Protests drive foreigners from Sandvad, met with more opposition in Vrå

When the Danish Immigration Service issued its plan to move the residents to North Jutland, citizens in Sandvad felt relieved, while it quickly created strong reactions among local residents in Vrå

A plan to move a group of foreigners from Sandvad to Vrå has to come to a standstill, reported DR.

According Udlændingestyrelsens, the Danish immigration service, the group’s presence in Sandved had triggered local protests, which ultimately led to the plan to move them to a country estate southwest of Vrå in North Jutland by October 30. 

However, a city council member realized that municipal code permitted the site to host no more than seven people, and the authorities have now had to reconsider the plan.

Allegations of criminality and violence
The group of foreigners had been housed in Sandvad’s asylum center since November 2021, when fears arose over the alleged criminal backgrounds of some of them. Tina Lundgaard, regional leader for the Red Cross, assured citizens at the time that the individuals had ‘special needs’, but were not criminals. 

However, Ekstra Bladet later reported that there were former criminals among the group, and Udlændingestyrelsens announced there could be residents who had previously been convicted of dangerous crimes. 

Ekstra Bladet also reported that several of the foreigners had behaved violently, and the residence housing the group reported several incidents of violence, threats, and harassment to authorities.

Many people in Sandvad said they felt relieved when the decision was made to relocate the group, but it also triggered outrage among residents of Vrå. 

“We do not think it is our turn to take responsibility”
Rikke Biegel, a local resident in Vrå quickly organised an event via Facebook encouraging citizens to attend an information meeting attended by a representative of Botilbuddet Nordenfjords – the company responsible for housing the incoming group of foreigners.

The meeting, which was meant to take place last Wednesday, was cancelled. Nonetheless, more than 100 citizens showed up to express their dissatisfaction. 

“We do not think it is our turn to take responsibility,” Rikke Biegel said to DR, noting that Vrå has already housed both Syrian and Ukranian refugees.