Copenhagen at night: best level of safety in 15 years

Only one in five women and one in ten men feel concerned when they traverse the capital in the evening and early hours

Earlier this year, a survey revealed that Denmark is the eighth safest country for women travelling solo. But still, it’s quite rare for a woman to travel alone.

The same can’t be said of women travelling home alone in Copenhagen – a regular sight on the cycle lanes, pavements and 24-7 transport links.

A little over one in five women feel unsafe travelling alone in the evening and night hours in the capital, according to an Epinion study carried out for Copenhagen Municipality over the turn of the year in which over 4,000 people participated.

The study confirms Copenhageners haven’t felt this safe on their own streets at night since 2009.

Safer despite less lighting
Overall, 87 percent of the city’s population feel safe in general – up from 85 percent in 2022 and the highest rating since 2016 – but this falls to 77 percent at night. Women are twice as likely as men to feel unsafe at night. 

The study demonstrates that recent energy-saving to cut or dim lighting has not had an effect on how safe people feel, as people living in neighbourhoods with more measures do not feel more concerned. 

Likewise, people do not feel more unsafe in parks despite a 50 percent reduction in lighting. 

If people objected to the lighting moderations, the study found, they were more likely to feel unsafe at night. In general, around 70 percent regard the new lighting provisions as sufficient: 65 percent of women and 73 percent of men. 

Room for improvement though
There is always room for improvement, maintains the lord mayor, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen.

“Being able to move freely in your neighbourhood – regardless of whether you live in Nørrebro or Nordvest – without being afraid of violence or abuse is the core of a good life,” she said

Copenhageners still worry about crime, just not so much the risk of being assaulted or mugged. Bike theft is the biggest concern, with 28 percent worried, followed by reckless driving (22) and vandalism (14).

But when it came to being a witness or victim over the last year, reckless driving (38) topped the charts followed by drug dealing (20) and bicycle theft (19). 

In total, there were 40 reported crimes per 1,000 people in 2022, of which a third were theft-related.