Denmark to toughen sanctions on coronavirus crimes

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 25 Mar, 2020 Updated Wed 25 Mar 2020 21:25 CEST
Denmark to toughen sanctions on coronavirus crimes

Denmark's government will on Thursday submit a second emergency coronavirus law to parliament, which will toughen punishments for coronavirus-related crimes, allow police to ban access to places they deem an infection risk, and make it easier to lower the size of allowed groups.


At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, the country's justice minister Nick Hækkerup said that the government planned to quadruple the sanction on any companies caught fraudulently claiming funds under the government's financial aid packages.
It will also double the punishment on those who steal hand sanitiser or protective equipment from hospitals or pharmacies. "Going forward, you will go to jail if you commit that crime," he said. 
The minister conceded that the toughened punishments were primarily about sending a signal to potential fraudsters or thieves. 
"We hope that it will make an impression when we multiply the punishments," he said. "When we find that someone is abusing the situation to enrich themselves, we would like to signal that as a society, that is something we disavow." 
After the press conference, DR reported that a letter from Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen to the chairman of the Danish parliament, Henrik Dam Kristensen, showed that other additional measures would be proposed on Thursday. 
There would also be legislative amendments which empower the government to reduce the maximum allowed group below ten at short notice. 
The new law would allow the government to ban access to new categories of place, such as playgrounds, without consulting parliament, and it would also empower the police to ban access to any specific place the health authorities deem an infection risk. 


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