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Hollaendervogne.jpg Danish police during the clearance of the Ungdomshuset
Headquarters Copenhagen
Police Chief Jens Henrik Højbjerg
Membership 9,415 officers of a total of 13,655 employees[1]
Coverage 43,000 km² in Denmark, 2,175,000 km² in Greenland, 1,400 km² in other dependencies

Rigspolitiet is the state national police force of Denmark. Administered by a framework of laws dictated by the Folketing (Danish Parliament) and the government's Minister for Justice, Rigspolitiet polices all regions governed by Denmark, including the Faroe Islands and Greenland.



Rigspolitiet is controlled by the Minister for Justice via the National Commissioner of Police, who in turn operates above a number of commissioners and departments in the National Commissioner’s Office. These departments include: Budgets and Accounts, the Building Surveying Department, the Data Department, the Traffic Department, Personnel and Recruitment, the Police Department, the Police College, the Aliens Department and the Danish Security Intelligence Service.[2]

Since 2000, the National Commissioner was Torsten Hesselbjerg.[3] However, he had to retire in disgrace by the end of 2008. [4] The new National Commissioner is Jens Henrik Højbjerg, by permanent appointment effective 1 February 2009. [5]


A Ford Mondeo, which is a regular patrol car

National Commissioner's office also consists of the police commissioners for the 12 police districts of Denmark and the territories it governs, as well as administrative officers for the community police forces that support the regular units. Each district has one central police headquarters, as well as a number of sub-stations depending on the size of the district. Each district is headed by a police commissioner who works as part of the National Commissioner's Office, and is supported by various assistant commissioners and chief constables, all of whom are required to have degrees in law.[6] Each district's uniformed sections are headed by a chief superintendent.

The Copenhagen Police department are, due to the size and complexity of the area policed, organised somewhat differently, with three deputy commissioners to assist the main commissioner.


Danish police officers in riot gear

Rigspolitiet are required to perform a number of duties as outlined by the force policy and Denmark's Justice Act and in the Act on Police Activities:

  • To prevent criminal offences, breaches of the public peace and order and danger to the safety of individuals and public security;
  • To avert any danger of breach of the public peace and order and any danger to the safety of individuals and public security;
  • To put an end to criminal activities and to investigate and prosecute criminal offences;
  • To assist citizens in other dangerous situations;
  • To carry out checks, controls and supervision in accordance with applicable law;
  • To assist other authorities in accordance with applicable law; and
  • To perform other duties following from applicable law or otherwise naturally associated with police activities.[7]

In addition to law enforcement duties, Rigspolitiet are also tasked with administrative duties, including administering driving tests, weapons licences and vehicle licences as well as issuing police clearance certificates and criminal records.[7]


A riot control vehicle from the City of Copenhagen Police

All applicants must be Danish citizens and be over the age of 21, with good health, eyesight and hearing, as well as a qualification in lifesaving or first aid. Police cadets are trained for nine months before they commence duties, followed by eighteen months on-the-job training while they are carrying out their duties. This is followed by a second nine-month course and an examination along with compulsory service Support Unit of the Copenhagen Police.[8] Following on from this basic training, Rigspolitiet offer continuous courses throughout an officers career.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Rigspolitiet home site, Police Personnel and Finance retrieved on April 4, 2007
  2. ^ Rigspolitiet home site, [1] retrieved on April 3, 2007
  3. ^ Rigspolitiet home site, The National Commissioner of Police retrieved on April 3, 2007
  4. ^ http://www.berlingske.dk/article/20081211/forbrydelsen/81211192/
  5. ^ http://avisen.dk/jens-henrik-hoejbjerg-er-ny-rigspolitichef_102574.aspx
  6. ^ Rigspolitiet home site, [2] retrieved on April 3, 2007
  7. ^ a b Rigspolitiet home site, Duties of the Police retrieved on April 3, 2007
  8. ^ Rigspolitiet home site, How to become a Police Officer retrieved on April 3, 2007