Further drop in solved offences
A total of 287 600 offences were investigated by the police and prosecution authority in 2018, which is 0.4 per cent less than the year before. A continued decline in solved offences led to fewer charged persons.
In 2018, there was a flattening of the long-running trend of an annual decline in the number of offences investigated. Following the decline in investigated offences in the reform year of 2017, 2018 is more on a par with offences reported to the police the same year, with an increase in several groups of offences. For the country as a whole, the investigation of 2 080 fewer property thefts and 2 250 fewer drug and alcohol offences was completed than the year before. However, the investigation was completed for 1 720 more offences of violence and maltreatment than the year before, with a corresponding increase of 830 for sexual offences. This represents increases of 6 and 15 per cent respectively.
Fewer solved, and more unsolved offences
In 2018, 141 000 offences were solved, which is 3 per cent less than the year before and the lowest since the 1990s. The 2018 decline is partly explained by the 9 per cent drop in solved property thefts and 8 per cent drop in solved narcotic offences.
Figure 1. Offences investigated, by police decision. Absolute figures
|Prosecution dropped insufficient information about the offender||Prosecution dropped deficient evidence||Prosecution dropped deficient capasity and other unsolved||Prosecution dropped, the offender not liable||Transferred to Conflict Council||Ticket fine||Committed for trial||Prosecution dropped and other solved|
Concurrent to the drop in solved offences, the number of unsolved offences increased by 3 per cent from the year before. In 2018, 1 170 more unsolved incidents of fraud and 730 more unsolved violations of weapons, fire and explosives legislation contributed to the increase.
Fewer persons charged
The drop in solved offences led to a drop of more than 4 per cent in charges and charged persons from 2017. In 2018, 143 000 charges were registered against a total of 70 500 persons, of which 48 000 were registered with only one charge each. This is an extension of the decade long development of annual declines in charged persons, starting in the peak year of 2007 – as described in previous articles. However, the developments depend on the charged persons’ principal offence. For sexual offences, the number of charged persons has seen an increase of 66 per cent over the previous decade – from 1 050 in 2008 to 1 740 in 2018.
More rapes investigated – lower clear-up rate
In 2018, the investigation was completed for 6 490 sexual offences. The majority of the increase of 830 sexual offences from the year before stems from cases with illegal pornography or pictures of children and adolescents under 18 years of age.
Figure 2. Number of rapes in total, by police decision. Absolute figures. (Per cent solved in parentheses.)
|2008 (40 %)||2018 (33 %)|
|Prosecution dropped, insufficient information about the offender||122||114|
|Prosecution dropped, deficient evidence||612||1152|
|Prosecution dropped, the offender not liable||62||125|
|Committed for trial||319||393|
The trend of more investigated rapes continued in 2018, as shown in figure 2. In 2018, 1 930 rapes were settled by the legal system, compared to 1 240 ten years before. However, an increasing share of the investigated rapes remain unsolved; most frequently dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Biggest share of foreign citizens among persons charged with other offence for profit
While there was a considerable increase in the share of foreign citizens among charged persons up until 2013, the share has since been stable at around 23 per cent. However, this share varies among types of offences. As shown in figure 3, the share of foreign citizens among persons charged with property theft has fallen from 35 per cent in the peak year of 2013 to 28 per cent in 2018. Concurrently, the share of foreign citizens among those charged with other offences for profit, which among other offences include violations of the Customs Act, rose from 31 to 33 per cent.
Figure 3. Share of persons charged without Norwegian citizenship, by group of principal offence
|Public order and integrity violations||22.3||23.3||24.7||23.4||25.6||24.2|
|Drug and alcohol offences||21.1||21.6||20.3||20.5||20.5||20.1|
|Violence and maltreatment||16.9||17.7||18.1||16.7||17.3||16.7|
|Other offences for profit||33||32||29.2||30.3||31.3||31.1|
|All groups of offences||22.7||23.1||22.6||22.6||23.3||22.6|