Penal sanctions

Updated: 1 December 2023

Next update: Not yet determined

Sanctions registered (on the spot fine not included)
Sanctions registered (on the spot fine not included)
58 010
Penal sanctions and sanctioned persons, by type of sanction.
Penal sanctions and sanctioned persons, by type of sanction.
Penal sanctions in total288 660
On the spot fine230 650
Penal sanctions without on-the-spot-fines58 010
Settled in mediation service1 257
Waiver of prosecution without contidions4 628
Conditional waiver of prosecution3 723
Ticket fine32 804
Fine2 248
Other sanction42
Sentences on more than a fine13 308
Community sentence1 611
Youth sentence76
Conditional imprisonment4 298
Unconditional imprisonment7 231
Preventive detention19
Compulsory mental health care sentence65
Compulsory care sentence8
Persons sanctioned in total258 392
Persons sanctioned, on-the-spot fine not included52 374
Persons sentenced to more than a fine12 819
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Penal sanctions by main type of sanction, since 1997.
    Penal sanctions by main type of sanction, since 1997.
    Sanctions in total (from 2019)Sanctions, selected types1 Settled in mediation serviceWaiver of prosecution without contidionsConditional waiver of prosecution2 On the spot fineTicket fineFineCommunity sentence3 Conditional imprisonmentUnconditional imprisonmentSpecial sanction or other type of sanction4 5
    1997..215 165....429159 60236 0902 0687357 4998 642100
    1998..218 138....319158 10540 6562 3476467 5558 44169
    1999..215 070....233153 33841 2842 3086697 8679 28586
    2000..206 367....219142 42045 4851 5946496 8809 06258
    2001..239 240....219158 63756 6392 07176610 20310 62679
    20023 5 ..205 988....159139 58746 9422 1447507 2969 04169
    2003..257 046....164181 96052 5871 9831 6478 29210 31994
    2004..302 041....559225 70455 3761 7452 1916 6449 75864
    2005..316 189....951233 19056 4572 3142 6239 28911 29273
    2006..346 882....772263 65958 6032 5082 8047 75110 71174
    20072 ..357 149....1 426269 39862 9172 7302 7227 44210 44569
    2008..338 356....1 706256 35058 0532 2092 8816 74810 35356
    2009..312 281....1 959234 03255 3932 2352 6036 5369 47152
    2010..336 033....2 615253 75556 2572 0692 8967 05111 33456
    2011..316 901....2 716237 58655 5251 9852 5216 16110 34166
    2012..317 022....2 349240 23954 6061 6992 3495 7319 99356
    2013..309 336....3 208228 82355 3851 6982 4276 07411 67645
    20144 ..300 711....3 303224 88452 8681 5452 1555 33410 55567
    2015..291 850....3 477213 98953 9221 7342 0325 73510 86893
    2016..290 923....3 261217 19750 5861 7961 9445 47410 556109
    2017..277 175....3 675209 60946 1991 6491 8734 8329 216122
    2018..270 337....3 992206 03643 3821 4951 8304 5908 885127
    20191 282 539277 2651 4742 4464 188216 95040 6531 5811 8824 5998 624142
    2020299 019292 6361 3234 1217 366232 32737 3471 7851 9454 1068 548151
    2021271 087264 3531 3033 9976 243208 75434 7491 9511 9033 7548 216217
    2022288 660281 3491 2574 6283 723230 65032 8042 2481 6114 2987 231210
    1The column for "Sanctions, selected" includes all sanctions except "Settled in conflict council", "Waiver of prosecution without conditions" as well as waiver of sentencing (in "Other sanction") and on-the-spot fines for maritime matters, which were first included in the statistics fom. 2019.
    2The figures for conditional waivers of prosectuion are characterized by insufficient registration in older years, especially in the period before 2007. For comparison, see figures persons charged for investigated offenses, statistical bank table 09420.
    3The older type of sanction community service was replaced by community sanction in 2002. The category community service also includes community service.
    4Youth sentence was introduced as a new type of punishment in June 2014 and included in the category "Other type of reaction".
    5The older special sanction security detention was in 2002 replaced with preventive detention, compulsory mental health care and compulsory care. Security detention in combination with unconditional imprisonment is placed in the category unconditional imprisonment, while security detention alone is placed in the category other type of sanction.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Penal sanctions (on-the-spot fines not included) and criminal counts, by subtype of sanction and type of sanction
    Penal sanctions (on-the-spot fines not included) and criminal counts, by subtype of sanction and type of sanction
    TotalYouth supervisionDrug-treatment program under court controlAnti-intoxicated-driving programOther special conditionsRestraining ordersOther loss of rightConditional fine (without special conditions)No registered subtype
    Penal sanctions
    All types of sanctions58 0103491673773181408338956 187
    Settled in mediation service1 257115::::::1 142
    Waiver of prosecution without contidions4 628:::::::4 628
    Conditional waiver of prosecution3 723122::215:::3 386
    Ticket fine32 80415::6:1938332 381
    Fine2 248:::::::2 242
    Community sentence1 611:::7:::1 601
    Conditional imprisonment4 298951183636957:3 639
    Unconditional imprisonment7 231:49141912656:6 965
    ¬ Unconditional imprisonment only3 995::::9846:3 851
    ¬ Unconditional and conditional imprisonment580:49141923::469
    ¬ Unconditional imprisonment and other2 656::::56:2 645
    Preventive detention19:::::::15
    Compulsory mental health care65:::::::65
    Compulsory care8:::::::8
    Youth sentence76:::::::74
    Other sanction42:::::::41
    Criminal counts (average per sanction)
    All types of sanctions1.
    Settled in mediation service1.21.8::::::1.2
    Waiver of prosecution without contidions1.1:::::::1.1
    Conditional waiver of prosecution1.31.9::1.6:::1.3
    Ticket fine1.32.3::2.2:
    Community sentence2.9:::3.4:::2.9
    Conditional imprisonment2.
    Unconditional imprisonment4.0:14.110.412.67.613.8:3.7
    ¬ Unconditional imprisonment only4.0::::6.614.2:3.9
    ¬ Unconditional and conditional imprisonment7.0:14.110.412.610.4::5.6
    ¬ Unconditional imprisonment and other3.2::::12.66.0:3.1
    Precentive detention8.6:::::::8.9
    Compulsory mental health care9.6:::::::9.6
    Compulsory care23.6:::::::23.6
    Youth sentence4.5:::::::4.6
    Other sanction2.0:::::::1.9
    Explanation of symbols
  • Penal sanctions by main type of sanction and principal offence (groups and selected types)
    Penal sanctions by main type of sanction and principal offence (groups and selected types)
    All types of sanctionsWaiver of prosecution or mediation serviceOn the spot fineTicket fineCourt fine or other sanctionCommunity sentence or youth sentenceConditional imprisonmentUnconditional imprisonment or special sanction
    All types of offences288 6609 608230 65032 8042 2901 6874 2987 323
    Property theft, total5 9552 732:2 5727882128363
    Petty theft3 8932 356:1 50036:::
    Theft (not aggravated)1 676335:1 038363272163
    Aggravated theft206::::3427137
    Theft of car or other motor vehicle15424:21:162763
    Other offences for profit, total12 5693219 9381 07654242318620
    Receipt of stolen property or money laundering320::7292539112
    Fraud, total1 184121:34620174181342
    Embesslement, total25753:75:184861
    Accounting offences25848:125:181846
    Customs Act10 420279 93841015:524
    Criminal damage, total783300:36635131950
    Petty damage to property10558:407:::
    Damage to property603234:31828:128
    Aggravated damage to property56::7:10630
    Violence and maltreatment5 6441 313:1 3751435414601 812
    Assault2 142777:9077485103196
    Aggravated assault200::::3436115
    Bodily harm439::::6922300
    Grievous bodily harm111:::19:89
    Unintentional bodily harm or manslaughter61::::1438
    Maltreatment in close relations, total165::::21:131
    Assault of public servant685::11:12595416
    Threats, total792191:1432570120243
    Robbery and extortion224::::7720115
    Reckless behaviour and stalking678216:30438193368
    Sexual offences, total1 014120:270136166484
    Aggravated rape15::::::15
    Rape, child under 14 years120::::21:98
    Aggravated rape, child under 14 years17::::::16
    Sexual intercourse, child 14-15 years77::::12560
    Sexually abusive behaviour161::1157:99
    Drug and alcohol offences, total11 4172 204:3 2211434362 5072 906
    Narcotics, use520349:15912:::
    Narcotics, minor possesion1 200::31711:::
    Narcotics offences (not aggravated), Penal Code3 053::94157295477447
    Aggravated narcotics offences, Penal Code562::::9776387
    Driving under the incluence5 539::1 40949421 9392 061
    Public order and integrity violations, total7 3701 175:5 08153949127399
    Breach of the peace, total1 724184:1 44990:::
    Weapong, fire and explosives legisaltion1 692437:1 04886172282
    Obstructing and counteracting public authority2 891340:2 059322631133
    Perjury and false accusation62::8::1529
    Immigration legislation208::12510:632
    Document and ID offences31746:149592481
    Unaouthorised access and stay24582:931681531
    Traffic offences, total242 3451 247220 71217 6291 185261649662
    Without dricving licence3 924244:3 2841036104183
    Speeding208 423169200 2246 328595250453402
    Personal injury1 233107:1 01053:3821
    Other offences, total1 563196:1 214100:2427
    Hunting and fishing offences45037:39116:::
    Other offences against the environment784118:60229:1320
    Explanation of symbols
  • Penal sanctions, by main type of sanction, sex and age.
    Penal sanctions, by main type of sanction, sex and age.
    All types of sanctionsWaiver of prosecution and mediation serciveOn the spot fineTicket fineCourt fine or other sanctionCommunity sentence or youth sentenceConditional imprisonmentUnconditional imprisonment or special sanction
    Total288 6609 608230 65032 8042 2901 6874 2987 323
    Both sexes278 3059 573220 88032 2722 2721 6874 2987 323
    Males208 4807 201160 80726 9211 9201 4493 6446 538
    Females69 8252 37260 0735 351352238654785
    Unknown sex9 770:9 770:::::
    All ages 15 years or older288 0609 573230 63532 2722 2721 6874 2987 323
    15-17 years4 7772 6756809982217519730
    18-20 years15 6238459 3723 770230300465641
    21-24 years20 22076813 7243 832281242514859
    25-29 years25 67985318 8073 8233242375381 097
    30-39 years56 6721 69744 2066 7485343911 0542 042
    40-49 years58 4031 26848 9325 3654122167621 448
    50-59 years55 66079648 9344 21028597477861
    60-69 years32 18435229 1302 03313025228286
    70 years or older18 84231916 8501 49354:6359
    Unknown age15:15:::::
    Explanation of symbols
  • Penal sanctions by type of sanction and sentencting (NOK fine, hours community sentence, days prison)
    Penal sanctions by type of sanction and sentencting (NOK fine, hours community sentence, days prison)1
    All types of sanctionsSanctions without fine or (subsidiary) prison sentenceOn the spot fineTicket fine¬ Fine only¬ Community sentence only¬ Community sentence and fine¬ Conditional imprisonment only¬ Conditional imprisonment and fine¬ Unconditional imprisonment only¬ Unconditional and conditional imprisonment¬ Unconditional imprisonment and other¬ Preventive detention2 ¬ Youth sentence
    Total3 288 6609 723230 65032 8042 2481 4501611 2863 0123 9955802 6561976
    All with fine271 624.230 65032 8042 248.161.3 012.1202 629..
    1-1 999 (NOK)10 186.9 98717517...5.....
    2 000-4 999 (NOK)160 466.155 4674 711186.6.62.628..
    5 000-9 999 (NOK)80 115.62 58215 919946.32.373.32231..
    10 000-19 999 (NOK)16 865.2 61410 979981.78.1 314.50849..
    20 000-49 999 (NOK)2 800..832103.37.842.23963..
    50 000 (NOK) and more1 192..18815.8.416.9556..
    All with community sentence1 644....1 450161....33..
    Community sentence 1-29 hours27....26........
    Community sentence 30-59 hours496....45537.......
    Community sentence 60-89 hours215....17729....9..
    Community sentence 90-179 hours285....25426....5..
    Community sentence 180-359 hours154....12918....7..
    Community sentence 360-1079 hours52....47........
    All with subsidiary imprisonment271 535.230 65031 2632 2001 450161.2 966.1192 650.76
    Subsidiary imprisonment 1-29 days269 065.230 65030 1432 1125006.2 926.1192 609..
    Subsidiary imprisonment 30-59 days1 597..1 0528534759.39..15..
    Subsidiary imprisonment 60-89 days259..45.16338....9..
    Subsidiary imprisonment 3-5 months315..23.24135....6.10
    Subsidiary imprisonment 6-11 months196....13720....6.33
    Subsidiary imprisonment 1-2 years101....62.....5.31
    Subsidiary imprisonment 3 years and over..............
    All with conditional imprisonment4 878......1 2863 012.580...
    Conditional imprisonment 1-29 days3 245......6462 522.77...
    Conditional imprisonment 30-59 days800......310341.149...
    Conditional imprisonment 60-89 days269......11653.100...
    Conditional imprisonment 3-5 months251......9945.107...
    Conditional imprisonment 6-11 months162......5435.73...
    Conditional imprisonment 1-2 years130......5315.62...
    Conditional imprisonment 3 years and over21......8..12...
    All with unconditional imprisonment2 7 250........3 9955802 65619.
    Unconditional imprisonment 1-29 days2 633........1 039551 539..
    Unconditional imprisonment 30-59 days1 410........607135668..
    Unconditional imprisonment 60-89 days530........33956135..
    Unconditional imprisonment 3-5 months901........630134137..
    Unconditional imprisonment 6-11 months739........491119129..
    Unconditional imprisonment 1-2 years661........5387447..
    Unconditional imprisonment 3-4 years200........1906...
    Unconditional imprisonment 5-6 years93........87....
    Unconditional imprisonment 7-8 years30........27....
    Unconditional imprisonment 9-10 years19........17....
    Unconditional imprisonment 11 years and over34........30....
    1Dots in cells in this table deviate from Statistics Norway's standard symbols in tables. Here . = Confidential (figures are not published so as to avoid identifying persons or companies).
    2Sentencing unconditional imprisonment includes time frame for precentive detention.
    3The statistics includes sanctions against persons and enterprises. The scope of enterprises is stated in tables by sex or age.
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics include the legally enforceable penal sanctions registered during the year. The statistics include information about type of sanction, sentencing, judicial authority and type of offence, in addition to the sanctioned person’s age, sex and place of residence.

The information under «About the statistics» was last updated 28 September 2022.

Penal sanction: Each individual penal sanction against one physical or legal person, made legally enforceable and registered during the statistical year. Thus, for persons with more than one sanction during a year, each sanction is counted.

Sanctions refers here only to ticket fines (including on the spot fine), transfers to mediation service, waivers of prosecution or a court sentence on fine, community sentence, juvenile sanction, prison, special sanctions, loss of right, deferment of sentencing or waiver of sentencing.

Criminal count: The individual offense for which a reaction has been imposed (corresponds to the unit charge in the statistics on investigated offenses). In the statistics only used as average per reaction. On-the-spot fines do not have information on the number of criminal counts and the average number of criminal counts for all reactions in total can therefore not be calculated.

Sanctioned person: Each individual physical person registered with at least one sanction during the statistical year. Persons with more than one sanction during a year thus appear only once, represented by the sanction for the most serious offence (see “principal offence” below). Enterprises, organizations, public agencies, and other legal persons are not included.

Sentencing: Days for subsidiary, conditional and unconditional prison, NOK for fines, and hours for community sentence.

Classification of offences

Offence is in the crime statistics defined as a violation of the law which at the time of the act was punishable. In the digital registers used a basis for the statistics on sanctions (SSP, BOT, SIRI), about 660 different codes are in use for registering offences committed today. The statistics on sanctions are following the Statistics Norway’s’ standard classification of these codes into group and/or type of principal offence.
Following the Penal Code of 2005 coming into effect on 1 October 2015, around 430 new codes were introduced into the police’ registration system for offences. These replaced the codes from the Penal Code of 1902. Consequentially, Statistics Norway now uses the new version of Standard for types of offences, Type of offence 2015, to classify both old and new codes. From the release of the year 2015 and onwards, the statistics thus contain the following breakdown of offences (see “Standard classification” below for more info):

Group of offence is a division of offences into nine main groups. These groups of offences are further divided into more specified types of offences.

Type of offence is a division of offences into about 150 unique types. Similar types of offences are grouped together to aggregated levels, where all levels are included in the nine groups of offences.

Category of offence was a classification of offences used in the statistics since the early 19th century (“justice” vs. “police cases”) up until 2014, where offences were classified as either a crime (felony) or a misdemeanor. For more information on this expired classification, see the version Types of offences 2006 in Klass and About the statistics for Sanctions 2014.

Principal offence: If a sanction includes several offences, it is registered by the offence which by law carries the highest maximum sentence. Persons registered with more than one sanction during the year, will be represented by the sanction with the principal offence which by law carries the highest maximum sentence. If several offences has the same sentencing frame, the offence committed latest is chosen.

Information about the sanctions

Type of judicial authority is the authority responsible for the final decision with legal force in a case: Prosecution authority and the court (further divided into City and district courts, Lower courts of appeal, and the Supreme court).

Type of sanction is a classification of the different penal sanctions based on the judicial authority and the content of the sanction.

The types of sanctions decided by the prosecution authority (or civil servant with delegated authority to fine) are:

  • Transfer to the National Mediation Service (The Criminal Procedure Act section 71a)
  • Waiver of prosecution (The Criminal Procedure Act section 69)
  • On the spot fine (only for less serious traffic- and customs offences)
  • Ticket fine

The five main types of sanctions decided by the court are:

  • Fine
  • Community sentence
  • Conditional imprisonment
  • Unconditional imprisonment
  • Special sanctions and other type of sanction

“Special sanctions and other type of sanction” includes the sub-types preventive detention, compulsory health care sentence, compulsory care sentence and “other type of sanction”. “Other type of sanction” includes loss of rights, juvenile sentence, loss of right, and sentence delay (cf. prosecution conditionally dropped), but these are not specified in the statistics.

A court can also give some of these sanctions in combination, then represented by the principal (most severe) sanction in the statistics. By combining type of sanction and sentencing (assessment of sentence given in prison days and amount of fine), these combinations can be shown in more detail.

More about the types of punishments and other penal sanctions

Settled in mediation service means the prosecuting authority has transferred the case to the National Mediation Service (The Criminal Procedure Act section 71a) and that the case has been handled by the Mediation Service (the Mediation Service Act, Chapter IV). This includes the three types of treatment: 1) mediation, 2) follow-up and 3) youth follow-up.

Waiver of prosecution without conditions, or unconditional waiver of prosecution, means that the prosecuting authority chooses not to prosecute a person even if criminal guilt is "considered proven" (Criminal Procedure Act section 69, 1st paragraph). Waiver of prosecution by section 70 of the Criminal Procedure Act is not included in this category.

Conditional waiver of prosecution means that even though guilt is proved, further sanctioning is not carried out if certain conditions are adhered to during a fixed period (Criminal Procedure Act section 69, 2nd and 3rd paragraph). Normally this means a probationary period of two years where no new offences should be committed. Further special conditions could be given, such as drug testing or follow-up program for juvenile offenders (see “subtype of sanction”).

Fine is a financial punishment. The courts issues judicial fines. The prosecuting authority can issue a ticket fine (writ prescribing an optional fine) and certain civil servants within the police and customs on-the-spot fine (simplified writ). Accepting a ticket (or on-the-spot) fine does not mean guilt is accepted, but with all fines a subsidiary prison sentence is set in case the person is unable to pay. A fine can in certain cases also be conditional, see “subtype of sanction”.

Community sentence replaced in in March 2002 the earlier community service. The sanction can consist of unpaid work that is a benefit for the community as well as other programs, mediation or treatment, etc. for up to 420 hours. A subsidiary prison sentence is also decided. Sentences to community service, that can appear in later statistical years if the offence was committed before March 2002, are classified as Community sentence.

Conditional imprisonment (suspension of execution) means that one avoids serving the given sentence if, during a fixed period, the court's conditions are adhered to. Normally this means a probationary period of two years where no new offences should be committed. Further terms could be given, such as drug testing or follow-up program for juvenile offenders (see “subtype of sanction”).

Unconditional imprisonment means that the sentence must be served, primarily in prison. In some cases, all or part of the sentence of imprisonment is considered to have been served in a previous remand prison. As a general rule, the Execution of Sentences Act allows for release on probation when two thirds of the sentence have been served, but a minimum of two months. A subsidiary prison sentence is also decided. The Prison and Probation Service can also decide whether the imprisonment is to be carried out in whole or in part outside prison (see also the statistics on prisons).

Preventive detention was introduced in January 2002 as a formal punishment for persons who are considered accountable for their acts. This sanction involves imprisonment and can be prolonged indefinitely, but only for five years at a time. A time frame is set by the court, which usually corresponds to the length of an unconditional prison sentence if that had been sentenced instead. In addition, a minimum time can be set, that corresponds to 2/3 of the time frame. In new tables for years from and including 2019, the time frame is given as days of unconditional imprisonment. However, preventive detention can be extended as long as there is a high risk of new offences and the person is considered a danger to society.

Compulsory mental health care and Compulsory care was introduced in January 2002 as new special sanctions for persons considered unaccountable for their acts. People who are considered psychotic or unconscious can be sentenced to compulsory mental health care and people considered severely mentally retarded can be sentenced to compulsory care. The sentenced person is left to the healthcare system. There is no time limit, but the person should be released if there no longer is danger of relapse.

Juvenile sentence was introduced in July 2014 as a new type of penal sanction for offenders under 18 years old. Juvenile sentence can be given by a court as an alternative to unconditional imprisonment when a juvenile has committed serious or repeated offences. The court sets a time of implementation and a subsidiary prison sentence, but the exact content of the punishment is decided by a meeting at the Meditation Service.

Other sanction

Loss of right is a form of punishment that includes both loss of right to hold a position, practice an activity, as well as ban against contacting a certain person.

Deferral of sentencing is a sanction issued by court similar to conditional imprisonment, but with no sentence issued at all (cd. prosecution conditionally dropped).

Waiver of sentencing was introduced as a new penal sanction in the Penal Code of 2005 (in force in 2015) which can be imposed by a court. This means no sanction beyond confirmation of guilt (cf. waiver of prosecution without conditions). Waiver of sentencing is only included in new tables with figures back to 2019.

In cases where the older form of special sanction security detention was given without combination with unconditional prison, these are categorized under Other type of sanction.

Subtype of sanction:

In new tables with figures back to 2019 more detailed information is given on the sanction with the classification variable «subtype of sanction». The subtypes include various special conditions, loss of rights and conditional fines. Where a sanction has several subtypes, a subtype is set according to the following ranking:

  • Youth supervision is not a separate type of punishment but can be given as a transfer to mediation service or set as a special condition for other sanctions. In content and process, juvenile follow-up is similar to youth sentence (the Mediation Service Act, Chapter IV), but with a shorter implementation time and less intrusive measures as part of the youth plan.
  • Drug-treatment program under court control (ND) is a special condition that can be given with a conditional sentence. In order to be sentenced to ND, the convicted person must be considered drug-addicted and have committed a crime due to, or to finance, illegal drug-use. The court follows up the convicted person through the execution of the sentence and controls the progression in the rehabilitation.
  • Anti-intoxicated-driving program (PRK) is a special condition that can be given with a conditional sentence. The implementation time (deadline) at PRK is usually 10 months and the program include individual discussions every 14 days, group meetings (a total of 20-30 hours) and mapping of treatment needs.
  • Other special conditions are listed in sections 35-37 of the Penal Code and may include, among other things, payment of compensation, to avoid contact with specified persons, abstain for drugs or alcohol, or mediation.
  • Restraining orders is a loss of rights (Section 57 of the Penal Code) which may include a ban on staying certain places or visits and contact with certain persons. Such a ban can be implemented with electronic control (EK), also called reverse violence alarm (OVA).
  • Other loss of rights includes loss of the right to occupy a position or engage in an enterprise or activity (Section 56 of the Penal Code).
  • Conditional fine can be imposed as a ticket fine or a judiciary fine and will, like other conditional reactions, have a probationary period, as well as any special conditions (Section 53 of the Penal Code). Only cases without special conditions are listed as a separate subtype of reaction in the statistics, while those with special conditions are counted under the respective type of special conditions (e.g. youth supervision). With the new Penal Code of 2005, conditional fines was limited to perpetrators under 18 years of age. From June 2022, conditional fines will also be possible for persons over the age of 18 who have committed a use-related narcotic drug offense.

Information about the persons

Sex: For persons registered with valid national identity number, information about sex is taken from the National Population Register. For persons not found in this register (through national identity number or name), information about sex is taken from the relevant sanction register. However, in the register for on-the-spot-fines (SIRI) there are no information on sex.

Age: A person's age is defined as his/her age at the time of the offence (latest possible) for principal offence. If information about the time of the offence is missing, age at the time of sentence is used. For on-the-spot-fines there is only information about date of legal force (which varies from date of offence if the fine was given by a traffic enforcement camera).

Citizenship: For persons registered with valid national identity number, information about citizenship is taken from the National Population Register. For persons not found in this register (through national identity number or name), information about citizenship is taken from the relevant sanction register. However, in the register for on-the-spot-fines (SIRI) there is no information on citizenship.

Criminal record: Every sanction against a person with one or more previously registered sanctions in the Criminal Record Registry (even during the same statistical year) is classified as “previous registered in the Criminal Record Registry”. Only persons with a sentence in the Criminal Record Registry are checked for criminal record this way, thus termed “all with clarified registration in the Central Criminal Register”. The criteria for registration in this central registry are that the sanction include imprisonment, community service or a special sanction, loss of rights or postponed sentencing. Fines and prosecution conditionally dropped are only registered if the offence was a crime (felony).

Because of new rules for registration in the new sanction register, the tables on criminal record have not been continues after 2015.

Group of offence (new from 2015)

Type of offence (new from 2015)

County (place of residence)

Citizenship and Continents


Age: By single year or by the criminal statistics standard for age groups (in the most detailed cases 15-17, 18-20, 21-24, 25-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60+).

Name: Sanctions
Topic: Social conditions, welfare and crime

Not yet determined

Division for Income and social welfare statistics

The statistics is published at national level and to some extent by county.

Annual statistics

Some statistics are reported to international bodies such as UN (UNODC) and Eurostat.

Both raw data files, delivered from the Norwegian Police ICT Services and the Norwegian National Collection Agency, as well as final processed production files are also stored on Linux.

The statistics on sanctions are produced to give an overview of the use of formal punishment in Norway, the frequency of different types of sanctions and the assessment of sentence for different types of offences. The statistics shall also give information on key characteristics of the persons sentenced. The statistics on sanctions is financed by the Ministry of Finance.

The statistics on sanctions has been produced in different ways since 1835 and by Statistics Norway since 1883 (from the start translated to French, from the 1950s to English). In the 1860s the statistics expanded to include sentences and ticket fines for misdemeanours. At the same time with the transition from manual to digital central Criminal Record Registry (SSP) in 1978, prosecutions dropped for misdemeanours were also included, as well as sanctions for violations of the military penal code (see historical archive and Historical Statistics 1994).

Until 1996 the statistics was based on simple, summary statements of misdemeanours, while the data on crimes contained detailed specifications. With a change in the production of the statistics in 1997, also affecting statistical criteria, individual specifications on misdemeanours were taken into use.

Along with the 1997 change, a classification of ten groups of offences were introduced in addition to the traditional classification of 40-50 types of offences. A classification of offence of profit, offences of violence, sexual offences and others was removed in 1992 because the definitions, especially for offences of violence, no longer were in accordance with the common understanding of the users.

From 2003 figures for persons sanctioned have been part of the statistics. From 2005 this statistical unit have been further developed and expanded.

This statistic published in StatBank (from October 2014) include more, and more detailed, tables, available for years back to 2002 (and for sanctioned persons back to 2005).

In 2015 a new Criminal Record Registry (SSP3.0) was taken into use at 1 October, at the same time as the new Penal Code 2005 took effect.

The new Penal Code taking effect caused Statistics Norway to make a new standard for classification of offences, with nine new “groups of offence” and 150 new “types of offence”. In addition the old legal division between crimes (felonies) and misdemeanours was discontinued. This division has been fundamental for the statistics throughout its history and causes changes in almost all of the regular tables.

From 2019 on-the-spot-fines for maritime offences are included in the statistics.

In new tables with figures back to 2019 the sanctions “Settled in mediation service” and “Waiver of prosecution without conditions” are included in the statistics. Likewise, the new penal sanction waiver of sentencing (in force with the new Penal Code in 2015) is included in the statistics under “Other sanction”

The main users are the media, researchers and the education sector, the Ministry of Justice and the Police, National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) and the Office of the Public Prosecutor. Beyond this the statistics form the basis of information to other people or organizations concerning the state and development in the area of crime. The statistics on sanctions have information only about offences that has lead to a formal penal sanction and does not show the full extent of punishable acts committed within the Norwegian population or selected parts of it.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on at 08 am. Prior to this, a notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of the most important Principles for Equal treatment of users in releasing statistics and analyses.

Statistics on sanctions is one of four annual key statistics within crime statistics. The other three are statistics on offences reported to the police (including a separate statics on victims of offences reported to the police), offences investigated,and imprisonments.

When using crime statistics, it is important to be aware that the various parts do not necessarily refer to the same population of offences or statistical units. The investigation of an offence can be completed in another year than the year it was reported. And one sanctions can be a reaction to several offences committed by the same person. The tables under sanctions are therefore not directly comparable with the tables under the other statistics.

The Statistics Act, sections 2-1, 2-2, and 3-2. Police Register Act, section 9.

Not relevant

The statistics covers all sanctions with legal efficacy registered during the year. To have legal efficacy means that all possibilities for appeal is exhausted.

Of all penal sanctions listed in the Penal Act 2005, the statistics includes conditional waiver of prosecution, ticket fines (including on the spot fine) and court sentences on fine, community sentence, youth sanction, imprisonment, special sanctions, loss of right, and deferral of sentencing. This definition of the population goes back to 1978. In new tables in the Statbank with figures starting from 2019, the population is expanded to include waiver of prosecution without conditions (Criminal Procedure Act section 69), transfer to National Mediation Service (Criminal Procedure Act section 71a), and waiver of sentencing.

This means that all sanctions defined as «penalties» (punishment) in the Penal Code (section 29) are included in the statistics. Almost all «other criminal sanctions» (section 30) are also included, except confiscation sentences or confiscation tickets, as well as prosecution waivers by section 70 of the Criminal Procedure Act (additional offences that will have no or insignificant effect on the sentencing). The reason why these sanctions have been omitted has partly to do with the data quality and partly with the fact that these reactions follow a different case processing and case construction than other penal sanctions do. These reactions cannot, or only rarely, act as a separate reaction regardless of whether other reactions are imposed. Certain types of confiscation also do not require criminal conviction.

The reporting unit is the Police ICT-services (PIT, under the National Police Directorate) for SSP-data (and earlier BOT-data), and the Norwegian National Collection Agency (SI, under the directorate of Taxes) for on-the-spot-fines.

The data on most types of sanctions (except on the spot fines) are collected from the Norwegian Central Criminal Record and Police Information System (SSP) owned by the National Police Directorate (POD). The National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) is administrative responsibility for the SSP, and is the source when Statistics Norway needs further information about certain cases.

From 1 October 2015 a new central Criminal Record Register (SSP3.0) was implemented, at the same time as the new Penal Code 2005 and a new Police Register Regulations, section 44-4 (cf. the Police Register Act, section 9) took effect, with a broadened mandate for registration. According to the old Criminal Record Act section 1, only crimes (felonies) and court issued sanctions (except for fines for misdemeanors). In the new Criminal Record Register all sanctions except for on-the-spot-fines are registered.

For prosecutions conditionally dropped, ticket fines and fines by sentence given for a misdemeanor committed before 1.10.2015 data were collected from the Central Register for Fines (BOT), also owned by POD. Since 2019 BOT has been completely taken out as a data source for the statistics on penal sanctions.
Data for on-the-spot fines are collected from the SIAN-register (SIRI prior to 2019) administered by the Norwegian National Collection Agency (SI), under the Directorate of Taxes (SKE).

The handling of the data for statistical purposes also draws upon information gathered from the SSB’s population register, BeReg (a copy of the National Population Register), population statistics published by the SSB and previous years of the statistics on sanctions.

The statistics is not based on samples, but on the registration of all sanctions each year, see Population.

The data are obtained electronically from the registers after the end of the statistical year. The statistics on Sanctions is normally produced during the first half-year succeeding the statistical year. Information on erroneous registrations and insufficient data are obtained from the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) and the Norwegian National Collection Agency (SI) during the 1st and 2nd quarter.

Until 1 October 2015, prosecution conditionally dropped, ticket fines or sentences to fine for misdemeanour were not registered in the sanction register (SSP), and information from the fine register (BOT) were therefore used for these cases. As of 1 October 2015, such sanctions will also be registered in the new sanction register, with the exception where the misdemeanour has been committed before 1 October 2015 and will thus be punished and registered in accordance with the old law and regulations. In cases where a case is registered in both registers, only the one from the reaction register is included in the statistical material. For the 2019-statistics BOT taken out as a source in its entirety.

Quality controls aimed at identifying errors and supplying missing information is carried out regularly. Corrections are made in cooperation with the responsible authority.

The statistics on Sanctions are calculated by adding up the number of sanctions with the prevailing variables, e.g. the number of sanctions, by sex, age and principal offence. Per 1 000 population (over the criminal responsibility age – 15 years from 1990 and onwards; 14 years prior to 1990) is calculated from population figures from January 1st after the statistical year.

For an overview (in Norwegian) of data controls and Statistics Norway’s data handling routines see “Documentation”.

Not relevant

The statistics on Sanctions contains personal data and information on criminal offences which are considered to be sensitive and potentially to the great detriment of the person if they are disclosed. Thus, Statistics Norway manages this data with great caution.

To minimise risks of disclosure the statistics are published with figures at a relatively high aggregation level, for example mainly figures for the whole of the country. When grouping these figures on lower levels (e.g. county of residence), the crossing variables are at a higher aggregation level – e.g. group of offence and age group, as opposed to the more detailed variables on type of offence and one-year age intervals.

In tables with distribution by citizenship, all values ​​for country codes with a total population of less than 100 punished persons within a year group are omitted.

In new tables with figures from 2019 onwards, values are hidden (also called "suppression" or "dotting") in cells with a value lower than 5, by being replaced by dots (mainly : and in some cases . ). In tables with average values, values calculated from numbers (N) lower than 5 are similarly hidden.

For years prior to 1978 see “Background and purpose”. When using historical time series it is of importance to take into account the changes in criminal legislation and the courts’ practice. Some of these changes are described in the annual publications as well as documentation memos (see older archives).


From the 1997 statistics the statistical unit have been changed from sanction with legal efficacy to sanction registered. While this assures that all sanctions are included in the statistics, changes in the speed of registration can affect the amount of cases in the statistics from one year to another. Delayed registrations that are being caught up with in the following year may cause changes in the statistics that do not represent any genuine changes in the number of sanctions made enforceable. This has been especially visible in the statistics for 2000-2002, in 2007 and 2015.

This statistic published in StatBank (published October 2014) include more, and more detailed, tables with type of sanction, type of offence, age, sex and type of judicial authority. Additionally, there are more figures on sanctions by whether or not they are formerly registered in the Central Criminal Register. These more detailed tables are only published in the StatBank back to 1997 (first statistics on sanctioned person from 2005).


From 2005 the statistical unit “sanctioned person” has been further developed and expanded. The unit is different from former publications (table 46 in 2003 and 2004) regarding persons without a valid Norwegian personal identification number, which now is identified by name. This new identification method of sanctioned persons results in somewhat fewer sanctioned persons.


There are uncertainties related to the number of prosecutions conditionally dropped that have been delivered in the source material from the police for previous years. Comparisons with statistics on persons charged indicate that there has been a significant number of missing units of prosecutions conditionally dropped in the statistical years before 2007 and especially around 2002. Since 2013 special quality assurance has been done on these cases.


The police have made significant changes in the method of registration into the Central registry for fines (BOT), which among other things renders possible more detailed information than before. The data Statistics Norway gathers from this registry, as one of three data basis for the statistics on Sanctions, are therefore changed and expanded from 2012 and onwards. This has caused changes in Statistics Norway’s handling of the data, as well as improvements in the scope, coverage and quality of the statistics.


The shift to a new sanction register (SSP3.0) 1 October 2015 resulted in a significant change in how fast cases get registered inn. The new registration praxis means that information about the sanctions, especially the legally enforceable sentences in large criminal cases, are handled more directly from STRASAK (the police’s central criminal case register) to SSP3.0 by police and prosecution. It is probable that the new registration praxis increased the 2015 statistics somewhat.

Principal offence: In the data extracted from the former version of the reaction register (SSP2.0), the determination of principal offence was made by the police and the prosecuting authority. Information about other offences in the case was not recorded in a sufficiently structured manner for Statistics Norway to use for statistical purposes. With the new register, Statistics Norway receives the same information about all offences in the case, and can thus determine the principal offence as the offence with the highest maximum sentence. This change in determination of principal offence causes some differences as of the 2016 figures.


Citizenship: From the statistical year 2016, the information on citizenship is more complete than earlier years. Information about citizenship is now held in the statistics for persons registered with only a temporary ID-number (D-number) in the population register who have been issued with an on-the-spot-fine for traffic or custom offence. This means fewer sanctioned persons will be registered with unknown citizenship in the statistics. However, comparisons with earlier years will also be more difficult when it comes to sanctioned persons in total and for the sub categories of other offences for profit or traffic offences. The change mainly affects the numbers for (non-Norwegian) European citizens. The number of sanctioned persons for this group in total was 18 per cent higher in 2016 than it would have been without information about citizenship for the D-number population (47 percent higher for other offences for profit and 17 per cent higher for traffic offences).


For the statistical year 2019, on-the-spot fines for maritime offences were included in the statistics for the first time (see Forskrift om forenklet forelegg i fritids- og småbåtsaker, cf. Lov om fritids- og småbåter (småbåtloven) § 42), allthough on-the-spot-fines for such offences have existed since 2001. These cases thus constitute a minor breach of the statistics both in 2019 and around 2002 (as seen in the decrease in the number of fines imposed for maritime offenses this year). The 1,346 simplified fines for maritime conditions in 2019 constitute a relatively small breach in relation to 2002-2018 (but not earlier) in the number of punitive reactions and punished persons in total, as well as for all groupings of simplified fines and traffic violations. The violation can be identified in tables that show the type of reaction divided into the main type of offense, ie for simplified fines given for violation of «Other transport and traffic legislation», see e.g. StatBank table 10622.

In principle, on-the-spot fines for road traffic violations on Svalbard are also included for the first time in 2019 (cf. Regulations on the Road Traffic Act with the validity of regulations on Svalbard). However, such on-the-spot fines for Svalbard are rare, and none in 2019.

For 2019, contact bans (Penal Code 2005 § 58) are also included in the data as a type of loss of rights (Penal Code 2005 chapter 10). However, it is very rare that any loss of rights is given as a reaction alone and there are no such cases in 2019.

In 2019-statistics, data from the BOT register have been completely removed as a basis for the statistics. Since the new Penal Code came into force on 1 October 2015, all reactions that were previously only registered in the BOT register are now also registered in the Reaction Register. Since cases committed before the law came into force must still be registered according to old practice, there has been a backlog of older misdemeanour cases that have been necessary to retrieve from the BOT register. In 2019-data, however, the lag is so small that it is probably less than the errors that used to occurred due to partially overlapping extracts from two registers (in the form of duplicates and duplicate deletions): based on 2019 raw data from BOT where cases are registered as misdemeanours committed before 1.10.2015 (including breaches of the Courts Act, lack of tax deduction, driving and rest time) there would have been an estimated 25 more reactions that would have been included in the final statistics if BOT data had been included in this year. This does not constitute a significant change in the statistics. Due to the limitation periods in the Penal Code, it is also very unlikely that there will be a significant number of such older misdemeanour cases with fines as a reaction in future years, if any at all.

In new tables with figures from and including 2019, the reaction types "Settled in mediation service" and "Waiver of prosecution without conditions" are also included in the statistics. In addition, the new type of penal sanction “waiver of sentencing” (in force with the Penal Code in 2015) is included in «Other sanction». Figures for old and new tables are not fully comparable unless "Settled in mediation service " and " Waiver of prosecution without conditions " are excluded (waiver of sentencing is of so few cases that they are not of significant importance in this relation).


From 1 January 2020, there have been major changes in the division of counties and municipalities, due to regional reform. The changes are described in this article (only in Norwegian). See standard for Classification of county, and Classification of municipalities .

Statistics Norway (SSB) has no possibility to control for missing units caused by lack of registration in the various registers. Partial lack of data on certain units does occur, especially for on the spot fines (from SIAN, earlier SIRI) against foreign nationals, where date of birth, living address and gender not necessarily are registered. Citizenship is never registered in SIAN.

When it is determined what constitutes the principal offence, only the general penal provisions of the law are considered. On rare occasions this method may result in a sanction for an offence that does not carry the highest maximum sentence. In the older Criminal Record Register (SSP2.0) the principal offence was already selected and registered before SSB got the data. Kripos made in their registration of principal offence a judgment of the offence’s seriousness from the sentencing framework, similarly to how SSB applies the principal offence. However, SSB does not have good enough insight into exactly how the Kripos’ judgment is done in all cases. Thus it cannot be ruled out that the praxis differs somewhat. With data from the new Sanction Register (SSP3.0) from 1 October 2015, SSB applies the principal offence in all cases.

Persons with and without a valid personal identity number in the population register are identified and given information based on different criteria. When identified by using date of birth and name, instead of identity number, it is a higher risk of identifying one actual person as two different persons, because of typing errors and different use of names. Of all sanctions (excluding on the spot fines) given to physical persons in 2002, about 5 per cent were given to a person without a valid identity number. In 2014 this share had increased to 12 per cent. Because of double citizenships, amongst other things, there is a certain discrepancy between the citizenship registered by the police, and the citizenship registered in the population register that cannot be explained by erroneous registrations. The population register prioritizes Norwegian citizenship.

Some types of sanctions are not specified in the tables but grouped with related sanction types. For instance, unconditional imprisonment combined with a fine is counted as unconditional imprisonment.

Not relevant