Den Uafhængige Politiklagemyndighed: The Independent Police Complaint Commission

Josefine Niller Henning & Sigrid Friis Neergaard

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


The Danish police complaint commission, DUP, was established to increase the independence and justice for both the citizens and the police. The former system was not considered independent enough as it was up to the public prosecutor to investigate, charge and decide the case. DUP was established to investigate the cases as well as decide cases regarding inappropriate police behaviour. The former system was accused of favouring the police over the citizens. We look into whether DUP is an improvement of that system and if it has become fairer towards the citizens. We also study the specific reasons for the establishment of a new complaint system from judicial and political aspects as well as in accordance to the interests of the citizens. A study on the Danish peoples' confidence in the police from 2006 to 2010 shows a decrease in this confidence, which could explain why The Ministry of Justice found it necessary to establish a more independent police complaint system. One of the aims behind setting up an independent commission was to decrease the segregation between the citizens and the police by giving the citizens more control over the police, as it is easier for them to complain over the police's behaviour. Based on Anthony Giddens' theory on trust, we analyse the citizens' confidence in the police and the influence this has had on the establishment of DUP. In order to gain trust, one must prove their credibility. We believe that the police gain trust through DUP as this commission was set up to create confidence in the police and the police complaint system. DUP proves its credibility by gaining trust through legitimate power. To analyse this aspect we use Max Weber's theory on legitimacy to study and explain DUP as a bureaucratic structure with a rational-legal authority. We have interviewed a citizen, a defence lawyer and a lawyer from DUP about DUP and the former police complaint system. Through the information we have gained, we conclude that the independence of DUP is questionable. DUP does investigate more thoroughly than the public prosecutor did and the investigators have sufficient education, but this also means that they have studied with police officers, which can cause problems, as the investigators may know the people they investigate. We discuss whether DUP's issues and the concern about the system's lack of justice towards the citizens can be solved by attaching personal identification numbers on the police uniforms or by making the police wear on-body cameras.

UddannelserBasis - Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato17 dec. 2014


  • Politi
  • Klagesager
  • DUP