Aarhus: Crimes dealt with in self-appointed courts

Aarhus: Crimes dealt with in self-appointed courts

Immigrants from the Middle East often deal with criminal matters themselves and fail to report violence, for example, to the police.

A couple of years ago the Danish media reported about similar courts in Odense.

It is better to deal with illegal issues without the involvement of the police. this attitude among groups of immigrants from the Middle East, means that criminals go around freely, because their compatriots refuse to report them.

Instead they have several self-appointed courts: they make mutual agreements outside the system. Self-justice has come so far, that in at least one case money was paid. A violent man was set free in return for payment. He bought his victim's silence about the violence. It was settled in cash without the involvement of the authorities.

A step backwards

Police describe this self-help as a step backwards. The head of the neighborhood police in Gellerup Park in Århus Vest, police commissioner Jens Espensen says:

"For a period we thought things were moving forward. The willingness to go to the police steadily increased. One example was many reports in the spring which contributed to solving a series of muggings. But now we meet - as had happened before - many silent witnesses."

A question of honor

One of the reasons is that people fear reprisals from the most powerful criminal immigrants in Gellerup Park. Another explanation is honor. In some families it's still considered less dignified to involve the police, say the police representatives.

Source: Århus Stiftstidende (Danish)