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Danish people are expressing concern after police admitted they chose not to inform the public about a rape and attempted rape of two 14-year-old girls, allegedly carried out by Afghan migrants at a shopping centre in Esbjerg.
News of the attacks, which prompted a “storm” of telephone calls to authorities from worried parents, would not have come to people’s attention had the media not followed up a tip-off about the incident, notes JydskeVestkysten.
“What might have happened had we not contacted [police] about the case?” the Danish newspaper queried at the weekend, asking whether officers believe that “citizens have no right to know what occurred in a busy public place?”
“There could be others who have been attacked in the same location or by the same men,” noted the publication in a series of questions it put to police, suggesting victims might not come forward if the authorities keep them in the dark.
Sweden: Underage Schoolgirl Gang Raped, Police Don’t Want to Describe Attackers https://t.co/5gsG1m1VhO
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Officers chose not to broadcast the case “in this particular instance” for the sake of the victims, who were “only 14-years-old and had just been exposed to a highly traumatic experience”, claimed police spokesman Lene Roesen, adding that the force would not answer hypothetical questions.
Last week police confirmed to local media that two Afghan nationals aged 16 and 20 have been arrested and charged with rape and attempted rape, respectively.
The alleged attacks took place during the evening of March 31, when the two men reportedly waited until the girls went into the public restrooms to assault them.
Reports of the crime led to a “storm” of telephone calls to the region’s SSP — a collaboration between schools, social services and police — according to Steen Bach, who heads the service in Esbjerg municipality.
“Many parents … called and asked if they should be worried about letting their children go to Broen Shopping, [the mall in which] the episode took place,” he said. “Our answer was an emphatic ‘no’.”
But, noting that the attacks took place at around 10 p.m., when shops in the centre had closed for the night — Bach added: “In general, I would say that 14-15 year old children should not be out on their own at the time. Where are the parents in this regard?”