Danish Security and Intelligence Service

Danish Security and Intelligence Service
The Danish Security and Intelligence Service
Politiets Efterretningstjeneste
Logo of The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET)
Agency overview
Formed 1939
Preceding agency Det sønderjyske Politiadjudantur
Jurisdiction Government of Denmark
Headquarters Søborg, Århus & Odense
Employees ca. 650 (2005)
Minister responsible Lars Barfoed, Ministry of Justice of Denmark
Agency executive Jakob Scharf (May 2007), Politimester (Deputy National Commissioner)
Parent agency Ministry of Justice of Denmark
The Danish Security and Intelligence Service

Politiets Efterretningstjeneste (PET) (The Danish Security and Intelligence Service abbreviated DSIS) is the national security intelligence agency of Denmark. The agency focuses solely upon domestic security while foreign intelligence operations is handled by Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste – an intelligence branch under the Danish military.

The stated overall purpose of PET is to "prevent, investigate and counter operations and activities that pose or may pose a threat to the preservation of Denmark as a free, democratic and safe country."[1]



The three main duties of the PET are counter terrorism, counter extremism and counter espionage.[2]

Counter terrorism does not only encompass stopping terrorist attacks upon Denmark and Danish interests but also to ensure Denmark isn’t used as a base of operations for carrying out terrorist attacks in and against other countries.[3] Furthermore PET attempt to gather evidence to ensure that terrorists are prosecuted. Denmark is obliged by UN and EU resolutions to support other states in prosecuting terrorists.[3]

Aside from the three main areas PET also provides counselling to Danish companies on how to avoid espionage(but is only directly involved in countering industrial espionage if an agency of a foreign government is involved).[4][5] It has a role as national security advisor to the Danish government, public authorities and other branches of the police along with a number of other activities common to domestic security organisations.[6]

PET also provides bodyguards for Danish royalty, politicians and other persons.[7]


PET is a part of the Danish police but refers directly to the Minister of Justice.[8]

The headquarter is located in Copenhagen, and they have offices in Århus and Odense located in the local police stations. Because the service is integrated with the Danish police, they have representatives in all police precincts of Denmark. [8]

Supervision and oversight

Several organs oversee PET in order to make sure the agency does not misuse its powers.

  • Ministry of Justice.
  • The parliamentary budget committee (Rigsrevisionen) has oversight and supervision with the budgets.
  • The Wamberg committee has oversight and supervision with the registration of people.
  • Parliamentary intelligence agencies control committee, that consist of five members, from each of the five biggest parties.

Besides those listed the agency is also under the control of the Courts of Denmark (which has to approve many special steps of investigation, e.g. wire-tapping.)

Criticism and public relations

PET was criticised in the late 1990s for being closed to the public and has tried to counter these claims by adopting a more open approach. Thus PET has taken to maintain a website explaining its overall aims and obligations and publishing an annual public report surveying extremist activities in Denmark and the threat level to national domestic security (albeit only in a very overall fashion).[9]

People with PET bodyguards

PET does not comment on whom they offer specific bodyguard protection. However, it is publicly established that the following people are under permanent protection:

See also

External links

Sources, references and endnotes

  1. ^ PET: Welcome to The Danish Security and Intelligence Service
  2. ^ PET: Arbejdsområder
  3. ^ a b PET: Kontraterrorisme
  4. ^ PET: Kontraspionage
  5. ^ Pet: Faq
  6. ^ PET: Sikkerhed
  7. ^ PET: Personbeskyttelse
  8. ^ a b PET: Organisation
  9. ^ PET: Publikationer mv

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