This is an archived release.
Less theft, but more narcotics and violence
In 2006, the police registered 400 000 reported offences, an increase of 1.5 per cent compared to the previous year. Narcotic crimes and traffic misdemeanours contributed strongly to the increase, whereas offences for profit continued to decrease and are at the lowest level since the statistics on offences reported to the police were first produced in 1993.
277 000 crimes and 123 000 misdemeanours were reported to the Norwegian police in 2006, an increase of 0.5 and 4 per cent respectively from 2005 (see figure).
The 187 000 offences for profit reported to the police make up almost half (47 per cent) of all offences reported to the police. This is approximately 5 100, or 2.6 per cent, less than in the previous year. However, an increase of 4 100 narcotic crimes and 1 500 crimes with damage to property contributed to an increase in the total number of crimes compared to the previous year|.
The number of misdemeanours reported in 2006 has not been higher since 1993. Traffic offences reported to the police (offences for which on the spot fines were issued are not included) have contributed the most to this development. The number of traffic offences increased by 5 per cent to 64 900 from the previous year and account for more than half of all misdemeanours reported to the police in 2006. An increase in the group "Other offences", which includes various types of breach of the peace among other things, also contributes to the large number of misdemeanours now being reported to the police.
Continued decrease in aggravated larceny
The 8 per cent decrease in aggravated larceny contributed the most to the reduction in the total number of offences for profit from 2005 to 2006. The decrease was particularly strong for aggravated larceny from private shops, factories and offices (22 per cent) as well as dwellings (11 per cent). In the last five-year period such offences have decreased by 34 per cent, from 20 900 to 13 700. Both theft of motor vehicles and aggravated larceny from mean of transport, and cars in particular, decreased by 5 per cent from 2005 to 2006. On the whole, dwellings and automobiles have become considerably less exposed to theft during the last five to ten years (se figures).
and for petty larceny and larceny from shop
In 2006, 80 800 cases of simple and minor larceny were reported and registered by the police, and even if the decrease compared to the previous year is relatively small, this is the lowest number in ten years (see figure). After a clear downward tendency of theft of pedal cycles in the ten-year period 1995-2004, the offences reported to the police have stabilised at around 15 000 cases in the last three years. Compared to the previous year, the number of petty larceny and simple and minor larceny from shops was 4 and 9 per cent lower respectively. In total, 17 400 cases of this type of theft were reported to the police in 2006 and the level has not been this low since 1994.
Most offences for profit in Oslo
Offences for profit with scene of crime in Oslo accounted for more than one quarter of all offences for profit in Norway - and 59 per cent of all offences committed in Oslo. Looking at the period 2004-2006, crimes committed in Oslo accounted for one third of the total decrease in thefts and other crimes for profit. On county level, Troms has had the largest percentage decrease in offences for profit in the last three years.
Fewer threats, but increase in physical violence
During 2006, 25 600 threats and other types of violent crime were reported to the police, an increase of more then 2 per cent from the previous year. The number of registered cases of violent crimes is now 33 per cent higher than ten years ago.
During the last four years, however, there has been an increasing decline in the number of threats reported to the police. In 2006, the decline was almost 6 per cent to 7 300 cases. However, there has been a steady increase in the number of physical violence cases in recent years - when we look collectively at this type of ill-treatment in family relations, assaulting public servants and crimes of violence against the person. In total, 17 700 cases of such violent offences were reported to the police in 2006, an increase of almost 6 per cent from the previous year (see figure). Almost three quarters of physical violence offences are assault, but compared to the year before it is the more serious cases of wounding or inflicting bodily harm which have the largest percentage increase with slightly below 8 per cent. As in previous years, Finnmark and Oslo stand out as the most violent counties in Norway with 9.2 and 8.3 violent offences reported to the police per 1 000 population respectively.
In the first year of new legislation (see textbox), 470 reported cases of ill-treatment in family relations were registered, of which 20 came under the provisions of serious ill-treatment. Ill-treatment may exist in various forms, but 94 per cent of all such cases reported to the police included ill-treatment with physical violence.
Narcotic offences on the rise again
The reports registered by the police show a relatively large increase for narcotic crimes - in the light of the level having been relatively stable in the period 2003-2005 (see figure). In 2006, a total of 41 700 cases of 'connected with narcotics' were reported to the police, an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2005.
The increase refers to all the specified types of narcotic offences: Use and possession of narcotics (regulated by the Act relating to Medicinal Products and Poisons etc.) shows an increase of 12 per cent (to 12 600 cases) and 7 per cent (to 8 600 cases) respectively, while narcotic offences by the Penal Code increased by 11 per cent. Almost 1 200 cases of the most serious narcotic crimes were registered, which means that we are back at the 2001-2004 level.
The Vagrancy Act abolished, but actions not legalised
Compared to the previous year, 21 per cent more misdemeanours against the Penal Code were reported in 2006. Almost all the increase is connected with the abolishment of the Vagrancy Act, and previous breaches of the Vagrancy Act are now reported to the police as breaches of the Penal Code decisions on misdemeanours against public order and peace (see textbox): In 2005, more than 6 200 misdemeanours against the Vagrancy Act were reported to the police. In the first year without the Vagrancy Act, the number of misdemeanours on public order and peace increased by 7 100 cases , which also equals the increase in total number of misdemeanours against the Penal Code (from 33 500 to 40 600). If looking at breaches of the Vagrancy Act and the public order and peace in total, more than 12 800 misdemeanours were reported to the police in 2006. This is almost 8 per cent more than in 2005. A comparison back to 1993 shows a similarly high level in 2002 (see figure).
New penalty clauses and type of offence
The Vagrancy Act was abolished 1.12006, with the exception of §11 on begging, which was abolished 1.7.2006. The Penal Code chapter 35, Misdemeanours against public order and peace, § 350 was at the same time extended to include "the one who in self-inflicted intoxication are molesting or harming others" (2. subsection).
The Penal Code chapter 20, crimes concerning family relations, § 219 on ill - treatment in family relations came into force 1.1.2006. The new provisions replace to a certain extent other similar provisions on violence and threats in the Penal Code chapter 21 and 22.
In the police's criminal record register, registration of offences reported to the police from these changes could be made from 11.5.2006 included (with the possibility of registering cases committed previous to this). The new penalty clauses have caused some changes in Statistics Norway's standard for type of offence, but of less importance to the contents in the standard Group of offence.
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Find detailed figures for Offences reported to the police
Reid Jone Stene
tel.: (+47) 99 02 22 01
Siri Fjærtoft Fossanger
tel.: (+47) 99 72 49 27