August 16, 2017
According to police, over the past two months, there have been more than 20 gang related incidents in Copenhagen. The majority of the incidents have been shootings involving young men aged 17 to 25 years, and most injured have known gang affiliations. Compared to shooting or gang activity in many U.S. or European cities, 20 incidents is a very low number but, in Copenhagen this type of violence is unheard of.
As a result, Copenhagen Police have mounted a strong response. The police have implemented various strategies including increased police presence and 24-7 mobile police stations throughout the city. They have also implemented a stop-and-search zone in parts of the city, which allows police officers to stop anyone within the area without cause. The zone is expected to expand as necessary.
On Friday, August 11, the U.S. Embassy sent out a message to U.S. citizens related to recent gang violence in parts of Copenhagen.
DIS urges all students to:
- Comply with directions of all local police. If you are stopped, respectfully answer the police questions and submit to the requested search
- Remain vigilant of your surroundings at all times and move away quickly from any group of young men (17 – 25) gathered on the street
- Where possible, take the bus or train or bike rather than walking in the evening
- Do not travel by foot with a large group of young men, especially at night
- Follow good urban safety guidelines including not walking alone when possible and when not possible, telling someone where you are going and when you will return. Find more information on urban safety here on the DIS website
- Ask your SRA, host, or DIS staff for advice if you have questions about visiting a new place in the city
- Download the DIS electronic contact card to your phone and always answer the phone if DIS calls
- Monitor your email daily for updates from both DIS and the U.S. Department of State through the STEP registration that DIS has done for you
- Call 112 immediately if you feel threatened or fearful
DIS is closely monitoring the situation and will provide additional information to students in the coming days.