Copenhagen Post, March 19, 2009
Recent gang-related gun violence in Copenhagen weighs heavily in the latest national crime statistics
The latest figures from the National Centre for Investigation (NEC), outlining gang membership and arrests in Denmark, show a sharp increase in the number of gang-related shootings.
In 2007, police registered 28 shooting episodes, of which 12 were attributed to gangs currently being monitored by the authorities. Last year, that figure rose to 167 shootings, of which 76 were gang-related.
Police continuously monitor 80 different biker and immigrant gangs, including support groups for each. Police keep tabs on a total of 944 gang members–585 associated with the bikers and 359 linked to immigrant gangs.
More than 6,500 sentences were handed down to gang members and their support groups by Danish courts last year amounting to 2,228 years in prison terms.
The NEC is the police branch responsible for the investigation of organised crime, within and outside Denmark’s borders. In its latest report, investigators fingered the struggle for the control of the drugs market as the primary cause of tension between the biker and immigrant criminals.
Throughout last year, the Hells Angels bikers established ten new AK81 support groups to help strengthen their position and mark their territory. AK81 means Altid Klar (always ready), with 81 representing the numeral letters of the alphabet–H and A.
The national police also highlighted the age difference between the bikers and their opposition. The average age of a Hells Angels member is 39 years old, while the immigrant gangs are on average ten years younger.
Members of the AK81 support group average 27 years old.