Denmark increases punishment for online sex offences

Harsher punishment for online sexual offences is set to be introduced in Denmark.

Denmark increases punishment for online sex offences
Photo: ArturVerkhovetskiy/Depositphotos

From April 15th, online crimes of a sexual nature will be punishable by up to three years in prison – an increase by one year on present terms.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed the measure on Thursday, with all political parties in favour of the change.

“Online sex offences are an invasive and disrespectful act that can have long-term effects for the victim,” justice minister Søren Pape Poulsen said in a press statement.

“By increasing the punishment by one third for serious online sexual offences, we are strongly underlining the seriousness of the crime.

“That will hopefully make more people think again before they, without consideration for the victim, share explicit images or videos,” he added.

The proposed law changes also include doubling punishments for indecent exposure, with fines increased to 5,000 kroner (670 euros) or 7,500 kroner under aggravated circumstances.

The government announced just over a year ago a number of initiatives aimed at tackling online sex offences.

According to information presented by the government at the time, 17 percent of males and 20 percent of females between the ages of 15-25 sent or posted online an explicit image or video of themselves.

Ten percent of males and four percent of females in the same age range have sent or posted explicit material of others.

53 percent of all people between 15-30 have received sexual images and 22 percent said they would forward sexual images of people they do not know, according to the figures.

In February this year, police took legal action against up to 1,000 people over the distribution of two explicit videos and one image of a sexual nature across the country.

The explicit material was primarily sent to and shared between young people.