More foreigners living in Denmark are being indicted for working illegally, according to new figures from the police-run national foreigner centre, Nationalt Udlændingecenter (NUC).
The NUC blame the rise on increased focus on the issue, but the police believe that the figures can also be attributed to an increase in immigrants who work illegally.
“The rise is a combination of an increase of immigrants coming to Denmark and the Copenhagen Police stepping up efforts to detect illegal work,” Tom Struve, the deputy police commissioner in Copenhagen, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
In 2010, 289 foreigners were indicted for working illegally in Denmark, a figure that more than doubled to 626 in 2013. Furthermore, the number of employers who have been cited for breaking the immigration law also rose from 223 in 2010 to 388 last year.
Tip of the iceberg
A labour union, 3F, said that it had also noticed an increase in illicit work done by immigrants which, according to Shahamak Rezaei, a professor and researcher of society and globalisation at Roskilde University, is only the tip of the iceberg. Figures in Norway indicate that between 20,000 and 25,000 people work illegally.
“Because Denmark and Norway resemble each other in terms of business and society, I wouldn’t be surprised if Denmark had comparable statistics” Rezaei said.
Rezaei went on to reveal that the many illegally-working foreigners often work in terrible conditions and can be paid as little as 25 kroner per hour.