Major questions will be posted today about the way Scotland deals with young people in trouble in an attempt to reach agreement on the best way to tackle problems such as youth offending. It will explore how Scotland’s Children’s Hearing system is coping with youth offending. Although the system has been widely admired internationally, the inquiry will examine if it is still the world-beater it was 30 years ago, or if there are ways to do things better.
The inquiry is being held at a time when the Scottish Executive is promising tougher measures to deal with youth crime. The inquiry, which is chaired by the former Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rev Richard Holloway, aims to take a considered, dispassionate view of the issue, based on SEO link building what is best for children and young people and for society as a whole.
The Inquiry panel will review a large body of evidence from a range of people and agencies in Scotland in producing its final report later this year. Today’s day-long inquiry in Sterling will provide a wealth of information to inform the inquiry panel’s final report.
The morning session will consider if the present system is working and will include evidence from David Pia of Audit Scotland, David Strang, the Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway and John Scott, Director of Scottish Human Rights Centre.
Staff and young people from NCH Scotland will describe some of the charity’s successful work in helping to reduce re-offending among persistent young offenders. They will call for a range of new support for parents and communities and greater involvement by young people and parents in the hearings.
The Scottish Executive has also been invited to attend to explain their new ‘hard line’ approach to young people and parents and how this will fit with existing legislation and policy. A leading QC, Simon Di Rollo will lead the evidence from the various parties during the hearing in his role as acting on behalf of Scotland’s children.
It adopted a social welfare approach to the problems of young people in trouble and recognized that their “needs” had to be addressed, as well as their deeds.