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Safety in Copenhagen Reaches Highest Level in Seven Years, According to Annual Survey

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Not since 2016 has the number of Copenhagen residents who feel safe been as high as it is now. This is according to Copenhagen’s annual safety survey.

The majority of Copenhageners feel safe in the capital. In fact, this year’s safety level has reached the highest point in seven years, according to Copenhagen Municipality’s annual safety survey. 87 percent of Copenhageners feel safe in the city. At the same time, the sense of safety during the evening and night hours – along with the levels in 2020 and 2021 – is the highest recorded since 2009.

This year’s survey also focuses on the safety between men and women. Overall, the sense of safety has increased for both genders, and this trend has continued from 2022 until now. However, despite the positive trend, there are differences in the sense of safety between genders. While men and women generally feel equally safe in their neighborhoods, the situation changes during the evening and night hours. Nearly one in five women feel unsafe during these hours, compared to only one in ten men. This is a matter that Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen takes seriously:

“Being able to move freely in one’s neighborhood – whether you live in Nørrebro or Nordvest – and in the city without fear of violence or assault is the essence of a good life. Fortunately, things are moving in the right direction in Copenhagen, both in general and specifically during the evening and night hours. However, the new safety survey also shows that more women than men feel unsafe when moving around after dark. We must take this very seriously. It should not be the case that one has to look over their shoulder on the way home from a night out or text a friend once they have safely arrived home. Safety is a fundamental right for everyone,” says Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (S).

The dimming of lights in the city has not affected the residents’ sense of safety. Given that Copenhagen Municipality reduced street lighting at the end of 2022 to save energy, this year’s safety survey also focuses on how lighting affects the sense of safety among Copenhageners. The survey shows that despite approximately 50 percent of the city’s parks having their lights turned off between 12:00 AM and 5:00 AM in 2023, Copenhageners have not become more unsafe in the parks.

There is also no visible change in the residents’ sense of safety during the evening and night hours when comparing neighborhoods where the lighting has been dimmed the most with neighborhoods where the lighting remains unchanged. Therefore, the dimming of lights has not resulted in decreased safety among Copenhageners.

In general, nearly seven out of ten Copenhageners perceive the lighting in their neighborhoods as sufficient. The survey shows a clear correlation between satisfaction with lighting and the sense of safety: Citizens who are satisfied with the lighting are more likely to feel safe. Satisfaction with lighting is highest among men.

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