Tough talk from Danish government on illegal Roma camps

Concerns are rising about the increasing number of migrants, predominantly from eastern Europe, sleeping rough in and around Copenhagen

In the wake of concerns raised yesterday by Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen about illegal encampments of Roma in the city, the government has announced a number of new initiatives.

Already on April 1, new rules were introduced that enable the authorities to act against such camps. Up until now, Copenhagen Police has cleared more than 25 of them and charged a number of people – the first of whom have been deported.

New tools needed
Now, the justice minister, Søren Pape Poulsen, has brought further initiatives to the table.

“It must be made crystal clear to foreigners arriving here that they must not set up camps in public parks and alongside roads.”’

He added that “we will tighten up even further and there is no doubt that we will imminently go to the full extent of the existing rules in order to tackle this problem.”

Banning orders and fast-tracking deportations
Amongst the new initiatives are plans to strengthen the power of the police to issue banning orders in disorder zones. On the one hand, the zones could be expanded to encompass larger areas than present. The government is also looking into whether police can give banning orders the first time foreigners break the rules. Today, several infringements are necessary.

Together with the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Justice is looking into the possibility of setting up a fast-track system to find out whether a person has a legitimate right to be in the country. At the same time, they want to ensure that those who don’t can be deported effectively and quickly.

Finally, the government will take up the matter with their colleagues in Europe, as the problem is not confined to Denmark alone.