On Wednesday this week, Denmark announced a deal with Kosovo for that country to take 300 non-Danish prisoners in order to reduce the demands on the Danish prison system whose population has increased by 20% since 2015. Much of that increase has been driven by increased crime and convictions by and of first and second generation immigrants.
Already by 2015, around 40% of the prison population of over 4,000 was not ethnically Danish. At that time, non-ethnic Danes were four times as likely to be convicted as Danes. Of course, many on the left ascribe this to racism rather than recognise the reality that serious crime in Denmark is more prevalent among some, but not all, immigrant communities.
Of particular concern has been the steadily rising number of rapes, which are relatively high for a country that does not or has not had a major history of violent crime. In 2015, the rate of reported rapes in Denmark was 18.5 per 100,000 compared to 11.5 in Ireland. Many rapes are not reported and the estimates for both Denmark and Ireland vary.
Some of that has to do with the culture of certain immigrant communities in which an unquantifiable number of rapes and other crimes are not reported to the authorities, because of lack of trust in the police and other issues. The proportion of rapes that are brought to court committed by non Danish nationals is substantially out of line with the country’s demographics. This is similar to Sweden where 58% of convicted rapists were born outside of Sweden.
Amnesty International published a report in 2019 on what it described as Denmark’s “pervasive rape culture” without highlighting the clear link between younger male immigrants from certain countries and that culture. The clash between open European societies and its respect for human rights including the basic rights of women and children and gay people is stark. Ireland too, has experience of this
There are some other interesting comparisons between Ireland and Denmark. The 300 prisoners to be sent to Kosovo, along with others who will remain in Denmark, have had deportation orders made against them when their sentences are served. Here of course, we have the situation where such orders are as rare as hen’s teeth and strongly challenged by the liberal legal sector, and where people who have been told to leave the country when they are released are left to do so voluntarily. And as Gript has shown, some do not.
The prison population here is close to the overall rate of incarceration in Denmark for a similarly sized population. However, while Denmark’s prison population has steadily grown, the Irish prison system reported fewer sentenced prisoners in 2020 mostly due to a planned release of 500 inmates between March and June 2020, so that they would be less likely to get Covid. Indeed.
It is difficult to get statistics on non-national prisoners in Ireland. I have sent several Freedom of Information requests that have not been answered in relation to what was asked – such as the numbers of prisoners from other countries sentenced in Ireland who have convictions in other countries.
The 2020 annual report of the Irish Prison Service stated that 23.2% of the prison population were “non-nationals.” This is not only out of proportion to the supposed % of the population that is non-national, but probably does not count prisoners who have successfully attained Irish citizenship, although that is something that we do not know for certain.
Meanwhile our own justice authorities might look at Denmark as a model of how to address such problems, especially given that Denmark and its ruling social democratic party are usually the exemplars of what our own liberal-left admire and attempt to emulate in so many other respects.