Copenhagen residents feeling safer

While fewer city residents overall reported feeling unsafe at night, almost a third of Nørrebro residents say they are wary of venturing outdoors after the sun has set

Copenhageners fell increasingly safe in their city, according to this year’s edition of an annual safety report compiled by the city council.

The report, which calculates the city’s safety index by combining police crime data together with a questionnaire given to 8,000 residents, suggested that the city was safer in 2013 than in 2012.

A drop in reported crime contributed significantly to this year's dip, but the average city resident also reported feeling safer now than when the annual report was first published in 2009.

In 2013, only 17.5 percent reported feeling unsafe when outdoors at night, compared to 22 percent of respondents in 2009. Mayor Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne) said that the change is a cautious step in the right direction,

“Even though we should be pleased with the increasing sense of safety, now is not the time to relax,” Jensen told Politiken newspaper. “As we all know, we’ve had an uneasy spring due to the gang problems and a wave of street robberies that were not included in the safety index.”

The index revealed that residents feel significantly more unsafe in some districts of the city such as inner and outer Nørrebro where 27.5 and 33.6 percent of residents reported feeling unsafe when outdoors at night and in the evening.

Inner city residents reported feeling unsafe at night due to the busy nightlife, while in Christianshavn, police efforts against the drug trade in Christiania were a cause of anxiety for residents.

By identifying where residents feel most unsafe city officials say that they are able to target efforts where they are most needed.

“It’s important that we focus on areas that are not doing so well,” deputy mayor for employment and integration, Anna Mee Allerslev (Radikale) told Politiken. “We don’t want a polarised city with some unsafe and insecure areas and other areas that are doing just fine. We can’t be self-satisfied because if we look at Nørrebro for example, 50,000 people live there which is equivalent to a medium to large council.”