will vary from estate to estate. We will identify the problems that residents are most anxious to resolve. Safer Estates will cover a wide range of issues such as drug dealing, nuisance from youths, crime, racism, and serious problems between neighbours.

The police and housing services cannot tackle such problems alone; such is the complexity of the issues of a modern society. That is why we have adopted a multi-agency approach with the full support of the Community Safety Partnership.

The Forest of Dean District Council transferred their housing stock on Monday 31st March 2003 to Forest of Dean Housing. As one of the largest Registered Social Landlords (RSL) in the district, this agency, in co-operation with the Community Safety Partnership, takes the lead on the Safer Estates agreement.

A major advantage of sharing information and taking civil action is the lower burden of proof. Evidence, which may not satisfy the “beyond all reasonable doubt” criminal criteria, may be sufficient to prove a case on “the balance of probability”.

Also, by evicting the perpetrator of criminal or anti-social behaviour, instead of relocating the victim, the offender is seen to suffer and their power base of contacts fragmented. However our aim is to try and modify people’s behaviour and to use eviction as a means of last resort, as ultimately everybody has to live somewhere, even the perpetrator.

A copy of the complete Safety Estates Agreement is appended at the end of this document.

1.3What are Acceptable Behaviour Contracts ABCs?

An ABC is a written, voluntary agreement between a person who has been involved in anti-social behaviour and one or more local agencies whose role it is to prevent such behaviour. ABCs are most commonly used for young people but may also be used for adults.

The contract is agreed and signed at a meeting with the individual and the lead agencies. Where the person whose behaviour is at issue is a child or young person, parents or guardians should be encouraged to attend.

The contract specifies a list of anti-social acts in which the person has been involved and which they agree not to continue. Where possible the individual should be involved in drawing up the contract. This may encourage them to recognise the impact of their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions.

Support to address the underlying causes of the behaviour should be offered in parallel to the contract. This may include diversionary activities (such as attendance at a youth project), counselling or support for the family. It is vital to ascertain which agencies are already involved, especially where the individual is aged between 10 and 17 years.

Legal action in the form of an ASBO or possession order (if the young person is in social housing) should be stated on the contract where this is the potential consequence of breach. The threat of legal action provides an incentive to ensure that the contract is adhered to.

1.4What is an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)?

It is an order that can be obtained through the Magistrates Court to force a person to behave in an acceptable and socially responsible manner. The ASBO application is a civil proceeding and a Breach of the order can lead to criminal charges being levied against the person.

It can only be obtained against an individual who is age 10 years and over.

1.5Why Safer Estates, ABCs and ASBOs?

The Safer Estates Agreement ensures that the police and registered social landlords will pursue all remedies to the problems caused by the behaviour of a minority of tenants. Through this action tenants will be encouraged to participate in the solutions to local problems.

ABCs and ASBOs are both comparatively recent developments designed to put a stop to anti-social behaviour by the individuals on whom they are imposed. But they work in very different ways, and these differences will inform the judgment of professionals on which of them may be the best option in any particular case.

The most obvious difference is that the ASBO is a statutory creation, and carries legal force; the Safer Estates Agreement and ABC is an informal procedure, though not without legal significance. All types of intervention are aimed at stopping the problem behaviour, rather than punishing the offender. Because the ABC is a voluntary contract, it has greater flexibility, while the ASBO, because of its more formal status, offers advantages in terms of enforcement.

The Police Reform Act 2002 contained five important changes, four of which were implemented in November 2002 and include:

1Courts may decide that an ASBO will be valid throughout the country,

2It will be possible to apply for interim ASBOs,

3Registered social landlords and the British Transport Police will be able to apply for ASBOs; and

4It will be possible for a court to impose an order at the same time as passing sentence for a criminal conviction.

From spring 2003 the fifth change,

5. It will enable county courts to impose orders under certain circumstances.

1.6The relationship between ABCs and ASBOs

It is important that all concerned should understand that ABCs and ASBOs are in no sense competing for business. Both are potentially extremely powerful tools for dealing with cases of anti-social behaviour, and it will be very much a matter for the individual practitioner to decide which of them it might be appropriate to go for in any particular case. It is particularly important to dispel any impression that ASBOs should be regarded as a last resort, only to be tried when other interventions such as ABCs have already failed.

Where an ABC is selected as the best option, it is recommended that it should contain a statement that the continuation of unacceptable behaviour may lead to an application for an ASBO. Where a contract is broken that should be used as evidence in the application for an ASBO. It may also be possible to use the evidence of anti-social behaviour that was originally collected for the ABC in any subsequent ASBO application.

1.7Why do we need a Protocol?

The Government accepted that in a number of areas throughout the country, Voluntary Agencies such as Age Concern and Victim Support, together with Statutory Agencies such as the Forest of Dean District Council, the Police and Social Services were working together to try to curb the rise and spread of Crime and Disorder in their relevant areas.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 sought to recognise the work being done and to formalise the procedures by placing a legal obligation on the Agencies to work together.

This protocol has been established as a means of clarifying the amount and quality of information exchanged between these Agencies when working to reduce anti-social behaviour in the district.

It takes into account issues such as The Data Protection Act, Human Rights Legislation and Equality and Discrimination.

An application for a Safer Estates Agreement, ABC or ASBO will not be made purely on the grounds that they are different from their neighbours on the grounds of race, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, age or creed.

The information is only to be exchanged between designated trained information liaison officers. Each partner is expected to take internal measures to make a breach of the protocol by their staff a disciplinary offence.

1.8Who are the Partners?

The Statutory Partners who are parties to this protocol are Gloucestershire Constabulary (Forest and Gloucester Division), Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, the Police Authority, the Fire Service Authority and Registered Social Landlords who provide housing in the district.

Just as the problems of anti-social behaviour are multifarious, the solution too must operate equally effectively on many levels. While an energetic and constructive police response is essential, it must be supplemented by engagement from a wide variety of partners. To take only the most obvious, schools need to have effective policies in place against truancy and bullying. Local authorities and registered social landlords need to take responsibility for acting against anti-social behaviour by their tenants, and against their tenants. Social services need to ensure that they are taking the welfare of the community fully into account when making their decisions. And, just as important, all of these bodies need to be sharing information with each other to the fullest possible extent in order to act fairly and decisively against the problems of anti-social behaviour.

Safer Estates, ABCs and ASBOs can only work properly when they are based on this approach of partnership in action. As the guidance which follows will make clear, they are powerful instruments, and they will be at their most effective when all the agencies confronted by an individual’s anti-social behaviour collaborate to make the best possible use of them.

Specific arrangements have been made with the following organisations for consultation and information sharing as necessary and are: -

Gloucestershire Probation Service

  • Gloucestershire Social Services
  • Gloucestershire Education Service
  • Gloucestershire Health Authority
  • Gloucestershire Youth Offending Team (YOT)
  • Forest of Dean Housing Association
  • Stoneham Housing Association
  • Wyedean Housing Association
  • Knightstone Housing Association
  • Jephson Housing Association
  • Gloucester Housing Association Ltd
  • Hanover Housing Association
  • Forest of Dean Victim Support

1.9Information Sharing

Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 empowers any person to disclose information, where necessary or expedient for the purposes of the Act, to a chief officer of police, a police force, local authorities, probation service or health authority, or to a person acting on their behalf. Where the agency requesting the information clearly needs it for the purposes of reducing anti-social behaviour, the presumption should normally be that it would be supplied.

Information sharing and registered social landlords – Safer Estates, ABCs and ASBOs

A ‘relevant authority’ (as defined by section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998) may disclose informationto a registered social landlord where the RSL is acting on behalf of the relevant authority for the purposes of the provisions of the Act.

In order to be ‘acting on behalf of’ the relevant authority the person or body so acting must have authority and must have consented to do so. Such authority may be derived in writing or orally. Authority may also be implied from the conduct of the parties or from the nature of employment. Authority may be confined to a particular act or be general in its character. If authority is general then it will still be confined to acts, which the relevant authority itself has power to do.

1.10Anti-Social Behaviour Bill (ASB Bill)

The ASB Bill sets out a new duty for landlords to develop and publish procedures to tackle anti-social behaviour and introduces new provisions to allow certain social landlords to apply for injunctions to prohibit anti-social behaviour where it affects the management of its stock. This will include the right to seek injunctions if they fear the property is being used for illegal purposes.

The ASB Bill includes a set of powers for local education authorities (LEAs) and youth offending teams (YOTs) to ask parents to sign parenting contracts if their child does not attend school regularly or has been excluded. If LEAs or YOTs believe the contract is unlikely to be effective, they can apply to the courts for parenting orders. LEAs will also be able to give free-standing parenting orders where a child is excluded for serious misbehaviour.

Finally, police officers, schools and LEAs will be bale to issue fixed penalty notice to parents who are condoning or ignoring truancy.

1.12Anti-Social Behaviour Bill (ASB Bill) - Sanctions

The ASB Bill proposed that existing fixed penalty notices for disorderly behaviour be extended to include 16 – 17 years olds, and to young ages where parents or guardians pay the penalties. It also proposes intensive fostering which will enable courts to include, in supervision orders, the requirement that children live with a local authority foster parent as an alternative to a custodial sentence.

The ASBI Bill sets out new powers to tackle key areas such as noise nuisance, graffiti, fly posting and waste/litter by:

  • Empowering Environmental health departments to close noisy premises and extending the power to issue fixed penalty notices for noise to every areas in England and Wales.
  • Enabling authorities to issue fixed penalty notices to fly posters and graffiti vandals, and making it an offence to sell spray paints to those under 18;
  • Giving waste collection authorities powers to stop, search an seize a vehicle that they suspect is being used for the unlawful deposit of waste; and
  • Empowering councils to enter lad, clear it of litter and recover the costs.

2.0A Safer Estates Agreement (SEA)

The Safer Estates Agreement in the Forest of Dean is focused at two levels:

  1. The Strategic working between the police and RSL’s being facilitated by a Safer Estates steering group as part of the Forest of Dean Community Safety Partnership objectives.
  1. The passing of personal data exempted by provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984 on a controlled basis between named officers to facilitate successful criminal and civil action in key cases.

Partners recognise that tenants and residents on RSLs housing estates:-