Copenhagen police implement stop and search zones in wake of stabbings

After multiple stabbing incidents during the Christmas holiday period, the Copenhagen Police have decided to set up stop and search zones in parts of Nørrebro and in the Nordvest quarter in Copenhagen.

Nørrebro Copenhagen
The Copenhagen Police are establishing stop and search zones in certain areas of Nørrebro and Nordvest in Copenhagen. Photo by Jonas Smith / Unsplash

The stop and search zones (also known as “visitation zones”) will be in place from December 29th at 6pm up to, and including January 5th, 2023, at 6pm, the Copenhagen Police announced in a press release.

“Unfortunately, we have seen five stabbings in a relatively limited area since Christmas Eve and have also caught a number of people with knives in the same area.

“We can’t and won’t accept that, and we have therefore established a visitation zone until the Thursday after New Year,” police inspector Tommy Laursen explained in the press release.

The police inspector believes the zone will prevent more incidents.

The zone covers Peblinge Dossering – Sortedam Dossering – Fredensgade – Tagensvej – Haraldsgade – Lersø Parkallé – Tuborgvej – Bispebjergvej – Orgelbyggervej – Rådvadsvej – Utterslevvej – Hareskovvej – Borups Allé – Bispeengbuen – Ågade – Åboulevard – Peblinge Dossering.

Increased police presence

The police have previously announced that they will increase street presence due to the stabbings that have occurred in Copenhagen since Christmas Eve.

Since Christmas Eve, there have been six stabbings in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. The police have previously announced that they are investigating the cases.

On Wednesday, the police said the Christmas Eve incident was unrelated to the other five stabbing cases.

However, it is still too early to tell whether some of the other five cases are related to each, according to the police.

The police also didn’t reveal whether they believe some of the cases may be related to gangs or organized crime.

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Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Crime in Copenhagen’s hippie enclave of Christiania is increasing, police in the capital say following a number of drugs-related arrests.

Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Copenhagen Police arrested three men on Saturday for selling cannabis on Pusher Street in the alternative enclave of Christiania, as they continue their efforts to stamp out the area’s former open-air cannabis market. 

According to police, 875 people were arrested for selling cannabis in the first 11 months of 2022, more than in any other year over the past four years. 

A possible explanation for the increase in arrests could be that the rewards for operating hash stands have receded, according to a police spokesperson.

“It is extremely unattractive to stand out there, and therefore a lot of new people come in who have no idea what it is all about. Many of them come from outside the catchment area, and some of them are peripherally associated with a criminal group,” Simon Hansen, head of a Copenhagen Police special unit, told newspaper Politiken.

“It’s a bit – in inverted commas – ‘easier’ for us to catch these people,” he said. 

Around half of the stalls in the street are linked to various gangs and biker gangs, such as Satudarah, Bandidos, Hells Angels and Loyal To Familia, with the rest run by people living in Christiania, the Berlingske newspaper reported earlier this month.

The trend of rising crime occurs against a background of potential housing develop in Christiania, as the enclave’s residents decide on a plan to put affordable housing in the area.

Copenhagen Police last year told news wire Ritzau that the majority of people who are arrested within Christiania come from socially underprivileged or marginalised backgrounds.

They are exploited in gang and biker circles, resulting in them in some cases operating the illicit hash market stalls, according to the police.

Conflicts between organised crime groups have reportedly become more frequently aired in the Pusher Street market.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s ‘freetown’ Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on