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Copenhagen to use '100 security cameras' to combat gang crime

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Copenhagen to use '100 security cameras' to combat gang crime
File photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix Denmark
10:45 CET+01:00
100 security cameras are to be installed at 50 different locations in Copenhagen as part of an anti-gang initiative.

Funding for the increased surveillance comes from an anti-gang crime initiative announced by the government last year, reports DR P4 København.

According to a memo sent by finance departments within the municipality, the cameras will be installed at locations where “experience shows there are regular episodes of violence and disturbances”.

“Surveillance can be useful against gang crime. So we are positive. But there must be a particular reason for its use,” Social Democrat political spokesperson for Copenhagen Jonas Bjørn said to DR P4.

Security cameras "must be used with moderation,” Bjørn added.

Conservative Party counterpart Jacob Næsager echoed those sentiments.

“We should take care that we don't end up with every street being watched. But if it is specifically justified by police, 100 cameras is completely fine,” Næsager said to DR P4.

But cameras and surveillance are not necessarily the best way to reduce crime, according to Peter Lauritsen, a professor in information science at Aarhus University.

“It is not possible to argue that camera surveillance has a great preventative effect. There is nothing to suggest a reduction in serious crime when camera surveillance is introduced,” Lauritsen said to DR P4.

But the measure could nonetheless help police, the professor added.

“Police will be given a resource for solving crime. If they have those resources, it may be the case that this can be useful,” he said.

The left-wing Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) party said it opposed the measure.

“This is about the kind of society we want to live in. Whether we want to live in a society of surveillance or in a society where we actually solve our problems. The Red-Green Alliance prefers the latter,” the party's municipal finance committee member for Copenhagen Charlotte Lund told DR P4.

Copenhagen Police have not confirmed the locations at which the cameras will be installed.

READ ALSO: 60 percent of Danes want more surveillance: survey

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