Denmark announces $203.7m of new spending for security services

COPENHAGEN (REUTERS) - Denmark announced a US$150 million (S$203.7 million) package to boost police and intelligence services on Thursday, a move that comes days after deadly shootings in Copenhagen but was prepared earlier.

Of the 970 million crowns of new spending, 415 million is for collection of information on terrorist threats from abroad. Some 350 million is for security services to monitor and respond to emergencies and to improve information technology.

Opposition parties welcomed the measures but said as they were launched in response to the January attacks in Paris, when Islamist gunmen killed 17 people, they did not address concerns arising from the attacks on a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen last weekend, in which two people were shot dead.

Danish media have quoted police officers as saying they were ill-equipped and trained to respond adequately to the attacks over 13 hours from Saturday afternoon until early Sunday morning. Five police officers were injured.

Reports said police were sent out to hunt down the attacker, 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, with ill-fitting bullet-proof jackets and that it took 30 shots to kill him. "After the events of the weekend, we can see that there are additional challenges around equipment, bullet-proof vests for police officers, training," Mr Lars Lokke Rasmussen, leader of the opposition Liberal Party, told journalists.

The new spending announced after a government meeting on Thursday "is not the full solution", he said.

The Scandinavian country is still reeling from the weekend violence, which Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called a terrorist attack.

The attacker was known to the police due to his links to a gang in Norrebro, an area of Copenhagen with a large immigrant community. He had been convicted of assault and released from prison weeks before the shootings.

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