Danish News Round-Up: Police battling online crime with the help of young gamers

The police have taken to playing the likes of Fortnight and Counter-Strike to connect with young gamers: a good source for tip-offs about online criminal activities.

In the spring, the authorities formed an ‘online patrol’ to regularly play and establish connections.

Tackling abuse, fraud and hate speech
“We cannot be everywhere, and therefore we are completely dependent on the tips and messages we receive from citizens who are able to guide us in the right directions,” explained one of the patrol’s members, William Karlberg, to DR.

“The young people know what is going on, and they live a large part of their lives online. They encounter internet crime, whether it is digital sexual abuse, fraud or hate speech.”

Kontanthjaelp recipients who shopped in Germany get their benefits back
Some 31 benefit recipients in Aabenraa Municipality in the south of Denmark have received kontanthjaelp payments initially withdrawn because they travelled to Germany without permission. The sum amounted to 240,000 kroner. In future, benefit recipients will be permitted to travel to Germany to go shopping, STAR, the agency for the labour Market and recruitment, ruled on Friday. Accordingly, all cases in which payments have been withheld are being reviewed.

Small venues and music acts struggling as ticket sales fall
Music venues are struggling amid falling ticket sales due to the threat of a recession, according to Danmarks Statistik data. Only the big names are immune to the downfall, Dansk Live tells DR. “Many venues are haveing a hard time,” confirmed Esben Marcher, its head of secretariat. A Dansk Live survey carried out in the autumn revealed that 72 percent of music venues have sold fewer tickets in the past six months. The 16-24 age bracket is less likely to cut back than older age groups.

Increase in the number of economically vulnerable people
Some 7.4 percent of the population are now economically vulnerable, according to Danmarks Statistik – an increase from 7.0 percent last year. The increase means 422,000 people are in the group, compared to 398,000 last year. Accordingly, many are struggling with unexpectedly high bills for energy and other essentials to the extent that 20 percent of the population would struggle to pay an unforeseen cost of 10,000 kroner.

Rise in retirement rate over the summer
More people are retiring early, according to data from statistikbanken.dk. At the end of the third quarter, the number of pensioners stood at 747,900 – a net increase of 7,100 since June 30. During the three months, some 3,000 took early retirement – fuelled by a 26 percent rise in the number of people taking advantage of the Arne pension. Meanwhile, other data revealed that the number of net unemployed persons increased by 2,500 during the third quarter, the number of people on sickness benefits rose by 3,900, and the number of people on SU fell by 2,600 to 297,000.

Increase in syphilis cases last year
There were 634 syphilis infections in 2021 – an increase of 188 compared to 2020, which itself was the highest incidence year since 2000, according to Statens Serum Institut.  Syphilis infections are particularly escalating among men who have unprotected sex with men, who accounted for 493 of the 634 cases. Women accounted for 52 cases – up from 37 in 2020. The most common symptoms are rashes and sores on the body. Fever and headaches are common if it is not treated with antibiotics. In extreme cases, it can cause an infection of the brain or the spine. Symptom cases are also quickly escalating in Greenland.