Denmark to deport Romanian woman for begging

A 63-year-old Romanian woman was on Tuesday sentenced to 20 days in jail followed by deportation for asking passersby for spare change in the Copenhagen district of Nørrebro.

Denmark to deport Romanian woman for begging
Nine people have now been convicted under Denmark's new anti-begging legislation. Photo: Shutterstock/Iris
Her sentence marks the first deportation under newly-tightened anti-begging legislation that was implemented last month by Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen.
It is not, however, the first time Denmark has sent someone out of the country for begging. In November, a Danish court sentenced a Slovakian woman to 40 days in prison and ordered her to be deported for begging on the street in what was the country's first ruling of its kind. 
But Poulsen has declared war on begging in Danish streets and the ordered deportation of the Romanian woman is the first since his new tougher rules came into effect. 
Prosecutor Marlene Beynon successfully convinced Copenhagen City Court that the 63-year-old woman posed a serious threat to Denmark, a condition that must be met in order to deport an EU citizen. 
“Her behaviour is continuous and systematic. It has an adverse effect on all of the passersby who need to respond to her begging,” Beynon said according to news agency Ritzau’s report
The prosecution further argued that the woman “bothered the public” by “attempting to make eye contact” while holding out a cup at Nørrebro Station. 
The 63-year-old told the court that she has been in and out of Denmark for 15 years. She said that she begs on the streets of Copenhagen in order to support her seven children back in Romania. 
“I have a lot of kids there. They eat out of the garbage can,” she said, according to Politiken’s report
The woman had been convicted of begging two times before, which the court said played a significant role in her sentencing on Tuesday. 
Her deportation comes with a six-year reentry ban.
Three others were also found guilty of begging on Tuesday at Copenhagen City Court, bringing the total number of people convicted under the new anti-begging legislation to nine. 


Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Crime in Copenhagen’s hippie enclave of Christiania is increasing, police in the capital say following a number of drugs-related arrests.

Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Copenhagen Police arrested three men on Saturday for selling cannabis on Pusher Street in the alternative enclave of Christiania, as they continue their efforts to stamp out the area’s former open-air cannabis market. 

According to police, 875 people were arrested for selling cannabis in the first 11 months of 2022, more than in any other year over the past four years. 

A possible explanation for the increase in arrests could be that the rewards for operating hash stands have receded, according to a police spokesperson.

“It is extremely unattractive to stand out there, and therefore a lot of new people come in who have no idea what it is all about. Many of them come from outside the catchment area, and some of them are peripherally associated with a criminal group,” Simon Hansen, head of a Copenhagen Police special unit, told newspaper Politiken.

“It’s a bit – in inverted commas – ‘easier’ for us to catch these people,” he said. 

Around half of the stalls in the street are linked to various gangs and biker gangs, such as Satudarah, Bandidos, Hells Angels and Loyal To Familia, with the rest run by people living in Christiania, the Berlingske newspaper reported earlier this month.

The trend of rising crime occurs against a background of potential housing develop in Christiania, as the enclave’s residents decide on a plan to put affordable housing in the area.

Copenhagen Police last year told news wire Ritzau that the majority of people who are arrested within Christiania come from socially underprivileged or marginalised backgrounds.

They are exploited in gang and biker circles, resulting in them in some cases operating the illicit hash market stalls, according to the police.

Conflicts between organised crime groups have reportedly become more frequently aired in the Pusher Street market.

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