Danish police crack down on gangs after shootings

Danish police said Friday a clampdown on gangs and bikers following a spate of shootings in Copenhagen had netted some 80 arrests in three weeks, and vowed to keep up its swoops.

"We will simply not accept marauding gangs," national police commissioner Jens Henrik Hoejberg said.

About 200 officers have been involved in three major operations on the capital island of Zealand in recent weeks following a slew of drive-by shootings and stabbings that have left several people injured.

In their latest sting operation Thursday, police swooped down on 64 addresses across Zealand, arresting 39 men on various narcotics and illegal weapons possession charges.

Eleven of these were Friday remanded in custody on charges of attempted manslaughter in connection with two shootings and a stabbing.

Others were to be charged with illegal weapons possession after loaded weapons were found in their possession, police said.

The latter were people with connections to the Bandidos biker group and the Vaerebro Harde Kerne (Vaerebro Hard Core) gang, according to police.

As late as Thursday, a 31-year-old man had one ear half cut off and the other ear cut through in what is also being seen as a gang-related incident on the neighbouring island of Funen.

Overall, police said they had detained gang members of the Black Cobra, Loyal to Familia and Værebros Haarde Kerne gangs, as well as members of the Hells Angels and Bandidos biker groups.

Police spokesman Michael Tingskov Ask said the motives behind the recent shootings were mixed.

"Our impression is that the episodes we have seen are the result of several conflicts, including internal ones," Ask said.

Inter-gang turf wars, in particular between various immigrant gangs and bikers, have been going on in Denmark since 2008 with police estimating there have been more than 150 shooting episodes, usually linked to control over the narcotics market.