Copenhagen police to ban people with criminal records from nightlife areas

Copenhagen Police have announced that it will implement four ‘nightlife’ zones from which people with certain types of criminal records can be banned.

Copenhagen police to ban people with criminal records from nightlife areas
A file photo of Gothersgade in Copenhagen. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

The new zones will make use of a change in the law, which was passed by parliament in July, allowing police to enforce the restriction. Copenhagen is the first police district in the country to make use of the new law.

Four areas near the central part of the city will be considered ‘nightlife zones’. People with previous convictions for certain types of crime can be banned from the zones for up to two years.

The zones take effect on September 14th for an initial two-year period, meaning they will be in place until at least September 13th, 2023, Copenhagen Police said in a statement.

All four zones are located close to the central part of the city in either the Inner City or Vesterbro neighbourhoods. They include the streets Gothersgade, Vestergade and Vesterbrogade along with the popular Kødbyen (The Meatpacking District), which has a high concentration of bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

Persons who breach the ban can face a fine of 10,000 kroner for a first offence and up to 30 days in prison for repeat offences.

Police said they hoped to work together with local businesses to enforce the zones.

“The law enables exchange of information about persons with nightlife bans with bar owners. But we are currently waiting for more detailed information on how this will take place in practice,” Copenhagen Police director Anne Tønnes said.

Enforcement of the new rules will meanwhile rely on police patrols in the relevant locations, as well as police response to reports from the public.

The zonal bans can be applied to people with previous convictions including for certain crimes against the person or weapons offences.

Tønnes said that the zones have “no practical significance” for “completely normal, law-abiding citizens” other than their intended effect of “creating a more secure nightlife environment for everyone”.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2021

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Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.