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'Hundreds' of rapes 'hidden' by Danish police

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Photo: Per Olesen/Flickr
10:52 CET+01:00
Police statistics have hidden a huge number of reports of rape, with as many as 700 per year being filed incorrectly.

Denmark recorded an average of 395 rape cases every year up to 2014. But an investigation by the Ministry of Justice has revealed the actual number to be closer to 1,100 annually, Metroxpress reported on Thursday.

The majority of the ‘missing’ reports were hidden in police statistics by giving them investigation numbers that did not classify them as rape cases. A number of police departments confirmed to Metroxpress that this was standard practice in cases where there was doubt as to whether a rape had actually occurred.

Though this practice was discontinued in November 2015, an unknown number of rape cases has failed to be recorded in official statistics.

Hanne Baden Nielsen, director of the Center for Sexual Assault (Center for Seksuel Overgreb), called the situation "astonishing".

“It is a huge number, but it doesn’t surprise me that that the actual number is higher than the official one,” she told Metroxpress.

Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) MP Pernille Skipper said she wasn't surprised by the revelation either. 

“Unfortunately, this reflects what we are hearing from women that tell us that the police are sending them home,” she told Metroxpress.

Justice Minister Søren Pind said that a new practice will be implemented in order to improve the accuracy of statistics, but denied that the real figures had been concealed intentionally.

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“We are bringing in a monitoring of this area. If any case is suspended, reasons must be given, so now we will get a useful statistic. We are going to make a real effort in this area,” Pind told Metroxpress.

“But I don’t think anyone in the system actually wanted to hide these things,” the minister added.

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