Danish News Round-Up: Crimes stack up for an overburdened police - The Post

Danish News Round-Up: Crimes stack up for an overburdened police

Officer, officer, they stole my car! ‘Not now, I’m busy’ (photo: maxpixel.net)
November 29th, 2019 3:57 am| by Thess Mostoles

On Wednesday, Minister for Justice Nick Hækkerup revealed that the number of cases in which one or more persons have been charged but have not been prosecuted as of yet has tripled in the 2016-2019 period – rising from 28,828 to 82,761. The number of received cases has also increased by more than 20,000.

Hækkerup believes that police, prosecutors and the courts have not had “sufficient opportunities” to solve the task. “It is one of the biggest tasks ahead of me for 2020. Something must be done with these developments. It is important for the sake of the victims and for the rule of law,” Hækkerup said.

Kristian Hegaard, legal spokesman for Radikale Venstre, has criticized the extent of the problem, saying, “the ultimate consequence is that, as a victim, one feels that one’s case is not being processed because resources are lacking. It’s disastrous that they don’t follow through on these cases.”

Hækkerup stated that the source of the problem is that the police and the prosecution are in over their heads with the workload.

Have you been robbed recently, or are you noticing a rise in pusher-client meetings around your neighbourhood? Well, you’re gonna have to wait. Such cases are on hold as police on Funen and in Copenhagen are focusing solely on ‘offence against the person’ crimes for the rest of the year (e.g. assault and rape). This comes as a result of an action plan that requires police to cut down on the time taken to process ‘offence against the person’ cases by 10 percent before the end of the year. In some police districts this number is at 15 percent.

According to Hækkerup, though it’s not an ideal situation, it is a necessary one. He plans on finding more resources and crafting a new system that would grant the police time enough to handle all cases: negotiations about a new police deal will commence shortly after the new year.

Amid climate talks, leaked bills are bombarded with criticism
Also on Wednesday, negotiations continued mapping the road to Danish climate neutrality with the finish line drawn at 2050. However, several parties are unhappy with the new climate bills. Red bloc parties delivered a clear message at the beginning of November: there have to be consequences if objectives are not met. Nonetheless, TV2 reports that the government’s draft does not include any new sanctions. “We’re not on target yet. There are a number of crucial elements missing – elements that can ensure action in all areas here and now,” commented Ida Auken, Radikale Venstre climate spokesperson.

It is also unclear from the draft whether reduction efforts outside Denmark will count or not. “We do not see the purchase and cancellation of CO2 quotas as a tool to reach the target in 2030. We believe that the 70 percent reduction should be done in Denmark,” said Signe Munk, SF.

Parties like Radikale Venstre and Enhedslisten also believe that goals cannot be met by helping other countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Aspiring Danes remind us of criticism aimed at the gatekeeping test
More than 4000 people took a test on Wednesday to become full-fledged Danish citizens. Since its 2007 inception, the naturalisation test has been a target of much criticism. One of these had to do with the type of knowledge participants are expected to acquire in order to obtain a Danish citizenship.

The 2016 test included a question asking when the first Olsen Banden film premiered. “It has nothing to do with people’s opportunities to act in Danish society. Therefore, it is absurd to let it determine whether people can obtain a citizenship,” said Nikolaj Villumsen, foreign minister at the time.

Another piece of criticism revolved around the many mistakes included in questions and answers each year. Last year, for instance, the exam contained two errors: it confused the position held by Uffe Elbæk in Alternativet, and asked which bank had been investigated for money laundering – the test only counted Danske Bank as the correct answer, though Saxo Bank, another option, had also been investigated. “We are very sorry that there were errors in the test,” lamented Kasper Højvang Kyed, director of the Board of Directors for International Recruitment and Integration, last year.

A dangerous trend among nitrous oxide users
Cartridges of so-called laughing gas have been found lying empty on the streets of several Danish cities including Aarhus and Copenhagen. This points to an increase in consumption.

Last year only, the Poison Control Hotline received 40 inquiries about people with symptoms of poisoning caused by laughing gas. As of November of this year, the hotline has already surpassed that number, as confirmed by Dorte Fris Palmqvist, consultant at Bispebjerg Hospital, to TV2.

This adds to a new trend among users, who have moved from the small cartridges of eight grams to bottles the size of a hair spray (580 grams), and, in extreme cases, industrial-sized cylinders. “This year is the first time we heard about it. We had two or three inquiries where people indicated that they used the gas bottles,” she said.

Nitrous oxide intoxication can lead to serious conditions. “We see several people who have had chronic nerve damage, or coordination difficulties so that they may encounter struggles with walking or standing.”