The Danish police is using less pepper spray and pulling batons and other weapons less during arrests.
According to figures from national police department Rigspolitiet, pepper spray was only used 398 times last year, half as often in 2014. Going back to 2013, pepper spray was used over 1,000 times.
Overall, the use of force is down among Danish police officers; the use of truncheons and service weapons in 2015 was half of what it was in 2014. The report said that firearms were pulled 148 times in 2015. The year before there were 315 reports. Shots were fired 11 times in 2015.
Dog use steady
The use of dogs during arrests was unchanged. Citizens were bitten by a police dog 103 times in 2015, which corresponds roughly to the number of cases in 2014 and 2013
Pepper spray was introduced into Danish police work some years ago with the intent of reducing the use of brute force by police officers. Several complaints from citizens said that officers were too eager to use the spray.
Threat often enough
One complaint said that the spray was pumped into a car containing a small child. Another said that it was used on moped drivers going full speed.
Police said that the public has become more aware of the effects of the spray, and that threatening to use it is often enough to get a subject to calm down.