Metro bust nets quarter of a million kroner

It won’t be the last time that a large-scale operation focuses on combating illegal drugs and crime in one of Copenhagen’s most popular tourist locations

Police promises to step up their presence in the Christiania area induced a large-scale action in and around Christianshavn Metro station on Thursday afternoon.

A massive police action in co-operation with the Metro succeeded in garnering over 250,000 kroner, narcotics and several arrests, heralding the beginning of an escalated police presence in the Christiania area.

Christianhavns Torv, the square just outside the metro, is known to be a hang-out for local drug pushers, and the police efforts there confiscated a decent haul of narcotics.

Between 13:00 and 18:00, a mass inspection of nearly 6,000 Metro travellers by the Metro staff and police netted 258,275 kroner in ticket fines, as well as 21 joints, 243 grammes of hash and about 8 gams of pot. Several arrests were also made.

“Two people have been arrested for violations – one individual for failing to serve a sentence, and another for having stolen goods and possessing tools to be used for burglary,” Henrik Olesen, the duty chief for Copenhagen Police, told BT newspaper. “We also arrested a person for the sale of 188 gams of hash. He only had 15 gams on him but he also had a detailed account for the rest of the sales.”

Olesen was pleased with the day’s operation and pledged that it wouldn’t be the last time such large-scale enforcement manoeuvres would take place in the area.

“Crime doesn’t pay, not even if it consists of taking the Metro without a valid ticket. This action has been planned for some time. It’s actually something we do every now and then and we will do it again in the future,” Olesen told BT.

The police action comes just days after Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) promised to boost police presence nationwide during her speech at the opening of the new parliamentary year on Tuesday.

Police have faced much recent criticism for being apathetic in the face of crime, such as the illegal drug trade and escalating violence in the Christiania area, and their feeble efforts in tracking and recovering stolen bicycles.

The police argued that they simply don’t have the resources to tackle the issues and must prioritise accordingly.