Danish PM: “Immigration behind gang crime”

Published 16 September 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Mette Frederiksen is convinced that tougher sentences are part of the solution.

The Danish government is concerned about how gang crime is spreading across Denmark. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen admits that the crime is largely an immigration-related problem and that men with immigrant backgrounds “especially from certain countries are heavily overrepresented” in crime statistics.

The government has declared that it intends to combat gang crime in the country with 39 new measures, including tougher sentences, more phone tapping, and additional civilian surveillance. They also promise that the penalties for knife attacks and financial crimes will be increased, and that the police will gain access to coercive measures and surveillance tools they previously lacked.

Danish governments have for more than a decade tried to combat gang crime with various action programs – so far without any significant success.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is clear on that Denmark’s generous immigration policy is the cause of gang crime and that men with immigrant backgrounds “especially from certain countries are heavily overrepresented” in crime statistics.

Left-leaning politicians and researchers have long claimed that harsher sentences do not help to curb crime – a notion that Frederiksen dismisses as nonsense.

– It’s clear that it makes a difference when a certain percentage of the most hardened criminals are in prison instead of on the street. In that sense, we just have to use common sense, she says.

The latest major gang war in Denmark involves a conflict between the banned group Loyal to Familia and Hells Angels. As recently as August 26, a prospective member of Hells Angels was shot dead in Christiania, and the Danish government now fears a violent development similar to that in Sweden.

We must not have Swedish conditions in Denmark

– We must not have Swedish conditions in Denmark, said Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard during a press conference.

Finance Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen was on the same track and argued that “one doesn’t need to look further than across the Öresund to see how bad it can go if we don’t take strong action against gang crime.”

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Even though the Danes are concerned about gang crime in the country, it should be noted that the situation in many ways is much worse in Sweden. In 2022, for example, there were 64 fatal shootings in Sweden, but only a handful in Denmark.