Criminal Justice Act 2006

New section 257C in Act of 2001.

161.— The following section is inserted in the Act of 2001 after section 257B:

“Meeting to discuss anti-social behaviour by child.

257C.—(1) The superintendent in charge of a district, on receipt of a report from a member of the Garda Síochána in that district concerning the behaviour of a child, shall convene a meeting to discuss the child’s behaviour if satisfied that—

(a) the child has behaved in an anti-social manner and is likely to continue doing so, and

(b) the child has previously behaved in an anti-social manner, but—

(i) has not received a warning in respect of previous anti-social behaviour, or

(ii) holding such a meeting would help to prevent further such behaviour by the child.

(2) A report under subsection (1) shall be prepared only after a behaviour warning has been given to the child by a member of the Garda Síochána in relation to the child’s anti-social behaviour.

(3) The report shall include details of the behaviour warning.

(4) The following persons shall be asked to attend a meeting convened under subsection (1):

(a) the child;

(b) his or her parents or guardian;

(c) the member of the Garda Síochána who warned the child in relation to his or her anti-social behaviour;

(d) if the child is already participating in the Programme, a juvenile liaison officer.

(5) The superintendent may request the attendance at the meeting of such other person or persons as he or she considers would be of assistance to the child or the parents or guardian, including a member of the local policing forum (within the meaning of the Garda Síochána Act 2005).

(6) The meeting shall discuss the child’s behaviour.

(7) Subject to subsection (8), at the meeting—

(a) the superintendent shall explain in simple language to the child and the parents or guardian what the offending behaviour is and the effect it is having on any other person or persons,

(b) the child shall be asked to acknowledge that the behaviour has occurred and to undertake to stop it,

(c) the parents or guardian shall be asked to acknowledge the child’s behaviour and to undertake to take steps to prevent a recurrence,

(d) if the child and the parents or guardian agree to give those undertakings, a document (in this section referred to as a “good behaviour contract”) incorporating the undertakings shall be prepared and, where practicable, be signed by the child and the parents or guardian.

(8) The functions of a superintendent under subsection (7) may, at his or her request, be performed by a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of inspector, and in that case the member shall provide the superintendent with a written report of the outcome of the meeting.

(9) A good behaviour contract shall expire at the end of a period not exceeding 6 months from the date of the meeting but may be renewed by the child and the parents or guardian for a further period of not more than 3 months.

(10) The superintendent may from time to time review the child’s behaviour in the light of the undertaking given by him or her in the good behaviour contract.

(11) If the child—

(a) has behaved, or continues to behave, in breach of the undertaking, or

(b) in the opinion of the superintendent or the parent or guardian, is likely to so behave,

the superintendent may reconvene the meeting referred to in subsection (1) and renew the contract if the child and the parents so agree.

(12) A renewal of the contract under subsection (11) shall be for a period not exceeding—

(a) 6 months from the date of the original contract, or

(b) 9 months from the date of the original contract,

whichever is the shorter.

(13) Nothing in this section prevents a child being the subject of a further good behaviour contract if the child and the parents or guardian so agree.

(14) This subsection applies—

(a) where a superintendent, having considered a report referred to at subsection (1), does not consider that convening a meeting under this section would help to prevent anti-social behaviour by the child concerned, or

(b) where such a meeting has been convened and—

(i) a good behaviour contract was not prepared because the child or the parents or guardian refused to give the necessary undertaking, or

(ii) the child is in breach of an undertaking given by him or her in such a contract.

(15) Where subsection (14) applies, either—

(a) the child shall be admitted to the Programme, in which case Part 4 shall apply accordingly, with any necessary modifications, in relation to him or her, or

(b) the superintendent, if satisfied that the child’s participation in the Programme would not be appropriate in the circumstances, shall apply to the Children Court for a behaviour order in respect of the child.”.