• Line Terp Hansen
In wake of the highly discussed Danish horror stories regarding sexual abuse, neglect, and mistreatment of children in Denmark, the post-millennium focus on the ill-being of children has largely increased. This also manifests itself in the work of the Danish police. In collaboration with The National Police one police district developed a new IT-tool, Socialsøg, in 2014. The basis of the development of the tool was to create an early identification of socially at risk families with children in order to provide these families with the required help and support from local authorities. Whereas former police tools in regards to preventative work have been focused on the risk-factors of the children, Socialsøg is the first tool to adjust the focus towards the risk-factors of the parents. In 2018 Socialsøg was implemented in all police districts in the country. The aim of this thesis is to initiate a look into Socialsøg, which has not yet been at the centre of former research. Thus, this paper will try to define Socialsøg based on fundamental and significant agents such as police and local authorities. Furthermore, the knowledge from set agents will contribute to understanding how the tool can be beneficial in solving potential practical and theoretical issues. In order to reach the aim of the thesis, the project has been based on an exploratory case study. The fundamental elements of the empiricism have been semi-constructed interviews with employees of both the Danish Police and local authorities. The thesis is bounded in the way that the main focus of the research is on two specific Danish police districts: The Mid- and Western Police District as well as the Northern Police District. The latter of these has the biggest amount of experience with Socialsøg of all police districts in Denmark. The conclusion which the analysis in this thesis leads to is that both police and local authorities does not view Socialsøg as a punishment, but rather a help in the form of a police tool that operates outside of the boundaries of the national procedural law. The concern regarding the illbeing of children and young people is identified by an over-all view of the cases that the parent is involved in with police. Furthermore, this is very valuable information for local authorities as knowledge about this history subsequently leads to better and more efficient ways to help the families. Socialsøg has mainly contributed to a solution on practical issues in three areas: 1) Socialsøg is a tool in the definition of the illbeing of children and young people, 2) Socialsøg has helped making reports made by the police to local authorities more systematic, and 3) Socialsøg has been a contributing factor in the improvement of the collaboration between authorities. Additionally, this paper will bring forth perspectives on how to further the contribution in these matters. Concerning criminological theory Socialsøg must be seen as a solution to theories in which the correlation between upbringing in childhood and later criminal behaviour, and the consequences in the form of a self-fulfilling prophecy of labelling theory, is portrayed. On the contrary parameters such as socioeconomic status as well as the many different estimates and assessments of Socialsøg can cause a feeling of being labelled in parents. Informants, however, are in concurrence that the concern about labelling should not outweigh the wellbeing of the child. Additionally, this thesis discusses how Socialsøg places itself in present understanding of crime. Here Feeley & Simons new penology seems to match that of Socialsøg. Nevertheless, one should not disregard reservations such as context and culture. Moreover, current understandings of crime must place itself between on one hand crime prevention and on the other hand the surveillance of private citizens, which seems to be a consequence of the prevention- and control system. Accordingly, one should ask oneself: “Who has the right to the rights?” and “Who protects the rights of the children?”. To this Socialsøg is an answer.
Publication date17 Jun 2019
Number of pages79
ID: 306027155