Hate crime study ordered by government

The government wants to better understand the scope of hate crimes in Denmark so that it can create more effective and targeted initiatives to tackle the issue

Too little is known about the extent of hate crimes in Denmark according to the social affairs minister, Karen Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), who has called for a new study to be carried out to examine the issue.

According to the latest figures from the domestic intelligence agency PET, in 2011 there were 195 reported crimes that were definitely motivated by hate for the victim’s religion, race, political stance or sexuality.

“Hate crimes are an expression of extreme intolerance,” Hækkerup stated in a press release. “They pose not only a threat to the safety of individuals but are also an attack on democracy, which is built upon ensuring freedom and equality for all residents.”

She added that efforts to tackle hate crimes are hindered by the fact that there is currently too little data covering the scope of the issue.

“What is the actual scope [of hate crimes]? Who are the victims and why do so few report the crimes? Who are the perpetrators and what are their motivations? These are some of the questions I want answered,” Hækkerup stated.

Statistics about hate crimes vary widely. Police crime statistics contain far fewer reports of hate crimes than expected based upon surveys of the victims of crime that are carried out by the Justice Ministry and human rights organisations.

A 2011 report on hate crimes written by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (IMR) concluded that “Denmark does not offer effective legal protection from hate crimes."

They recommend that the police and PET become better at noting in their reports when a crime could be motivated by hate. Their research also suggests that victims don’t report crimes because they don’t feel like the police take the problem seriously.

Some 75 percent of hate crimes reported in 2011 were motivated either by race or politics (35 and 40 percent respectively) while the remainder were motivated by the victim's sexuality or religion.

The Social and Immigration Ministry have put the study out to tender and should find an organisation to take on the task before the summer.




  • Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    A fire broke out at a Novo Nordisk site in Bagsværd on Wednesday morning. There have been no casualties, but the fire is “extensive and spreading”, and Novo’s administrative building “cannot be saved” say emergency services.

  • Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Publisher Jesper Skeel and Korean BBQ restaurant chain owner Zen discuss the ups and downs of independent entrepreneurship and how to crack the Copenhagen market, from both an international and Danish perspective.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    As popular protests of the Israeli offensive in Gaza erupt around the world and in the media, from university campuses to the streets of major cities, discord is escalating between demonstrators, the general public, authorities and politicians.

  • Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Just one day after the EU finally landed its New Pact on Migration and Asylum following four years of tough negotiations, a group of 15 member states, led by Denmark, issued a joint call for greater efforts to outsource migration policy and  prevent migrants from arriving at EU borders in the first place.

  • How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    Many of us Danes, despite being well-educated and well-travelled, often lack experience in navigating cultural differences at work. This can lead to ‘cultural bypassing’, where we believe we are at a level of enlightenment where we no longer are burdened by the risk of making cross-cultural mistakes. As their manager, you can help your Danish colleagues by acknowledging cultural differences in the workplace.

  • Denmark’s Climate Minister wants to expand green agriculture bill

    Denmark’s Climate Minister wants to expand green agriculture bill

    Legislation to cut the sector’s emissions could “kill two birds with one stone” if it also combats fertiliser run-off in Denmark’s marine environment, says Climate Minister Lars Aagard, marking a potential shift in the green negotiations.