Ghettos are not Denmark
Foto: ADRIAN JOACHIM
The prime minister says that more than just police officers are needed to change the mentality in Denmark’s ghettos.
While Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Lib) is content that the Social Democrats and the Socialist People’s Party are suggesting a lot more police in Denmark’s ghetto areas, he says that the problem is much more intense than a simple police effort can solve.
“Police can’t do it alone. I feel one has to understand that the challenges that we are facing in certain estates has taken on proportions we perhaps haven’t understood,” Løkke Rasmussen says.
“We have some urban areas in which one can ask whether they are Denmark at all,” the prime minister adds.
The Social Democrats and the Socialist People’s Party have today suggested that apart from more police in the areas, young problem children could be grounded and that troublemakers on parole could be moved to other areas.
The government is due to present its own so-called Ghetto Policy this autumn, and Løkke Rasmussen makes no bones of the fact that he sees the situation in ghettos, which he also sees as being separate from Denmark, as very serious..
“Because Danish is a language spoken by a minority; because children play in the streets in the evenings; because parents don’t have to get up the next day; because all satellite dishes point away from Danish news programmes and towards remote regions that people orient themselves towards,” the prime minister says.
“Because Danish norms of trust, equality, the rule of law and respect for public authority do not exist. If we fail to understand that these sorts of area are of a completely different nature than the rest of Denmark, then we are going wrong,” he adds.
The government recently said that 29 ghetto areas in Denmark needed special attention.
“We have invested billions in these areas, but painting the fronts of apartment bocks is not enough. Nor is it enough just to put more police on the streets. We need a combined effort from the social services, the legal system, the educational system and the labour system to address the problems out there,” he adds.
In his opening speech to Parliament last week, Løkke Rasmussen said that part of the solution would be to demolish some of the buildings, with several concrete suggestions due from the Liberals and Conservatives in two weeks.
“It’s no use just continuing to solve the problems as if it were one in (a provincial Danish town like) Hjørring or an area of detached housing in Hillerød,” Løkke Rasmussen says.