Precrime arrests soaring in Denmark

Since preventative arrests became legal in 2014, police have been taking advantage of the policy

The number of ‘preventative arrests’ – taking suspects into custody before they commit a crime, which has been permitted since 2004 – has soared in the last three years.

Police often use ‘administrative detention’ at big events like the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, where more than 2,000 demonstrators were held in custody on the street.

However, in the last three years, there haven’t been any major events, and yet the numbers are rising, according to a review conducted by the think-tank Justitia based on figures from the national police department Rigspolitiet.

With liberty and justice for … some
In 2014, some 2,383 people were preventatively detained. The numbers for 2015 have not been tallied up yet, but the upward trend looks set to continue.

“The trend in the numbers and court cases in which demonstrators or others have been preventatively detained suggest that the police’s interpretation of the law does not place enough emphasis on civil liberties, including the freedom of expression and assembly,” Justisia head Jacob Mchangama told Berlingske.

Søren Pind, the justice minister, said that he “has confidence that the police are applying the rules correctly”.