Denmark and Germany launch joint patrols

For the first time ever, Danish and German police officers have been given authorisation to cross the border between the two countries in their work.

Denmark and Germany launch joint patrols
German and Danish police offivers stand in front of their cars in the border area in Padborg, Denmark. In the future, German and Danish police will patrol the border area together. Photo: Benjamin Nol
Police officers from Denmark and Germany will in the future mount joint patrols in frontier areas, both in uniform and in plain clothes, it was agreed on Tuesday.
A corresponding agreement signed in the Danish border town of Padborg would allow police to respond "fast and flexibly" to calls and emergencies, Danish Justice Minister Karen Hækkerup said.
The move was necessary due to the use of new routes by criminals operating across the border, she added.  
“This is yet another step in the joint fight against cross-border crime. The patrols will be based on current crime situations rather than borders,” Hækkerup said. 
Andreas Breitner, the state interior Minister of Schleswig Holstein, said the agreement represented a historic cooperation between the countries.
“This is the first time in the nation’s history that Danish officers can operate in Germany and German officers in Denmark. Today is a historic day and the new cooperation between the police is a milestone,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference. 
Aimed primarily at organized crime rings, the new mode of operation will cover a territory extending 25 kilometres into Denmark and 30 kilometres into Germany. Officers will be armed, but it was stressed that weapons will only be used in emergency situations.
Special joint border analysis teams have been set up to coordinate implementation the new strategy, including standardization of technical equipment, including weapons, issued to units concerned. 

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Denmark says 450 extra police officers will strengthen response to rape, assault and break-ins

Victims of violence and rape in Denmark are Monday today guaranteed police offers will be dispatched to assist if they need acute help.

A file photo of a police motorcycle. A new Danish police guarantee requires officers to be dispatched to attend all reports of assault and rape as well as locations of break-ins.
A file photo of a police motorcycle. A new Danish police guarantee requires officers to be dispatched to attend all reports of assault and rape as well as locations of break-ins. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Police are also now required to attend addresses within 24 hours after reports of a break-in.

The new standards are included in a new “police guarantee” confirmed by the Ministry of Justice in a statement. The guarantee was included in the police funding bill voted through by parliament in December 2020.

Justice minister Nick Hækkerup said that police can meet that guarantee, pointing to the provision in the police bill to add 450 officers to Denmark’s police forces during the course of 2021, 2022 and 2023.

But the trade union for the police, Politiforbundet, says that the total police force must be increased by 5,000 officers if the guarantee is to be lived up to.

“I am completely confident in relation to the extra resources which will be added to the police in coming years being enough to fulfil the guarantee,” Hækkerup said.

“I want to see their calculations,” the minister said in relation to the police union’s number.

“That is equivalent to us needing to increase our police staffing by 50 percent to be able to meet the guarantee we have set,” he added.

The police union has also criticised the guarantee because they see it could result in other tasks being delayed.

“Then there wouldn’t be enough resources for tasks like domestic incidents, traffic accidents and mentally ill member of the public,” the union’s leader Heino Kegel said.

Hækkerup rejected the suggestion resources would be pulled away from other areas.

“It’s not as if this is a completely new task. It’s a task we already undertake,” he said.

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