What to do if you are victim of a Christmas burglary in Denmark?

Despite falling numbers in recent years, Denmark still sees a spike in homes being broken into around Christmas time.

What to do if you are victim of a Christmas burglary in Denmark?
File photo: Erik Refner/Ritzau Scanpix

Last year, the National Police (Rigspolitiet) reported 744 break-ins from December 20th up to and including December 27th, in comparison with 815 in 2017.

Since 2008, the overall number of burglaries at private homes has fallen by 34 percent, according to police figures.

Stats from more recent years include thefts resultant from perpetrators getting into homes using confidence tricks, so the percentage actually under-represents the fall in break-ins.

But break-ins can still be reduced and prevented further, police say.

“Thieves typically chooses to steal easy-to-move-on items such as jewellery and electronics. They need to get rid of the items quickly so that they are not in possession of them for long,” Allan Holm of the National Police Crime Prevention Centre (Nationalt Forebyggelsescenter) said in a press release.

“So if you receive a good offer on cheap goods, either from someone you know or via online marketplaces, consider whether it could be stolen goods,” Holm said.

Police advice in such situations includes:

  • Ask sellers to see the original receipt for the item
  • Pay via (onine payment app) Mobile Pay so that sellers can be traced
  • If you purchase a bicycle, check whether the bicycle’s frame number is registered as stolen in the police online system. This can be done via police app Politi.
  • If buying goods online, ensure the seller is approved using validation that requires NemID, Denmark’s system for secure login to online services.

READ ALSO: Denmark's NemID secure login system to be superseded

Measures such as the above help reduce the market for stolen goods and thereby the incentive to break in to homes, police say.

Meanwhile, the following steps should be followed if the worst happens and you return home after Christmas to find yourself the victim of a break-in.

  • Call non-emergency police number 114 to report the crime. Have your personal registration number, name, address and telephone number ready to provide to police.
  • Check your home to find out what is missing. Note down the missing items immediately to make it easier to remember. You can always add to the list if you notice additional missing things.
  • Cancel any missing debit or credit cards immediately.
  • Change or recode all locks and keys which may have been taken, including for cars and bicycles.
  • Wait until police arrive before tidying or cleaning, so that any traces or evidence – often difficult to spot – are left undisturbed.
  • Register the break-in with your insurance company and speak to them and others about how to make sure your property is secured again, as well as about measures to help prevent break-ins in future.

READ ALSO: Hundreds of Danish homes broken into at Christmas

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Denmark to add war crimes to criminal code

Denmark is to give international war crimes a specific paragraph in its criminal code, ending its position as one of the last European countries not to have specific laws on war crimes.

Denmark to add war crimes to criminal code

The government confirmed on Tuesday that it supports a motion by the opposition Socialist People’s Party (SF) to introduce a war crimes paragraph.

“I think it’s important to say first and foremost that war crimes are already illegal in Danish criminal law,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard told news wire Ritzau.

“It is not written in as specific clauses in the criminal law, but all offences that are war crimes are criminal,” he said.

“But with all that said, I think that SF has an important point in saying that the time has now come for us to introduce an independent criminalisation of war crimes. I think that would send out an important message to the world, and especially to victims,” he said.

“I will therefore, when the motion is discussed tomorrow [Tuesday, ed.] say, that the government backs criminalising war crimes independently under Danish law,” he said.

Hummelgaard plans to initiate a committee to look into how laws against war crimes can be written and added to the criminal code.

The committee will also consider whether sentences for war crimes should be higher than existing sentences given from crimes such as murder and torture.