Manu Sareen, the social minister, released his latest effort to combat youth crime yesterday. The package contains 60 million kroner earmarked for programs designed to discourage young people from starting or continuing a life of crime.
”We need to get in early so that young people do not ruin their lives – and the lives of others – by getting involved with criminal activity,” Sareen told BT.
“This package sends the message that we will not give up on young criminals, even if they give up on themselves.”
Adults required to help turn the tide
At the heart of the program is a law that would require parents and social workers to get involved when a young person commits a crime.
Once police report to a local council that a youngster has committed a crime, parents, teachers and other relevant authorities have one week to convene a ‘networking group’ to help get them back on the right path.
“We know that young criminals who take responsibility for their own actions are easier to get back on track, and they do better when the adults in their lives are involved. That is why we are making the networking component a legal requirement,” said Sareen.
Showing the right path before it’s too late
The minister said that he wanted to stop young criminals in their tracks before they became too immersed in the criminal culture.
“We will be there before it gets too bad,” he said.
“As soon as someone sees a 12-year-old hanging out with a group of known criminals, we want to get them out. It is important that the adults in their lives show that there is another way to live a full life.”