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Police and Justice Act 2006

New section 26A: Parenting orders in respect of anti-social behaviour: local authorities

239.New section 26A(1) sets out the circumstances in which a local authority can apply to a magistrates’ court (or in certain circumstances a county court) for a parenting order in respect of a parent of a child or young person. These are where the authority has reason to believe that the child or young person has engaged in anti-social behaviour and where the child or young person resides, or appears to reside, in the authority’s area.

240.New section 26A(2) provides that the court may make such an order if it has reason to believe that the child or young person has engaged in anti-social behaviour and that it would be in the interests of preventing him or her from engaging in further such behaviour. New section 26A(3) indicates that a parenting order is an order which requires the parent to comply, for not more than twelve months, with any requirements specified in the order and, subject to new section 26A(4) to attend, for no more than three months, a counselling or guidance programme specified in directions given by the responsible officer.

241.New section 26A(4) indicates that a parent is not necessarily to be required to attend a counselling or guidance programme when he or she has already been subject to a parenting order.

242.New section 26A(5), (6) and (7) provides that a counselling or guidance programme which a parent is required to attend by virtue of a parenting order may be residential, only if that is likely to be more effective than a non-residential course in preventing the child or young person from engaging in further anti-social behaviour, and if any interference with family life is likely to be proportionate.

243.New section 26(A)(8) makes clear that the responsible officer is required to be an officer of the local authority or a person or body nominated by that local authority. A person cannot be nominated by the local authority without their consent.

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