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Law enforcement in Greenland

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Title: Law enforcement in Greenland  
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Subject: Government of Greenland, Law enforcement in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Law enforcement in Antigua and Barbuda, Law enforcement in Grenada, Law enforcement in Saint Lucia
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Law enforcement in Greenland

Law enforcement in Greenland, a self-governing province of Denmark, is provided by a branch of the Rigspolitiet, the Danish national police service. Since 2006, Greenland has constituted one of the 12 police districts of the Rigspolitiet, headed by a commissioner based in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.[1]

Levels of crime

Greenland is thought to be a relatively safe place. "Single women travelling in Greenland don't generally encounter any special worries." (Lonely Planet) Greenland's main problems in crime are generally linked to drinking or drug use, which has led to outlawing of alcohol in some towns and villages (Lonely Planet). Some bars like the "disreputable Hotel Tupilak disco produces plenty of broken glass." Other issues such as domestic violence and solvent abuse also plague Greenland.

Most large towns of populations upwards of 1,000 and some smaller ones have a police presence with a contact number to keep on good relations with locals and tourists.

Prison system

The Greenlandic prison system runs with a uniquely open model. Prisoners must report to prison between 9:30pm and 6:30am each day, but may go to work, visit relatives and complete errands while in the community. They also may hunt with firearms if they are escorted by a prison guard. Prisoners have keys to their own cells, as this is regarded as a form of privacy. A failure to attend prison will result in 7 days in solitary confinement once the escapee returns. Prisoners are also subjected to drug testing, and a failed drug test will result in solitary confinement. There are presently 160 places in the Greenlandic prison system.

Greenland intends to construct a secure facility to house prisoners needing continual supervision and/or psychiatric care, with a 20 bed capacity, a project on foot since 2007 which has been delayed several times until 2017. As a consequence, Greenlandic prisoners requiring a high level of supervision are sent to Denmark's Herstedvester, a prison which has the capacity to provide psychiatric care. There remains ongoing issues with care in this facility, with complaints ranging from the language barrier with Danish guards, to the Danish system de-prioritising Greenlandic inmates care and rehabilitation against the needs of Danish inmates, to the problematic means of Nuuk's judicial evaluation of the prisoners through Skype teleconferencing. Human rights activists accuse both governments of leaving the roughly 20 Greenlandic prisoners there to "rot" indefinitely.


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