A week’s worth of parties in the northern Jutland of city of Aalborg culminated on Saturday night with one final blow-out.
But the conclusion of the Aalborg Carnival, attended by an estimated 65,000 people, was marred by three reported rapes and two reports of attempted rape.
North Jutland Police said on Sunday that all five cases had been identified and that arrests had been made, but many took offence with comments made by a police spokesman.
“The general picture is that it has been a nice and calm and good party, and that these here rape reports are thrown in on top is a bit of a shame because it sort of ruins the picture of the good atmosphere that was at the carnival,” North Jutland Police’s Karsten Højrup Kristensen told TV2 Nord.
The rapes were reported by female victims aged 22, 23 and 36 while the two attempted rapes were reported by a 16-year-old girl and a 24-year-old woman.
In further comments, Kristensen said that the rapes gave a “muddied picture” of the Aalborg Carnival.
“Five reports are of course five too many, there is no doubt about that. That is what can happen though when there are so many people gathered together and alcohol is flowing. Then sometimes the perpetrator can lose their good sense in a way. It’s a shame that it gives this muddied picture because it was a nice and calm carnival without any trouble to speak of and then come these five reports in, which should of course be investigated and cleared up,” he told TV2 Nord.
Kristensen’s comments led to a social media backlash and accusations that he was blaming the victims.
On Monday, he apologized for what he said.
“Regarding the comments on carnival/rapes. I apologize for my choice of words – no intention to belittle rapes – on the contrary,” he wrote on Twitter.
— Karsten H Kristensen (@karsten94587044) May 25, 2015
Speaking to BT, he expanded on his apology.
“Five rapes are too many. Even one is too many. The comments I made were given during a video interview. They were then written into an article, where they had the wrong sound. There is of course no excuse and I apologize,” he said.
Kristensen said that North Jutland Police were working hard to investigate all five incidents.