Since the argument that crime in Denmark has spiralled out of control since the abolition of systematic border controls is used to motivate Wednesday’s decision to tighten immigration controls, I decided to take a look at the statistics (Source: Statistics Denmark, Statistikbanken). This is a little complicated as the data series break in 2007 but this is the result for a search of selected types of theft:
The phenomenon which has attracted the most interest from media is the so-called “home robberies” where burglars enter a house even if they can see that people are at home – popular myth has it that this form of crime is especially popular among East Europeans but this has never been proven (rather, a proportional part of the “home robbers” appear to be Danes). The data do not give information about this type of crime but it is covered by “burglaries in private homes” (the full dark-blue line) which besides a spike in the 4th quarter of 2009 doesn’t really increase dramatically. There is a trend towards somewhat higher numbers but nothing like an out-of-control increase.
The category “other kinds of theft” does show an increase from 2008 onward. Curiously, the yearly variations are at their maximum in the 3rd quarters while “burglaries in private homes” always culminate in the 4th quarters (when people are away for Christmas)