Fewer break-ins and injuries reported over holidays

Nationwide figures are down, but tragedy still befell some amid the celebrations

The number of burglaries nationwide appears to be down, according to police. Although the final tally won’t be known until later this month, police report that so far, this year’s numbers are an improvement from 2011. As of December 26, police had responded to 749 break-ins nationwide, reported between December 24 and December 26.

Central and West Zealand Police say that 80 burglaries were committed during the period, compared with 111 last year.

South Jutland Police registered a “significantly lower” number of holiday break-ins. According to police spokesperson Frits Lund, some 39 break-ins were reported this year, compared with 95 in 2011.

In Copenhagen, there were 108 burglaries, roughly the same number as last year, according to inspector Tommy Laursen.

Once an item is stolen, it's highly unlikely the owner will ever see it again. Even with improvements in recent years, police solved only 8 percent of burglaries in 2011, according to security firm Secubi.

But some of those whose belongings were taken may actually get them back, thanks to a resident who tipped cops off to the location of a Copenhagen warehouse crammed with stolen property.

“There were flat screen TVs, laptops, jewellery and other personal belongings,” Laursen told DR News. “Some of it comes from burglaries committed over Christmas.”

Copenhagen, however, wasn’t the only place where people pitched in to give police a helping hand.

In Silkeborg, a man reported unusual activity at his neighbour’s house. The tip led to the arrest of two Aarhus men on burglary charges, according to Bjarne Askholm from the Central Jutland Police.

The majority of break-ins occurred in single-family homes, and most of what was stolen were easily sellable items such as iPads, computers, jewellery and cash, according to the police.

One family in northern Copenhagen also reportedly lost everything this Christmas – not to burglars, but to a Christmas Eve fire that burned their Klampenborg home to the ground.

Just after 9pm on December 24, police were alerted that the family’s Christmas tree was in flames.

“They may have left the tree unsupervised while there were candles burning,” Mogens Mogensen, from the North Zealand Police, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “They came back to find it burning and tried to put it out. They couldn’t extinguish the flames, so they went outside and called for help.”

Fire brigades from both Gentofte and Lyngby responded to the scene. No one was hurt in the blaze, but the house suffered extensive damage.

As the holidays came to a close, emergency responders reported a “relatively quiet” New Year’s Eve.

“The rainy weather probably helped,” Klaus Kristiansen, a spokesperson for Falck, which operates fire services for a number of councils, told Jyllands-Posten. “But the number of New Year's fires has been decreasing in recent years, so maybe people are getting better at taking care of each other.”

Despite the improving statistics, a number of homes and businesses went up in flames on New Year’s Eve.

A bakery in Ølstykke, a scout meeting house in Fredensborg and a home in Skævinge were all apparently set alight by New Year’s Eve fireworks.

The scout house was completely destroyed and the Skævinge home also suffered heavy damage. No one was hurt in any of the fires.

Investigators could not immediately identify the cause of any of the fires, but each one happened just after midnight, and fireworks are being investigated as the principal cause of all three incidents.

Across the country, 113 fireworks-related injuries were reported. Eight of those were serious eye injuries requiring hospitalisation. Those numbers were consistent with past years.

The new year was also accompanied by at least one violent attack in Copenhagen.

A 22-year-old man was stabbed in the chest with a knife at the nightclub Krasnapolsky. Police were called to the scene shortly after 1am on New Year’s Day.

“He was stabbed once, and the wound was not serious, but it did require surgery,” Dannie Rise, a spokesperson for the Copenhagen Police, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Police said the reasons for the attack were unknown, but that they were speaking with witnesses and looking at CCTV surveillance videos taken on the morning in question in order to identify a suspect.

“Two to three people were seen running from the site, and we are trying to locate them,” said Rise.

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