Refugee crisis takes toll on Danish police

As the refugee crisis continues in Europe, police forces in a the EU country Denmark are allocating the necessary resources to monitor and control the situation at the Danish border.

By Esben Harboe.
(Disclaimer. The brother of the author works in Danish police. He does not participate in any way.)

While the recent refugee crisis isn’t showing signs of slowing down, Denmark is trying to deal with the ongoing stream of people coming to the Northern European country. Arguably one of the lesser affected countries by the crisis, the situation is no less taxing on the country’s police force.
In Denmark, the police has been present at the ferry crossing at Southern Zealand, but have, due to a recent arrival of refugees from Germany who are heading towards Sweden, also stationed officers at the German border to keep track on the situation.

“We have more officers at the border than before the crisis started. As a result, we call in officers from all of our 12 police districts to handle the ongoing situation,” says Thomas Kristensen, press officer in the Danish Police.

Trying to make the situation work
With the UN estimating as many as 8.000 refugees crossing into Europe daily, it is bound to take a toll on police resources, as they try to deal with the situation in a varying degree of ways. From Hungarian riot police at the border, to German police officers, recently starting to register the newly arrived refugees.

The situation in Denmark is nowhere near as dire.
Most of the refugees in Denmark are heading for Sweden, and as such usually want to get through Denmark as quickly as possible. However, it is still necessary to register the refugees and monitor the situation. This requires manpower, which in some way impedes the work of the 14.000 Danes working in the police.

“There are some of our regular work areas, where we slightly decrease our focus, like education, traffic control and other similar matters. We try to make the situation work, without making the citizens feel like the police is being absent when they really need it,” says Thomas Kristensen.

Shooting in Copenhagen still leaves a mark
Though Denmark isn’t receiving nearly as many refugees, due to a tightening in the immigration and asylum policy by the new Danish government, there are still some issues that further puts a toll on the police, namely the Copenhagen shooting in february 2015.

“ Alongside the amount of officers at the border, we also need more officers stationed in Copenhagen, because of the shooting. This continuously demands an increase in police representation in the Danish capital, and further strains our available resources, says Thomas Kristensen, press officer at the Danish Police.

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