A social welfare board requested the police's assistance to transport a 13-year-old girl to one of the National Board of Institutional Care’s residential homes for young people. The transport was delayed partly because the Police Authority and the social services disagreed on whether representatives of the social welfare board should accompany the transport, and partly because there were problems with booking a flight. 17 hours after the girl was taken into care the transport began by car and after 10 hours of transport, she arrived at the residential home.
According to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s understanding, what has emerged exemplifies the need for authorities and others that may need to participate in an enforced assistance to develop sustainable routines. The one that has requested assistance needs to be prepared in case questions concerning the assistance arise throughout the execution of the assistance. Moreover, there should be preparedness so that staff can be present during the transport if necessary. The Parliamentary Ombudsman states that the matter of whether staff should be present at the transport must be decided on the basis of what is best for the young person.
The Parliamentary Ombudsman holds that it should also be possible to require an overall plan for how a transport is to take place and that there are pre-conditions for the one requesting assistance to book a trip if necessary. There must also be a preparedness so that a withdrawal of a request could be carried through and the transport can be carried out by own means, should it turn out that there is no need for police assistance. Such flexibility is necessary to avoid a young person being unnecessarily transported by the police or taken into custody.
The girl under care was placed, for some time, with a police officer in a car that was parked in a detention facility. The Parliamentary Ombudsman states that a detention faciality is usually an unsuitable environment for a young person. For that reason, the starting point should be that a person below the age of 15 should not be admitted in e.g. an interrogation room or any other room in a detention facility pending a transport.
Source: The Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsmen