Copenhagen residents feel safer than they did a year ago

While Nørrebro has improved, Valby has taken a wrong turn

Copenhagen has become more family-friendly and less crime-ridden in recent years, according to a security index survey, Tryhedsindeks 2014, which the City Council released today, Berlingske reports. 

Partially based on police statistics, the survey asked 8,000 residents how safe or unsafe they felt living in the city. In 2009, 10.9 percent of citizens felt unsafe in their neighbourhood, while 22 percent did not feel safe walking the streets at night. In 2014, those numbers fell to 7.1 percent and 17 percent.

Gangs still a problem
In general, the city is getting safer, but it is not without its rough parts.

While gangs still linger in the Nørrebro neighbourhood, people living in that area actually feel safer that they did a year ago. Compared to 2013, more residents complain of high crime in Valby, where the number of break-ins has risen by 50 percent over the last year.

The report concluded that increased security efforts were necessary in five parts of the city: inner Nørrebro; western Valby; the area between Rådhuspladsen, the City Hall square, and Kgs Nytorv (a hotspot for nightlife violence); the Vesterbro area surrounding the Central Station where drug dealers and prostitutes are highly visible; and the area of Christianshavn around and including the freetown of Christiania, the city's cannabis hub.

No ghettos
Mayor Frank Jensen commented that the crime-prevention methods have worked and that the police should continue their strategy of jailing hardcore gang members in Nørrebro.

However, he also stressed that the city shouldn't become divided into good and bad neighbourhoods.

"If Nørrebro were a independent council, it would be the poorest in the country," Jensen told Berlingske.

"If we really want to increase security, we have to make sure that the city won't be split between wealthy and poor neighbourhoods."

The mayor wants to change the law so the City Council can demand different types of property ownership in certain areas to avoid them from turning into ghettos.