The Politiets Aktionsstyrke or just AKS is the prime unit of Denmark’s police. The regular police duties often face difficulties and in such a situation, there is a need for a cavalry. In Denmark, it means that Politiets Aktionsstyrke (English: The Special Intervention Unit) rolls out. Politiets Aktionsstyrke or just AKS is a special purpose unit of the Danish police and has a starring role as a national SWAT team trained in a wide range of operations, primarily for anti-terrorist action. They are under the direct supervision of the Danish Minister of Justice while their activities are under the jurisdiction of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET).
Their duties cover-up extraordinarily difficult or life-threatening criminal situations, such as terrorism, hostage situations, and kidnapping. The AKS is also tasked with emergency rescue situations that would be too dangerous for other law enforcement units to handle.
That means that the main range of activities is focused on the fight against terrorism, the performance of the release of hostages and resolve hostage situations. If anything happens in Denmark, the Politiets Aktionsstyrke handles that. It means that they are responsible for all anti-terrorist missions in an area controlled by the state of Denmark.
Today, the AKS is orientated to various types of training which often includes cross-trainings with the Danish Army and Navy elite-units Jægerkorpset and Frømandskorpset.
Mission and duties
Alongside the regular duties in domestic fight against terrorism, they could be defined and sorted in the other way as
- Counter sniper operations
- Forced entry operations
- The apprehension of armed suspects
- The apprehension of barricaded suspects
- Force protection during deployment
- VIP protection
The Politiets Aktionsstyrke‘s operational functions are closely guarded secrets and so far there is not so much publicly released information. What has been published is that the AKS was created just after the Munich Summer Olympic incident in 1972.
At the moment of creation, the unit had around 50 to 70 operators. In 1998, the unit was reorganized and the number of operators was increased to 100.
During the time, the unit had dozens of operations. They were responsible for the notorious operation of clearing and evicting the anarchist and leftist groups from Ungdomshuset on March 1, 2007, which triggered mass unrest in Copenhagen.
Another significant operation occurred on January 7, 2013, when an operator from AKS was seriously wounded during an arrest operation against three suspected narcotics smugglers. In the shootout which occurred, the suspected perpetrator was killed by a headshot while another suspect was wounded. A third suspect was arrested. It was the first time that an AKS-officer had been wounded during an operation.
Selection and training
The unit adopted the Western model of organization similar to the German GSG-9. New candidates are chosen from police and army personnel during an intensive volunteer selection course.
Members of Politiets Aktionsstyrke are armed with the most modern small arms, assault rifles, snipers, shotguns and other special weapons intended for such type of unit. Their arsenal includes also Heckler and Koch MP5’s, USP Compact, C8 rifle, G36c assault rifle, Sako TRG sniper rifle.