Local Round-Up: MPs condemn excessive sentence handed out to woman guilty of inciting January riot in Copenhagen

In another crime news, a man suspected of mowing down and killing a five-year-old last October faces multiple charges

MPs have condemned a two-year prison sentence handed out to a 30-year-old woman who was today found guilty of inciting violence at a Men in Black demonstration in central Copenhagen on January 9.

In the woman’s defence, it was argued she was a last-minute replacement for a speaker at the gathering and that her calls to “smash up the city” were not meant to be taken literally.

Double the normal penalty
In most cases like this, somebody would face a maximum of one year in prison, but prosecutors argued for more in light of the anti-government nature of the demo and the extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, in the ensuing violence, 16 police officers were injured – mostly by missiles such as stones and fireballs.

Stiffer penalties than normal have already been handed out to those committing financial fraud in a bid to get their hands on corona compensation they were not entitled to.

People get less for incest, points out former minister
However, MPs from both sides of the political spectrum have been swift to say that it is a double punishment unworthy of Denmark’s rule of law.

Radikale, SF and Dansk Folkeparti were all critical, as was the former economy and interior minister, Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille, who pointed out that there “are people who have received less for incest and violence against children”.

The woman is considering an appeal.

Driver faces multiple charges in connection with five-year-old’s death
A 21-year-old man, who was the subject of a citywide manhunt last October after a five-year-old girl was run over and killed in Frederiksberg, has been charged with negligent manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs, driving whilst banned, and fleeing the scene of an accident. The girl’s mother was also hit on the pavement of Peter Bangs Vej where the pair were walking.

Tivoli posts large loss for 2020 as visitor numbers decline by 3 million
Three million fewer people visited Tivoli in 2020 compared to 2019. Overall, the themepark made a loss of 143 million kroner. In 2019 it made a profit of 167 million. It had just 1.63 million visitors, and revenue more than halved to 478 million kroner. It was open for 199 days, compared to 270 days in 2019, and it cut 20 percent of its employees: around 440 jobs. Tivoli will open again on Saturday March 27. For 2021, it is anticipating a loss of 75-100 million kroner. 

Close to 20 in jail after huge police operation in Christiania on Wednesday
Some 19 men and women remain in custody following a police operation targeting the cannabis trade in Christiania. For several months, the freetown’s Pusher Street and Green Light District have been subject to a residence ban. It is possible to pass through, but not loiter. However, the police contend that an information stand, which was set up to tell people that Christiania was closed due to the coronavirus, was in fact selling cannabis. Raids on Wednesday yielded 19 arrests, and it is thought those detained will remain in custody for a further 27 days.

Normal service at the city libraries – almost
Since Monday it has been possible for Copenhageners to once again borrow books from the libraries. Prior to March 8, the service via bibliotek.kk.dk was only available to researchers, students and schoolchildren. Books can be picked up from Copenhagen Library between 12:00-17:00, Monday-Friday, and from local libraries in the capital between 14:00 and 17:00. However, reservations are necessary.

Seven urban spaces to be car free this summer as part of pilot
City Hall has chosen seven urban spaces to be car-free from June-September 2021 as part of a pilot scheme. Not only will motorists not be able to drive through them, but they will not be able to park on them either. Long-term, the city hopes to decrease parking spaces on the streets of its centre by up to 90 percent, whilst creating a number of green oases. The urban spaces are: Vestegade (will lose 16 spaces), Frederiksholms Kanal east of Slotsholmen (77), Landemærket (18), Skindergade (13), Dyrkøb (19), Klosterstræde-Hyskenstræde-Naboløs (14), and Lille Kongensgade-Store Kirkestræde (9). However, the pilot scheme must be first approved by the Technical and Environmental Committee at its meeting on March 15. 

Nordhavn’s answer to Battersea Power Station to fulfil its potential
More details have been revealed regarding the future use of Svanemølleværket, the huge Nordhavn building that resembles Battersea Power Station in many ways. In 2019, it was revealed the 21,000 sqm building will be the new home of the  Technical Museum of Denmark when it leaves its current home on the outskirts of Helsingør. But there will be room for plenty of other activities, with planners envisaging how Svanemølleværket will become a meeting place for technology and innovation trailblazers from all over the region. 

Temporary housing for students while they search for better digs
City Hall has provided a welcome boost to the annual student housing shortage with news that temporary housing for 180 students will be available by Gl Ellebjerg station in Valby from September 2021. The initiative is aimed at giving the students some breathing space to find something more suitable. Some 45 caravans, each 18 sqm in size, will be able to house four students each. It might sound cramped, but the weekly rent is only 700 kroner, and the students have access to a shared toilet, shower and kitchen.