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CRIME

Denmark wants to bar life sentence prisoners from online dating

Convicted criminals serving life sentences should be restricted from coming into contact with the outside world by using social media and preventing from freely discussing their crimes publicly, Denmark’s Ministry of Justice said on Wednesday.

Denmark wants to bar life sentence prisoners from online dating
A new Danish bill could restrict the rights of prisoners on long term sentences from establishing new relationships online. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The government has drafted a bill including six proposals which it says would limit the ability of people with life sentences from “dating or giving publicity to their crimes, for example on social media”, the ministry said in a statement.

 

The proposal would also apply to specified people in safe custody (forvaring in Danish), a type of sentence which keeps them imprisoned with no time limit for as long as they are deemed dangerous.

 

The ministry said it wants to deny prisoners serving such sentences the opportunity to “engage in new relationships” during the first 10 years of their sentences.

 

Current rules enable prison inmates serving life to write to, call and receive visits from people with whom they have established contact during their sentences.

 

“Life sentencers, and people in safe custody who have been given a punishment that could extend to life in prison, should not be able to use our prisons as a dating central or media platform to boast about their crimes,” Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup said in the statement.

 

“Recent years have seen distasteful examples of inmates who have committed vile crimes gaining contact with very young people to get their sympathy and attention,” Hækkerup added.

 

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In addition to restricting the dating life of criminals serving long term sentences, the proposal would also ban them from speaking freely in public about their crimes if, for example, public discussion could cause harm to victims.

 

That would effectively ban them from activities such as featuring on podcasts or writing about their crimes on social media.

 

The bill, which would need parliamentary backing to become law, could come into effect on January 1st 2022.

 

Conservative parties in the opposition ‘blue bloc’ in parliament on Wednesday expressed initial support for the bill.

 

Justice spokespersons from the Liberal, Conservative and Danish People’s parties all signalled their backing in comments reported by news wire Ritzau.

 

“We have seen far too many cases where it has been most distasteful how it’s been possible to communicate with the outside world from prison, and life sentencers have been able to describe their crimes in the press. That must end,” Liberal justice spokesperson Preben Bang Henriksen said.

 

University of Copenhagen professor Jens Elo Rytter, a human rights specialist, gave newspaper B.T. an appraisal of the proposal.

 

“The ban on establishing new relationships would intervene in the prisoner’s private life and the ban on public statements about one’s crimes, as I understand it in any possible way, including on social media, could raise questions about censorship,” Rytter said.

 

The left-wing Socialist People’s Party (SF), a parliamentary ally to the government, said it would prefer to target individuals who create problems, rather than implement a law that impacts all prisoners serving long term sentences.

 

“The rules should not apply to life sentence prisoners who are serving their sentences in a normal and quiet way,” SF justice spokesperson Karina Lorentzen said in a written statement to Ritzau.

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CRIME

Domestic helper suspected of stealing valuables and cash from older adults in Copenhagen

A 31-year-old female domestic helper is suspected of having stolen cash and jewellery from elderly citizens and withdrawn money from their Dankorts in the amount of over 50,000 kroner.

Domestic helper suspected of stealing valuables and cash from older adults in Copenhagen

The woman was arrested on Saturday and charged with theft and information fraud. There are ten victims in the case.

The police suspect the woman of having stolen from citizens whose homes she has visited as part of her work as a domestic worker in various places in Copenhagen.

“She has worked as a domestic helper and has been in people’s homes as an employee,” Bjarke Dalsgaard, deputy police inspector at Copenhagen police, said.

According to the police, the woman has stolen jewellery and cash on ten occasions. In addition, she has stolen debit cards in four cases and withdrawn money using them. The money that has been withdrawn alone adds up to a value of 52,000 kroner.

Copenhagen police received the first report of theft in the case at the beginning of 2022.

According to the police, the 31-year-old domestic helper admitted to one instance of crime (the theft of around 400 kroner) but pleaded not guilty regarding the remaining 13.

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