Politivennen is one of the first Danish weekly newspapers, published between 1798 and 1846. Digitalizedby Copenhagen Public Libraries. It is a an important source of informations about everyday life in Copenhagen and Denmark, including Slesvig-Holstein and Norway, during what we today would call military dictatorship, the absolutism 1660-1849. Censorship had for a short period between 1770 and 1799 been abolished. In 1825 there were 14 newspapers with a circulation of about 12,000.
Copenhagen during the period of Politivennen grew from 100,000 to 200,000 people, and as the city’s extension remained the same, life became more and more crowded., living like “herrings in a barrel”. The official purpose of the weekly was to assist the police, making aware of “disorders”. Hence, the name Politivennen, which means The Police Friend. And the police force was small, less than 100 in Copenhagen. Under cover of these numerous complaints, the reader gets a unique view into everyday life in Copenhagen and Denmark:
Complaints against dirt and grime. Catastrophic roads, sidewalks, and traffic. Competitors and coaches. Low and loose shop signs, railings, fences and water pumps. Leaking gutters. Poor lack of street lighting. Water quality. Street names and house numbers. Street Trade. Hotels and hostels. High cost of living. Dogs. Beggars. Contributors gave a lot of "good advice" - even in the midst of the Battle of Copenhagen 1801. Only during Copenhagen Bombardment 1807 they stopped for a few months.