Government gets tough on juvenile crime
A new initiative entitled ‘Every action has consequences’ was presented this morning by justice minister Søren Pape Poulsen and social minister Mai Mercado.
Fifteen concrete measures make up the package. In one of the measures, a new category has been created that enables children as young as 12 years old to be punished if they commit crimes. At present, the minimum age at which a child can be officially treated as a criminal is 15.
“Children shan’t be sent to prison, but there ought to be more and better ways to put together a tailor-made program for the individual that gets them out of criminality,” the government writes in its initiative.
A firmer hand and a quicker response
Lowering the criminal age has been high on the list for a number of parties in parliament, and the government has gone some way to meet this wish.
“We’ve been fighting for some time now to implement quick and obvious consequences the first time a young person goes astray,” said Poulsen.
Another of the concrete proposals is the setting up of a juvenile crime board in each police district under the auspices of a judge. The board will also have representatives from the police and municipality.
It is then up to the police to decide whether a case should be referred to the board or not, and that should take place latest ten days after a suspected crime has been committed. Cases should be handled by the board five weeks later at the latest.
Punishments such as washing cars, cleaning and other similar tasks could be given to law-breakers.
There are also initiatives designed to place greater responsibility on parents of juvenile criminals, for instance making parents responsible for ensuring that young people attend school or out-of-school institutions.