Government to toughen up border control

Better technology will help bust criminals

Yesterday in her annual opening-of-parliament speech, the prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt announced that the government would toughen up its border control in a bid to get to grips with illegal immigration and human trafficking.

Shortly afterwards, the Justice Ministry revealed that it intends to implement a new intelligent and analysis-based border control.

"We won't stand for people coming to Denmark to commit crime and we want to send a strong signal that these people are not welcome," Karen Hækkerup, the justice minister, said in a press release.

"So we'll provide the border police with new and effective tools such as automatic numberplate scanners. We'll also tighten security at the airports to make it more targeted and consistent."

READ MORE: Government reveals plans as parliament opens new year

Getting much from the Dutch
The ministry is looking into allowing the police to generally stop and check people in the border areas and airports to ascertain identity, nationality and residential status. The checks will take place on buses, trains, planes and ships and will help prevent illegal immigration.

The border control model is inspired by legislation from the Netherlands that the EU Commission has urged its member states to try to mimic.

Fact Box

– The police will be able to make checks based on general information – such as via the numberplate scanners – that show whether there is a risk that a foreigner is in Denmark illegally. The police will also be able to undertake preventative checks to prevent crime.

– The police will be able to better check a passenger arriving by plane from other Schengen countries, as is the case with people crossing the border by train, bus and car.

– To improve their control, the police will set up numberplate scanners and mobile cameras in the border areas to help them gather information.

– In future, the police control will be analysis-based and the new technology will help provide information that can lead to better and more targeted control.