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Justice Minister Brian Mikkelsen announcing new measures to combat the ongoing gang warfare in Denmark. He is flanked from left by Superintendant Per Larsen, National Commissioner Jens Henrik Højbjerg and Copenhagen Police Director Hanne Bech Hansen.
Foto: BORBERG THOMAS

Justice Minister Brian Mikkelsen announcing new measures to combat the ongoing gang warfare in Denmark. He is flanked from left by Superintendant Per Larsen, National Commissioner Jens Henrik Højbjerg and Copenhagen Police Director Hanne Bech Hansen.

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Gang numbers increasing

There are some 1,500 members of biker and immigrant groups according to the police.

News in English

The influx of new members to biker and immigrant groups is currently so great that police authorities are having difficulty in keeping tabs on the environment surrounding the current gang warfare, according to Berlingske Tidende.

Police are currently holding some 700 bikers and 300 immigrant group members under observation, but recruitment to the two sides in the conflict is so great that the two sides are now more or less equal in size, according to National Commissioner Jens Henrik Højberg.

In real terms there are now probably some 1,500 individuals in the groups.

New members
“The numbers are growing unfortunately, and we can see that people are continuously joining. There is a sort of mobilisation and we continue to see young people who we haven’t seen before,” Højberg says.

In 2008, police authorities counted some 140 members in the groups.

Sentences
Some 40 shootings, three murders, innocent victims and the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen almost in a state of emergency has prompted the government to put forward proposals to stop the violence. The package includes proposals to double sentences on gang-related crime, as well as the ability to extradite foreigners for firearms possession.

“The situation is untenable and unacceptable and people are shooting at random. We need extraordinary steps – and that is what we are now taking,” says Justice Minister Brian Mikkelsen.

Immigration minister
But Immigration Minister Birther Rønn Hornbech says that at least one part of the proposals – to extradite foreigners for weapons possession - is unlikely to be able to be put into force.

In an e-mail that Politiken has acquired, Hornbech tells Danish People’s Party Justice Spokesman Peter Skaarup that the new laws are unlikely to result in an increased number of extraditions.

“I hope you realize that it’s not going to have that much of an effect,” Hornbech writes.

According to Hornbech, the international Human Right Convention ensures that punishment must fit the crime that leads to an extradition, as well as being proportional to the length of a person’s stay in a country.

Edited by Julian Isherwood

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