Denmark’s poor burglary record attributed to nation’s high number of detached houses

Danes see more break-ins per capita than Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and England/Wales

Denmark has had the worst record in northern Europe for home burglaries for several years now, and a new report commissioned by Denmark’s crime prevention council, DKR, is trying to identify the root cause.

The report (here in Danish) reveals that one of the principal reasons for the many home burglaries is the high number of detached homes located close to one another, which only house one family each.

“Many of us live in detached housing, residing closely together in rural areas. Unfortunately, these are good conditions for thieves,” said Henrik Dam, the head of DKR.

“The report clearly shows that Denmark is challenged by its high number of detached homes, and we must make an extra effort to protect ourselves. The best way is to secure our doors and windows and to help keep an eye on one another’s homes.”

READ MORE: Amager tops Copenhagen’s burglary list

Getting better
With around 32,000 private home burglaries a year, Denmark ranks very highly per capita compared to other nations in northern Europe.

From 1980-2015, the burglary rate per 1,000 citizens was higher in Denmark than in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and England/Wales.

The good news is that things are moving in the right direction, from almost 9.0 burglaries per 1,000 citizens in 2009 to under 6.0 in 2015.

The report, produced by two University of Copenhagen researchers Peter Kruize and David Sorensen, also revealed that when it comes to the burglary of apartments, Denmark didn’t stand out compared to its neighbours.

Figures from the City Police in December revealed that most burglaries in the Capital Region take place in the Amager/Ørestad and Brønshøj/Husum areas.

Burglary rate per 1,000 people from 1980-2015 (photo: DKR)