Denmark cracks down as gang shootings rise | world | Hindustan Times
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Denmark cracks down as gang shootings rise

world Updated: Mar 04, 2009 22:49 IST

Danish authorities on Wednesday proposed tougher sentences for violent crimes to try to curb a rise in gang warfare that has shocked the normally peaceful Nordic country.

The violence has intensified since last year when a suspected motorcycle gang member was shot in a war that pits immigrant gangs against biker gangs in a turf war over the lucrative hashish trade in the Danish capital.

"We want these criminals off the streets," Justice Minister Brian Mikkelsen told a news conference.

The measures aim to curb the violence that has seen 14 shootings in Copenhagen in the last two months and three people killed since August. The bill calls for double jail time for violent offences and illegal possession of weapons when connected to gang criminality.

The penalty for threatening witnesses would be doubled under the proposal and the punishment for hindering rescue services and fire-fighters from doing their jobs will be trebled.

(Reporting by Kim McLaughlin; Editing by Angus MacSwan)