Government package aims to curb stalking in Denmark – The Post

Government package aims to curb stalking in Denmark

Immediate restraining orders and tougher penalties among seven new initiatives

Waiting times in stalking cases have exploded recently (photo: iStock)
March 8th, 2016 10:42 am| by Christian W

The justice minister, Søren Pind, and the equality minister, Ellen Thrane Nørby, will this afternoon present seven new initiatives geared towards curbing stalking.

Among the initiatives is one that allows the police to issue a restraining order ahead of a decision being made in court.

“We’ve realised that it can be very difficult to get a restraining order and many give up during the process,” Pind told DR Nyheder.

“And now you can produce an immediate restraining order and then investigate the case more thoroughly afterwards – unless there are clear grounds against doing so.”

“The police will intervene faster. There needs to be a tougher and more consistent set of rules for stalking in Denmark. It is a growing problem.”

READ MORE: Huge spike in stalker cases in Denmark

Punishment adequate?
Immediate retraining orders demand less evidence than is normally the case, and they will only be used in uncomplicated cases such as ones that don’t involve children.

Another initiative in the stalking package is for the state prosecutor to look into whether the two-year punishment framework is utilised well enough.

A recent report from the Justice Ministry revealed that the waiting times for stalking cases had increased considerably in recent years to 272 days on average.

The seven stalking initiatives are:

1. Immediate restraining order – instead of waiting for a decision regarding the restraining order, the police can apply for an immediate restraining order

2. Tougher punishment – the state prosecutor will investigate whether the level of punishment in stalking cases is adequate

3. The police will be given guidelines and educated in handling cases concerning stalking

4. Counselling and treatment offers for stalking victims nationwide

5. Education of employees at municipalities and state administrators

6. Nationwide information campaign about stalking in 2017

7. Counselling forum about stalking