Dying in the cold, a tale about homeless foreigners


At February 8th 2011, 5 pm, the BBC Radio 4 transmitted a 30 minute long broadcast entitled “Europe driving on the right”. The right-wing turn in Scandinavian and especially Danish politics has been put under the scope and depicts the struggle of minimising immigration.

The broadcast mentioned that a “prohibition preventing homeless foreigners to overnight at shelters has lead to several deaths”.

This provoked a reaction, which led the Danish television programme Detektor to ask just how the fact of the matter is concerning homeless foreigners dying in the winter cold. At 11.15 pm February 16th 2011 Detektor will transmit a broadcast on P1 to explode the assertion about homeless foreigners dying on the streets of Denmark during winter.

An article can be found on the DR Webpage stating that “only two people have been found dead since 2007 in the capital according to the Copenhagen Municipality. One person from Poland died sleeping on a bench refusing to receive help from the Municipality and a Swedish citizen who would have been allowed to spend the night at a public shelter, had he only sought it out”.

The sources BBC used in their broadcast have all expressed remorse over the lack of documentation regarding the assertion of freezing deaths. Subsequently BBC has expressed their regret in this case.

However, the story does not end here. Preben Brandt wants to highlight that in his point of view, this story contains both a moral and actual challenge.

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