Police of Denmark
|Motto||Freedom under the law|
The police of Denmark (Danish: Politiet) is the interior part of the Danish legitimate force providers (the Danish military being the exterior). The police are empowered to enforce the law and to effect public and social order, as well as being responsible for border control.
The common police of Denmark consists of 12 districts each managed by a director and two minor districts in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, run by a local chief of police. The district of Copenhagen is somewhat differently organized due to its size and tasks.
Besides the regular districts other organizations exist that work outside the common police:
- Rigspolitiet - a nationwide police force with specialized tasks such as Budgets and Accounts, Building Surveying Department and the Data Investigating Department
- Politiets Efterretningstjeneste - the national security intelligence agency of Denmark
- Politiets Aktionsstyrke - the special forces unit of the Danish police
The common uniform is a light blue shirt with the police insignia on the sleeve. Usually a tie is also worn. Rank-insignia is worn on the shoulders. The pants are dark blue with reflective patches. Black shoes are also included in the standard uniform. Special tactical suits are made of flame-resistant materials and are worn in situations requiring such equipment. The tactical suit also includes a protected helmet.
For the daily duties, the patrol-vehicles are white and dog-patrols are mostly dark blue. They have a blue strobe-light or flashing light and the word "POLITI" painted on the side in a reflective and clear paint. The most commonly used patrol vehicles are Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat and Opel Vectra, with 2.0 to 2.2 litre engines. In 2009, the 3.6 litre Škoda Superb was added to the fleet. Unmarked cars are usually fitted with engines with a size of around 1.6 to 2.2 litre. In addition a large number of small unmarked cars are used like Peugeot 307, Opel Astra, Ford Focus and Toyota Yaris - with engine size of around 1.2 to 1.6 litre. The Peugeot 607 is used as a security attachment for cabinet members and the royal court. Toyota Landcruiser and VW Touareg are used for special tasks. Small detachments typically use VW Transporters, while VW LTs and Ford Transit mini-buses are used in larger operations, which require a lot of manpower (demonstrations, football matches and larger civil unrests). In extreme events, a variation of the MB Vario is used. It is generally known as the Dutchman's vehicle (in Danish Hollændervogn). This name derives from the fact that these vehicles are fitted in the Netherlands as light APC's with reinforced windows, wheels and metal parts and fire-resistant coating. They are used both as light APCs in event of demonstrations or public disturbances, and as general transportation of large numbers of arrestees. Other vehicles in use are the Mercedes-Benz Vito (used by both Central Turnout Leaders, a kind of on-street watch commanders) and Nissan Patrols used by the mounted police squads with a horse carrier attached.
Some rural police officers use civilian vehicles with a dismountable magnet roof flash.
For traffic regulation and VIP and ambulance escorts motorcycles are also used, primarily Yamaha FJR1300A, Honda ST1300a, BMW K1200RS and BMW K1200GT (over time replacing older BMW K1100LT and BMW R1100RT).
Law about police enforcement
Its first section states that:
"The police must work to ensure security, safety, peace and order in society. The police must promote this purpose through preventive, helping and enforcing work."
The second section states that other areas of police jurisdiction include:
- preventing criminal actions, disturbances of the public peace and order and danger to individual citizens and public safety
- stopping criminal actions and investigating and prosecuting criminal actions
- supporting citizens in dangerous situations
- checking and inspecting under current rules and regulations
- supporting other agencies under current rules and regulations
- performing other tasks under current rules and regulations, as well as handling other tasks which are naturally associated with police duties.
Lastly, the third section states: "The police may in other situations than those mentioned in statutory law only interfere with citizens under this Act."[note 1]
Ranks and insignia
In Denmark, the local prosecution service is part of the police. Since 2014, only Chief Prosecutors wear uniforms; other prosecutors, such as senior prosecutors, prosecutors, associate prosecutors, and advocates, do not.
|Rank||Rank titles||Rank insignia||Personnel category||English equivalent|
|1.||Rigspolitichef||Senior manager||no equivalent|
Direktionsmedlem i Rigspolitiet
Politimester i PET
Politimester i Grønland
Politimester på Færøerne
|Senior manager||Chief Constable|
Afdelingschef i Rigs-
|Senior manager||Assistant Chief Constable|
|Chefanklager||Lawyer||Chief Crown Prosecutor|
|4.||Vicepolitimester i Grønland
Vicepolitimester på Færøerne
Vicepolitimester i Rigspolitiet
|7.||Politiassistent||Police||Police Constable with 12 years service|
|8.||Politiassistent||Police||Police Constable with 7 years service|
The military police (MP) in Denmark are police units within the armed forces branches. Each branch has its own MP corps, although they often work together and wear similar insignias.
MP personnel generally do not have any legal authority towards civilians in non-military places, but only towards military personnel as towards everyone on military installations (also publicly accessible places such as the Holmen naval base in Copenhagen), in the buildings housing the Ministry of Defence, royal palaces (like Amalienborg Palace) and parts of Christiansborg Palace. On some occasions, MP personnel can provide support to the civilian police for certain tasks, but will only have slightly more legal authority than civilians, similar to the police home guard.
Police Home Guard
The Danish police can call upon assistance from a section of the Danish home guard: Politihjemmeværnet the police home guard. The police home guard consists of 47 companies, each led by professional police officers.
The volunteers are mainly used for traffic control at festivals, searches for victims and guarding community installations and are never used in tasks involving direct confrontation with civilians (riot control or planned arrests). These companies are part of the Army Home Guard.
They wear branch-common daily battle dress uniforms, green berets and bright yellow vests with the text "POLITI HJEMMEVÆRNET" (POLICE HOME GUARD).
Members of the police home guard have slightly more legal authority than regular citizens when the service they provide calls for it, but they are always under the supervision of the civilian police.
- Though this may seem obvious, it is a precaution that clearly states that the police under no circumstances may act towards the citizens in ways that isn't stated by law (da: hjemlet). This ensures that the police can't make their own interpretations of laws nor regulations.
- "Annex 1: List of national services responsible for border control" (PDF). Practical Handbook for Border Guards (Schengen Handbook). European Commission. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- "Fotovogne i Danmark" [Photo vehicles in Denmark]. 10-20.dk (in Danish). Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- "Politiet får nye motorcykler" [Police get new motorcycles]. Politi.dk (in Danish). 22 September 2005. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- Olsen, Frode Z. (2008). "The use of police firearms in Denmark" (PDF). Politi.dk. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Lov om politiets virksomhed" [Law on Police Activity]. Retsinformation.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- "Distinktioner I Politiet" [Danish Police rank insignia] (PDF). Politi.dk (in Danish). July 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- "Hærhjemmeværnet" [The Home Guard]. Vistillerop.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 7 November 2018.
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