Why is Denmark’s police asking for new service weapons?

Why is Denmark’s police asking for new service weapons?
File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish National Police (Rigspolitiet) has asked parliament to allocate funds for 16,000 new weapons.

According to a police estimate, 128.1 million kroner is needed to purchase new hand weapons and pistols for law enforcement between now and 2028.

The request was first reported by newspaper Jyllands-Posten based on a police note and confidential response from the Ministry of Justice.

Police have recommended the purchase of 13,000 new service pistols and 3,000 other weapons, termed police carabines, with which it hopes to phase out the MP5 machine pistols in current service.

A total of 11,129 police officers were in service nationally in 2019, according to police figures. That means the request would cover complete replacement of the service weapons currently in use.

The weapons in current use are 9mm service pistols introduced in 1998, while larger and more powerful 9mm machine pistols from 1986 are also still available to police, Ritzau reports. Several hundred carabines are also on loan to the police from the military.

All of these will need replacing in the coming years, the National Police has concluded. As such the request is about making the appropriate steps with sufficient time in advance.

“It’s not the case that we have insufficient weapons here and now, or that we are not well-armed,” National Police senior inspector Michael Engell Olsen told Jyllands-Posten.

“There’s a bottom line you must not go under, and we’re far from that. Our operative readiness is in no way reduced,” he added.

Justice minister Nick Hækkerup tld Jyllands-Posten he did not wish to comment on the ongoing negotiations.

READ ALSO: Explained: Denmark's plan to downsize the National Police

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