A million hours or, if you like, the working lives of ten people – that is how much time the police have spent on guarding Jewish institutions in the capital region since the synagogue on Krystalgade was attacked just under four years ago.
Citing Rigspolitiet figures, BT claims the total has reached 1,022,057 hours, and some police officials think the time has come to consider other precautionary measures that don’t require as much man-power.
The figures are particularly surprising given that Danish Defence has been helping to protect the Jewish institutions since 2017 to alleviate the pressure on the police.
Would better barriers work?
Torben Ryttergaard, a senior officer at Politigården, told the tabloid that it’s a waste of resources – particularly as experienced personnel are required to fulfil the duty – but that the police’s hands are tied by the politicians.
“One could, for example, set up physical barriers or initiate stronger monitoring,” he suggested.
Michael Hagemann Møller, the chair of Københavns Politiforening, agrees.
“Bombproof glass, high fences and more video surveillance could be mounted,” he suggested. “And street like Krystalgade could be completely blocked off – which would eliminate the possibility of bombers.”
Trust in the government
Socialdemokratiet spokesperson Trine Bramsen, strangely perhaps for an opposition MP, appeared to call for greater trust in the political decision-making.
“If there was no real threat, then they wouldn’t use so many resources,” she said. “You have to trust that the decision has been made for professional reasons.”
A BT report in early 2016 claimed that 100 million kroner was spent on guarding the Jewish institutions over the first year, so it’s a fair assumption that the police alone have spent around a quarter of a billion.