Danish prison wardens given pepper spray

Danish prison wardens given pepper spray

Prison guards working in Denmark’s high-security prisoners are to be equipped with pepper spray to make the task of dealing with violent criminals easier.

Until now, pepper spray cans have been kept locked up and wardens were only permitted to use them in situations they classed as extreme. However, Justice Minister Karen Hækkerup announced on Monday that guards will now have the pepper spray cans as part of their working outfit and that she had increased the list in incidences in which they could use pepper spray against inmates.

Hækkerup explained that they hope the new ruling can reduce the number of violent assaults carried out against prison guards. She added that the Justice Ministry believe such an extension can limit the risk of attacks and ensure better staff security.

Kriminalforsorgen, Denmark’s prison and probation service, said that pepper spray has a preventative effect because it can pacify prisoners and ensure further use of force is not needed in extreme scenarios.

However, Landsforeningen af Forsvarsadvokater, the national association of defence lawyers, and KRIM, the national legal advisors association, have claimed that pepper spray may develop into another way for prison guards to apply force against prisoners, despite the fact it is being introduced with the aim of replacing forcible means that have been in place until now.