Denmark proposes legalisation of pepper spray

The Danish government has drafted a bill that would legalise the use possession of pepper spray in the home.

Denmark proposes legalisation of pepper spray
File photo: JACK GUEZ/Ritzau Scanpix
The proposal comes despite resistance from both the Danish Police Union (Politiforbundet) and the Danish Crime Prevention Council (Det Kriminalpræventive Råd). 
The proposal would allow residents to use pepper spray to protect themselves in the home, for example to ward off intruders. Pepper spray would also be allowed outside the home in some situations, such as when someone has been a victim of stalking or is deemed to face a concrete threat of attack from an ex-partner or family member. 
The use of pepper spray would only be allowed in emergency situations, according to the Justice Ministry. The ministry said that the intention of the bill is to make people feel safer in their homes. In many cases, “the mere awareness of being able to defend oneself will increase the sense of safety and security” according to the text of the proposal. 
Early this year, the Danish Police Union and the Crime Prevention Council both spoke out against legalising pepper spray, arguing that legalisation would make it more likely that the spray ends up in the wrong hands. 
“In general, I am concerned when you begin to arm our population,” Henrik Dam of the Crime Prevention Council said earlier this year. 
He also expressed concern that during a home invasion, criminals would be able to take the pepper spray from homeowners and use it against them. 
The use of pepper spray in Denmark has caused a number of headline-generating incidents in recent years. In early 2016, The Local’s report about a 17-year-old girl who faced police charges for using pepper spray to fend off a sexual assailant went viral. Later that year, the nationalist Danes' Party elicited strong reactions went it took to the streets of Haderslev to hand out cans of what it called ‘refugee spray'. In 2003, current speaker of parliament Pia Kjærsgaard of the Danish People’s Party was fined 3,000 kroner for pulling a can of pepper spray out of her purse and threatening to spray a woman who Kjærsgaard said was harassing her. 


Danish 7-Eleven stores back on grid after ransomware attack

Almost all of 7-Eleven’s 176 Denmark locations are back up and running with the help of a backup system, the company said on Thursday. 

Danish 7-Eleven stores back on grid after ransomware attack

In an email to news wire Ritzau, 7-eleven said that over 96 percent of its convenience stores across Denmark were now in “stable operation”. That corresponds to around 169 stores.

“We have technicians at the remaining stores who are working hard to get them up and running as soon as possible,” the company said in the email.

However, convenience stores at train stations (where you can buy a transport card) were only accepting Dankort (debit card) payments as of Wednesday evening.

All operational stores outside of train stations currently accept Mobile Pay (app) and cash payments, and many can take Visa, Mastercard, and Dankort. 

“We expect that all stores outside of train stations can accept all Visa, Mastercard, and Dankort during the course of tomorrow morning, and all stores at train stations [will be able to] during the course of the week,” the company wrote late on Wednesday.

The convenience store chain was on Monday hit by a cyber attack that forced all of its 176 stores in Denmark to close.

7-Eleven has confirmed that the outage was due to a ransomware attack — hackers demanded money to return access to the company’s data and systems. 

The attack has been reported to police.

The company’s CEO, Jesper Østergaard, told Ritzau he did not know the extent of losses suffered by 7-Eleven as a result of the incident.