Police extend Copenhagen stop-and-search following knife attacks 

Police in Copenhagen are to continue stop and search zones for the next two weeks following a spate of knife violence in the Danish capital.

Police extend Copenhagen stop-and-search following knife attacks 
A file photo of police working in Copenhagen. A stop-and-search zone has been extended in parts of the city due to knife violence. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

January 2nd saw two more stabbings in a location where the Nørrebro and Frederiksberg districts merge. The violence occurred despite elevated police presence and a special stop-and-search policy implemented in the wake of five earlier stabbings in the Nørrebro and Nordvest areas during the Christmas holidays. 

Copenhagen Police have confirmed the stop and search zones (also called “visitation zones”) will continue for the next two weeks.

The stop-and-search will now continue until 6pm on January 19th.

Since the searches began December 29th, police say 120 people have been searched, turning up 13 stabbing weapons and leading to five charges. 

The number of weapons found during the searches justifies their continuation, senior officer Lars-Ole Karlsen of Copenhagen Police said in a statement.

“We have therefore decided to extend the visitation zone by two weeks to prevent further episodes and to ensure public safety,” he said.

“The new incidents are part of a comprehensive investigation that has been initiated after the stabbings that have taken place since Christmas Eve,” he said.

Police believe several of the stabbings are between young men associated with criminal circles. However, there is so far no sign of a conflict between longstanding organised crime groups.

A map of the area covered by the visitation zone can be found here.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen police implement stop and search zones in wake of stabbings 

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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