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Duties of the police

The duties of the police are to ensure that laws and regulations are complied with and to take the necessary steps to prevent crime. This is achieved among other things by way of regular patrolling and by criminal investigation. The police also administers a number of areas that are subject to authorisation.

When thinking of the police, most people see a white car with fl ashing blue lights on the roof and two police officers. And that is the way most citizens encounter the police in various situations: In connection with traffic accidents, when an ambulance is escorted to hospital, and when the police conduct speed checks. Or when a burglar has gone through the cupboards and drawers, and the police arrives to look for fingerprints and other evidence.

Police duties include a great variety of tasks and cover the whole of society both geographically and socially. The purpose and duties of the police are set out in section 1 of the Act on Police Activities:

"The purpose of the police is to maintain safety, security, peace and order in society. The police shall further this purpose by means of prevention, assistance and law enforcement."

In brief, one of the most important tasks of the police is to ensure that the legislation adopted by politicians is complied with. In addition, however, the police must also maintain security, peace and order among the citizens to ensure that everybody can move freely and safely everywhere in the country.

However, not every police officer wears a blue shirt and drives a white so-called uniform police car. Many carry out their tasks in plain clothes. It means that they wear their own clothes and look like any other man or woman in society. It has its advantages when special cases are to be investigated, when work has to be undertaken in various criminal environments, or when bars and discos are to be routinely patrolled on a Saturday night. However, police officers always carry their duty weapons and their police badges.

Furthermore, police officers are also involved in crime prevention at schools and youth clubs, as driving test examiners, and as bodyguards to, among others, politicians and members of the royal family.

Greenland and the Faroe Islands
The duties of the police in Greenland and the Faroe Islands are of a similar nature as those of a Danish police district.

Last Modified: 21. september 2015

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