Police officers return to Christiania after violent scenes

A police raid on the Pusher Street market in Copenhagen resulted in violent confrontations on Thursday.

Police officers return to Christiania after violent scenes
Pusher Street earlier this week. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Ritzau Scanpix

Law enforcers returned on Friday to again raid the market, which sells marijuana, for the seventh consecutive day.

“Things went smoothly and calmly,” said Deputy Chief Superintendent Lars Ole-Karlsen, who leads the special unit tasked with the raids.

That is in contrast to the violent scenes that accompanied Thursday’s raids.

The flare-up began around 4:30pm when police tried to arrest four suspected hash traders, Ritzau reports.

Police say that around 100 people were involved in the disturbance, in which six officers were hit by rocks, resulting in one receiving hospital treatment.

Up to 30 masked individuals later confronted a police patrol on the nearby Refshalevej road.

The group was reportedly armed with blunt weapons and clubs, and police officers returned to their vehicle out of concern for their own safety.

“We have not yet been able apprehend the culprits,” Ole-Karlsen said.

A video recorded during the earlier confrontation, showing violent action by the police officers, was published on social media on Thursday.

In the video, an unarmed woman can be seen being pushed hard in the chest by an officer, resulting in her falling into a bicycle.

The incident can be seen around halfway through the clip below.

Police have encouraged the woman to contact them in relation to the incident.

“I have seen the video and it doesn’t look good. We must naturally look into the woman’s role, and if she is an unconnected passer-by, that is not good at all,” Ole-Karlsen said.

Stalls on Pusher Street commonly sell cannabis and related products and are regularly raided in police clampdowns on Christiania, an area within Copenhagen originally established by hippie squatters in 1971.

Since the end of last week, police have increased their efforts in a crackdown against the marijuana market.

READ ALSO: After five days of raids, Christiania hash traders stop rebuilding market


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.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen police to ban people with criminal records from nightlife areas