Swedish Policy on Youth crime

Since a criminal career often starts in early youth, normally before the age of criminal responsibility, the Swedish Government considers early and clear measures to prevent or limit an unfavourable development to be highly important. In 2008, an inquiry submitted its report about offenders younger than 15. The aim, in future, is for the police to investigate more crimes committed by children under 15 and to test suspects under the age of 15 for drugs. The report has been circulated for comments and preparation will continue in the Government Offices.

However, the main responsibility for these measures lies outside the judicial system, both in terms of general measures to promote a favourable development and in terms of measures regarding young offenders.

To ensure and to develop the collaboration and interaction between police, prosecutors, schools, social services, and medical and health services, the Ministry of Justice commissioned two experts to investigate and analyse crime prevention work between these actors. The reports will be published at the end of 2009.