Record number of complaints against police

Upward trend of citizens unhappy with cops continues

Complaints against various police departments to Den Uafhængige Politiklagemyndighed, the independent police complaints authority, rose again in 2013. The authority received nearly 2,100 complaints and inquiries from citizens who are unhappy with police work – more than 300 more than the year before.

“The increase we saw from 2011 to 2012 continued last year,” Kirsten Dyrman, the head of the authority.

Complaints about traffic cases increased 11 percent last year, and complaints by citizens about the police's handling of criminal cases rose nine percent. The largest spike in reports to the authority came in the 'other' category, which usually involve complaints about individual officers. Those are passed on to the district where the officer in question works.

READ MORE: Police refuse to identify themselves

Behaviour the biggest issue
Complaints about the behaviour of individual officers make up the majority of the reports.“Most often, citizens are unhappy with the way the police have spoken to them, or feel that they have used excessive force,” said Dyrman.

Dyrman said that the rise in reports could be be due to people realising that the authority exists. It was established in January 2012 after complaints that the previous method, which involved having complaints against the police investigated by the Justice Ministry, was not independent enough.