Shooting injures three in Copenhagen suburb

Police are trying to determine if a shooting incident that left three wounded is gang-related but say that the victims are "not particularly communicative".

Shooting injures three in Copenhagen suburb
Photo: Colourbox
Three young men were shot and injured Monday night in the western Copenhagen suburbs, police said. 
According to police, there were five men in a car that was shot at by an unknown assailant at an intersection in Ballerup just before 11pm on Monday. Three of the men were hit and were taken to Herlev Hospital. 
Two of the shooting victims were later released from hospital, while the third is expected to undergo a procedure on Tuesday. According to police, none of the victims’ injuries were life-threatening. 
Police did not immediately speculate on motive but said they were looking in to whether it was gang-related. 
“We don’t yet have personal information on the three men so we haven’t had the opportunity to research whether they have connections to gangs or biker groups. The injured parties have thus far not been particularly communicative,” Steffen Østergaard of Copenhagen Vestegn Police told Ritzau shortly after 12am on Tuesday
Police said that the two men who were in the vehicle but not hit were questioned and released.  
Ballerup is located in Copenhagen’s Vestegn area, a collection of western suburbs that according to figures from Statistics Denmark have the highest rates of violent crime in Denmark

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Denmark’s sexual consent law ‘used as intended’ in first two years

A review of Denmark’s new sexual consent law by the country’s Director of Public Prosecutions (Rigsadvokat) has concluded that it has been used as intended in the two years since it was brought into the statutes. 

Denmark’s sexual consent law ‘used as intended’ in first two years

The law, which requires both parties to give their consent before sexual intercourse takes place, came into force on January 1st, 2021.

It means that sex with a person who has not given consent will automatically be considered rape in legal trials.

READ ALSO: Danish parliament passes landmark bill to reform law around rape (2020)

“During the past two years, we have seen convictions in cases where the victim has been passive during a sexual assault, which is within the newly criminalized area, where the starting point for the punishment level is one year and two months,”  Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jessika Auken said in a press statement.

In other cases, courts have found that the accused was not aware that consent had not been given. In those cases, the accused was acquitted, Auken said.

“Our review of case law shows that the law has been applied as intended,” she said.

Under the previous law, conviction under rape laws required the victim to have been subjected to force, violence or threats or to have been in a state of defencelessness.

The number of rape convictions has increased since the new law took effect, as has the number of reports of rape and charges pressed. There were 1,396 reports of rape filed with police in 2020, the last year under the old law, compared to 2,172 in 2021. Charges increased from 1,079 to 1,695 in the same period.

The number of convictions was between 178 and 255 per year in the period 2018-2020 according to newspaper Politiken, rising to 309 in the first half of 2022 alone.

The law has not been universally welcomed, with sceptics having expressed concern that it could lead to false accusations.

These concerns are not backed by research, an expert from the University of Copenhagen has said.

“It could of course occur that somebody regrets having sex with somebody, but research does not support that this should be a cause of false police reports,” law professor Trine Baumbech said in a news article on the University of Copenhagen website in February.

The chairperson of the National Association of Defence Lawyers (Landsforeningen for Forsvarsadvokater), Kristian Mølgard, said in previous comments to broadcaster DR that the law could be a problem if it moves the burden of proof to the accused.

“You risk convicting someone who objectively shouldn’t be convicted because they were unable demonstrate in a sufficiently convincing way that they did nothing wrong in a situation,” he said.

The Public Prosecutions office focused on the new law until the end of 2022 with the objective of observing how it is used in practice and the extent of sentencing. This can give prosecutors a better understanding of how the concept of consent is applied under the law, Auken said.