Denmark: record number of gang members in jail

Danish_police_Open_Vectra2A record number of gang members are in Danish jails, according to new figures from the country’s police force. Rigspolitiet revealed that there are 370 gang members currently behind bars on murder, violence and drugs-related charges among others.

Rigpolitiet’s Nationale Eftreforskningscenter’s (NEC) chief Michael Ask said the record number is largely down to the increase in gang fighting earlier in 2013. He explained that there was “rampant” gang conflict in the spring, and the rise in inmates now is the result of police work.

NEC, which is responsible for international investigations and crime prevention, said there are 1,780 people in Denmark registered as being in or having links with a known gang.

There has been a rise in gang activity in Denmark in 2013. In the first six months of the year, police recorded 49 gang-related shootings and confiscated 421 guns, of which 89 were owned by gang members. A shootout between the Loyal to Familia and Vaerebros Harde Kerne gangs in the spring resulted in two deaths and a number of injuries.

Denmark has also had to contend with the arrival of a new gang – Satudarah, a motorcycle gang from the Netherlands, while the Bandidos biker gang members have been causing increasing trouble in Copenhagen’s Vanlose suburb.

In October, the government proposed a 200m kroner plan to combat gang crime. The plan included increasing the punishment for being in possession of a loaded gun in public and refusing probation or release to jailed gang members during periods of gang conflicts.