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Vad händer med barn som begår brott? En jämförande studie av Sveriges respektive Skottlands hantering av barn som begår brott

Gertzell, Therese LU (2012) JURM02 20112
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I Sverige har under de senaste åren ungefär 19 000 barn under 15 år årligen misstänkts för att ha begått ett brott. Det finns dock ingen bra samlad statistik då barn under 15 år inte kan lagföras för brottet. När ett barn misstänks för ett brott har polisen en anmälningsplikt till socialtjänsten. Om det begångna brottet har minst ett års fängelse i straffskalan eller om socialtjänsten begär det ska polisen utreda brottet. Socialtjänsten gör en förhandsbedömning efter att de mottagit polisens anmälan. Förhandsbedömningen resulterar i antingen att det anses föreligga ett behov för en utredning eller inte. Efter en utredning kan socialtjänsten föreslå olika frivilliga åtgärder till barnet och familjen. När barnet är under 15 år är det barnets... (More)
I Sverige har under de senaste åren ungefär 19 000 barn under 15 år årligen misstänkts för att ha begått ett brott. Det finns dock ingen bra samlad statistik då barn under 15 år inte kan lagföras för brottet. När ett barn misstänks för ett brott har polisen en anmälningsplikt till socialtjänsten. Om det begångna brottet har minst ett års fängelse i straffskalan eller om socialtjänsten begär det ska polisen utreda brottet. Socialtjänsten gör en förhandsbedömning efter att de mottagit polisens anmälan. Förhandsbedömningen resulterar i antingen att det anses föreligga ett behov för en utredning eller inte. Efter en utredning kan socialtjänsten föreslå olika frivilliga åtgärder till barnet och familjen. När barnet är under 15 år är det barnets vårdnadshavare som bestämmer om de frivilliga insatserna ska tas emot. Om utredningen visar att barnet sysslar med brottslig verksamhet eller barnets brottslighet visar på ett socialt nedbrytande beteende kan socialtjänsten anse att det föreligger ett behov av att tvångsomhänderta barnet. För ett tvångsomhändertagande krävs att en förvaltningsrätt beslutar att barnet ska tvångsomhändertas. I lag om vård av unga finns även en möjlighet att tvinga ett barn att delta i frivilliga åtgärder inom socialtjänsten.

Socialtjänstens arbete kan skilja sig från olika kommuner, bortsett från att alla kommuner ska kunna erbjuda medling och särskilt kvalificerad kontaktperson till barn som begår brott samt tillhandahålla familjehem och HVB-hem får de själva utveckla sin verksamhet efter lokala behov och förutsättningar. Det finns inte något krav på att utredningarna ska följa en viss metod eller ha en och samma standard över hela landet.

Om ett barn som är över 8 år begår ett brott i Skottland har polisen beroende på brottets allvarlighetsgrad olika alternativ. Polisen kan välja att inte göra någonting, utfärda en varning eller hänvisa barnet till reportern, om polisen väljer att inte hänvisa barnet måste de dock dubbelkolla med reportern att barnet eller dess familj inte är känt sen tidigare. Barn som är över 12 år kan om de har begått ett allvarligt brott bli hänvisade till en åklagare och kan bli åtalat för brottet i domstol. Reportern avgör om en hearing ska hållas eller om barnet ska hänvisas till de lokala myndigheterna (ofta motsvarande svensk socialtjänsten) för frivilliga åtgärder. Om reportern anser att det finns ett behov av tvångsåtgärder ska en Children’s hearing hållas. Det inte en rättegång utan ett möte där det ska bestämmas vad som är bäst för barnet. Närvarande vid mötet är socialsekreteraren, reportern, barnets föräldrar och andra personer som är relevanta för barnet. De som fattar beslut om vilka åtgärder som ska vidtas är tre panelmedlemmar vilka är lekmän och arbetar ideellt inom CHS.

CHS är ett nationellt centralstyrt organ som fungerar likadant över hela Skottland, the National Convener har en övervakande skyddsfunktion över CHS.
Barnkonventionen är ratificerad av både Sverige och Skottland. Den innebär att barnets bästa alltid ska komma i första rummet. En av bestämmelserna säger att hänsyn ska tas till barnets åsikt och erfarenhet. Barnets ålder och mognad tas sedan in i bedömningen av hur mycket vikt som ska läggas vid barnets åsikt.

Både Sverige och Skottland har ett vårdperspektiv på hanteringen av unga som begår brott. Det finns andra likheter såsom att socialtjänsten har ett stort ansvar för utbudet av frivilliga åtgärder samt verkställanden av tvångsåtgärder samt att i bägge systemen används lekmän. Det skotska systemet har bortsett från vid riktigt allvarliga brott arbetat hårt för att barn inte ska uppleva en rättsprocess. En hearing ska vara helt anpassad för att främja barnets åsikter och delaktighet. I Sverige blir barnet inte åtalat i domstol för själva brottet men om det är aktuellt med ett tvångsomhändertagande sker en förhandling i domstol. Om ett barn som är under 15 år vill ta del av frivilliga åtgärder men dess vårdnadshavare avböjer hjälp, tas inte någon hänsyn till barnets åsikter och erfarenheter.

Det svenska systemet lägger väldigt mycket ansvar på kommunerna. För en bra hantering av barn som begår brott krävs att varje kommun har ett bra upplägg att hantera dem. Det lämnar en möjlighet att barns kan behandlas olika beroende på vilken kommun barnet bor i. Mer enhetliga bestämmelser om hanteringen av barn som begår brott skulle antagligen stärka känslan av att barn får en trygg och likartad behandling oavsett kommun.

Det skotska Children’s hearings system är ett väldigt spännande system. En svensk version av systemet skulle antagligen fungera väldigt bra då vi redan arbetar utifrån ett liknande vårdperspektiv. Ett sådant system skulle stärka barnperspektivet, öka barnets delaktighet och antagligen få barnet att mer aktivt vilja delta i vårdinsatser. (Less)
Abstract
During the last few years approximately 19 000 children below the age of 15 have been suspected for committing an offence. However there is no comprehensive statistics when children below the age of 15 cannot be charged for the offence. The police must report all children who are suspected for committing a crime to the local social services. If the minimum sentence for the committed crime is one year of imprisonment or after a request from the social services the police must make an investigation. When social services receive a notification of a youth offender they make a first assessment of the child. The first assessment is used when deciding if a more comprise investigation is needed or not. After an investigation social services... (More)
During the last few years approximately 19 000 children below the age of 15 have been suspected for committing an offence. However there is no comprehensive statistics when children below the age of 15 cannot be charged for the offence. The police must report all children who are suspected for committing a crime to the local social services. If the minimum sentence for the committed crime is one year of imprisonment or after a request from the social services the police must make an investigation. When social services receive a notification of a youth offender they make a first assessment of the child. The first assessment is used when deciding if a more comprise investigation is needed or not. After an investigation social services suggests different voluntarily measures towards the child and the child’s family. The legal guardian of the child decides whether to accept the suggested help or not if the child is below the age of 15. If the investigation shows that the child either has a pattern of criminal activity (brottslig verksamhet), or a behavior that are socially destructive (socialt nedbrytande beteende) social services might consider that a compulsory supervision order is required. A decision to make a compulsory supervision order is taken by the court of administrative law. Within the statute of care for young people there is an opportunity for social services to force children to take part in the voluntarily measures the social services offer.

The way social services works may differentiate between counties. Except from offering mediation and a particularly qualified contact person, or changes in the living arrangements each county can develop its own ways of handling children who have committed crimes. There are no regulations saying that investigations need to follow a special method or live up to one national standard.

If a child over the age of 8 commits a criminal offence in Scotland the police can chose not to proceed with further actions, issue a warning or direct the child to the Reporter for further actions within the Children’s hearings system. Before the police issue a warning he needs to check with the Reporter that neither the child nor its family is known by the Reporter. A child who has reached the age of 12 can be sent to the procurator fiscal to be prosecuted in a youth court. The Reporter decides whether there should be a hearing or if the child should receive voluntarily measures by the local authorities. A hearing should be held if the reporter believes that there is a need to make a compulsory supervision order towards the child. A Children’s hearing is not a trial but a meeting where it is decided what measures are in the best interest of the child. The social worker, the Reporter, the child and its parents and other relevant persons towards the child are allowed to take part in the hearing. Three laymen called the Panel Members makes the final decision of which measures that are suitable.
The Children’s hearings system is a national system, the National Convener is appointed to safeguard the system.

Both Sweden and Scotland have ratified the Convention on the rights of the child. One part of the convention holds that the child should always have the opportunity to express his views freely. The views of the child should be giving weight depending on his or her age and maturity.

Both Sweden and Scotland treats children who commit crime from a rehabilitative perspective. Social services have a great responsibility for the supply of voluntarily measures and for carrying out compulsory supervision orders. Both systems uses lay people when deciding if compulsory supervision orders are needed. Except when children commit very serious offences the Scottish system has worked hard on separating the Children’s hearings system from a court procedure. The hearing should express the views of the child and encourage participation from the child. In Sweden the child cannot be tried in court for the committed offence but there is still a process in court when deciding to make a compulsory supervision order. If the child has not yet reached the age of 15 and want to participate in voluntarily measures but his legal guardian rejects them no weight is given to the views of the child.

A lot of responsibility is given to the different Swedish counties. It puts a lot of pressure on the counties to develop a good way to handle children whom commit crimes. When the system is not united there are possibilities that children can be treated differently depending on where they live. More uniform guidelines on how to handle children after they have committed a crime would enhance the trust of the system.

The Children’s hearings system is a very fascinating system. A Swedish version of the system would probably work when our system already is based on rehabilitation. A system similar to the hearing system would enhance the perspective of the child and make the child more willingly to participate in action plans. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gertzell, Therese LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
What happens when a child commits a criminal offence? A comparative study of how Sweden and Scotland handle children who commit criminal offences.
course
JURM02 20112
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt, socialrätt, ungdomsbrottslighet
language
Swedish
id
2293510
date added to LUP
2012-02-16 14:02:20
date last changed
2012-02-16 14:02:20
@misc{2293510,
  abstract     = {During the last few years approximately 19 000 children below the age of 15 have been suspected for committing an offence. However there is no comprehensive statistics when children below the age of 15 cannot be charged for the offence. The police must report all children who are suspected for committing a crime to the local social services. If the minimum sentence for the committed crime is one year of imprisonment or after a request from the social services the police must make an investigation. When social services receive a notification of a youth offender they make a first assessment of the child. The first assessment is used when deciding if a more comprise investigation is needed or not. After an investigation social services suggests different voluntarily measures towards the child and the child’s family. The legal guardian of the child decides whether to accept the suggested help or not if the child is below the age of 15. If the investigation shows that the child either has a pattern of criminal activity (brottslig verksamhet), or a behavior that are socially destructive (socialt nedbrytande beteende) social services might consider that a compulsory supervision order is required. A decision to make a compulsory supervision order is taken by the court of administrative law. Within the statute of care for young people there is an opportunity for social services to force children to take part in the voluntarily measures the social services offer.  

The way social services works may differentiate between counties. Except from offering mediation and a particularly qualified contact person, or changes in the living arrangements each county can develop its own ways of handling children who have committed crimes. There are no regulations saying that investigations need to follow a special method or live up to one national standard. 

If a child over the age of 8 commits a criminal offence in Scotland the police can chose not to proceed with further actions, issue a warning or direct the child to the Reporter for further actions within the Children’s hearings system. Before the police issue a warning he needs to check with the Reporter that neither the child nor its family is known by the Reporter. A child who has reached the age of 12 can be sent to the procurator fiscal to be prosecuted in a youth court. The Reporter decides whether there should be a hearing or if the child should receive voluntarily measures by the local authorities. A hearing should be held if the reporter believes that there is a need to make a compulsory supervision order towards the child. A Children’s hearing is not a trial but a meeting where it is decided what measures are in the best interest of the child. The social worker, the Reporter, the child and its parents and other relevant persons towards the child are allowed to take part in the hearing. Three laymen called the Panel Members makes the final decision of which measures that are suitable.  
The Children’s hearings system is a national system, the National Convener is appointed to safeguard the system.  

Both Sweden and Scotland have ratified the Convention on the rights of the child. One part of the convention holds that the child should always have the opportunity to express his views freely. The views of the child should be giving weight depending on his or her age and maturity.  

Both Sweden and Scotland treats children who commit crime from a rehabilitative perspective. Social services have a great responsibility for the supply of voluntarily measures and for carrying out compulsory supervision orders. Both systems uses lay people when deciding if compulsory supervision orders are needed. Except when children commit very serious offences the Scottish system has worked hard on separating the Children’s hearings system from a court procedure. The hearing should express the views of the child and encourage participation from the child. In Sweden the child cannot be tried in court for the committed offence but there is still a process in court when deciding to make a compulsory supervision order. If the child has not yet reached the age of 15 and want to participate in voluntarily measures but his legal guardian rejects them no weight is given to the views of the child.    

A lot of responsibility is given to the different Swedish counties. It puts a lot of pressure on the counties to develop a good way to handle children whom commit crimes. When the system is not united there are possibilities that children can be treated differently depending on where they live. More uniform guidelines on how to handle children after they have committed a crime would enhance the trust of the system.    

The Children’s hearings system is a very fascinating system. A Swedish version of the system would probably work when our system already is based on rehabilitation. A system similar to the hearing system would enhance the perspective of the child and make the child more willingly to participate in action plans.},
  author       = {Gertzell, Therese},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt,socialrätt,ungdomsbrottslighet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Vad händer med barn som begår brott? En jämförande studie av Sveriges respektive Skottlands hantering av barn som begår brott},
  year         = {2012},
}