According to new figures revealed in the DR documentary ‘I politiets vold: Mørk og mistænkt’, (roughly: ‘In the clutches of the police: dark-skinned and suspicious’) immigrants are more likely to be stopped and searched by police than Danes and those from a Western background.
The documentary revealed that in 2014, immigrants were 65-70% more likely to be targeted by police but without this resulting in a conviction. In other words, immigrants are being stopped and searched by the police without just cause.
Looking into the matter
Denmark’s national police commissioner, Jens Henrik Højbjerg, said in response that the police will investigate to find out whether there are patterns in the way searches are conducted.
“We will explore whether there are issues in the way we go about our work,” said Højbjerg to DR. “But it certainly isn’t anything intentional.”
Police strategy to blame for overrepresentation
Højbjerg also suggested that the statistics may be a result of the strategies being used by the police. The bulk of their resources are concentrated on residential areas where there are high levels of crime as well as areas with high non-Danish populations.
Højbjerg’s statements were supported by governing party Venstre’s spokesman Preben Bang Henriksen.
“As we are not receiving compensation claims or registering that many complaints, it does not cause any alarm bells to ring for me,” he said.
“But let me be clear that the police should act based on reasonable criteria. If they don’t, it is something we need to look into,” he added.