Fewer victims of theft, more of violence
Social conditions, welfare and crime;Svalbard
lovbruddo, Victims of offences reported to the police, crime, criminal cases, crime victims, innocent party, victims of theft, victims of violence, offence groups (for example violence, crimes for profit, sexually motivated crimes), types of offence (for example theft, murder, rape)Social conditions, welfare and crime, Crime and justice, Social conditions, welfare and crime, Svalbard

Victims of offences reported to the police2008



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Fewer victims of theft, more of violence

Of the 386 000 offences reported to the police in 2008, nearly half were registered with a person as victim. In total, 170 000 individuals were registered as victims, which is 2 300 fewer than the previous year and 10 100 fewer than in 2004. There was a decrease in number of victims of offences for profit, whilst the number of victims of violent and sexual offences increased.

Offences reported to the police, by type of victim. 2008. Absolute figures

Victims (persons) by group of principal offence. 2008. Per cent

During the first five-year period of these statistics, the number of victims of violence and sexual offences has increased, by 1 900 and 500 persons respectively. The total decrease in the number of victims from 2004 can be explained by 13 500 fewer victims of offences for profit; a reduction that mainly took place in 2005 (see table).

Victims (persons), by group of principal offence. 2004-2008. Absolute figures and per 1 000 population
Group of offence Absolute figures per 1 000 population
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Total  180 552  170 610  173 994  172 695  170 442 39.4 37.0 37.5 36.9 36.0
Economic offences  956  904  989  995  957 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Other offences for profit  132 929  123 692  124 380  121 433  119 445 29.0 26.9 26.8 25.9 25.2
Offences of violence 18 813 19 089 19 704 20 154 20 696 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
Sexual offences 2 745 2 685 2 998 3 238 3 234 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7
Damage to property 9 294 9 028 9 643 9 819 9 714 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.1
Traffic offences 6 226 5 981 6 469 6 737 6 087 1.4 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.3
Other offences1 9 589 9 231 9 811 10 319 10 309 2.1 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.2
1  Including narcotic offences, environment offences and work environment offences.

Victims (persons) by age and group of principal offence. 2008. Per cent

Young adults most exposed, but not for all types of offences

The risk of being registered as a victim varies considerably by age. In 2008, 3.6 per cent of the population were registered as the victim of an offence, whilst the corresponding share among young adults aged 20 to 29 was almost 7 per cent. Persons below 14 or above retirement age are particularly underrepresented as a victim among the offences the police are informed of.

The total numbers primarily reflect the victims of offences for profit, which accounts for 70 per cent of all victims (persons). If we look at the other groups of offences and the distribution by age for each of them, we find distinct differences. Two out of three victims of sexual offences are under the age of 20 years. For violent offences, more than half the victims are aged between 10 and 29. Additionally, while the exposure to sexual and violent offences decreases considerably after the teens and twenties, six out of ten victims (persons) of crimes inflicting damage to property are above 40 years of age (see figure).

More victims of violence, fewer of threats

According to reports to the police, 22 100 persons were exposed to violent offences in 2008, which is 2 per cent more than the previous year and 9 per cent more than in 2004. The increase of victims of violent offences in the last five years is mainly due to nearly 17 per cent more victims of physical violence - with regard to ill-treatment in family relations and crimes of violence against the person as a total. The number of victims of threats has, however, only fallen by nearly 4 per cent. There has been a larger percentage increase in the number of victims of physical violence among females (22 per cent), than among males (14 per cent).

Victims (persons) by selected types of principal offences and sex. 2008. Absolute figures

Victims (persons) of offences of violence, by sex and one-year age group. 2008. Per 1 000 population

Overall, males make up a larger share, 61 per cent, of the victims exposed to violent offences than females. The share of males is particularly large for wounding or inflicting bodily harm (85 per cent males) and assault (63 per cent males), but not among the victims of threats (55 per cent males). Females are, however, strongly over represented among victims of ill-treatment in family relations (including serious, 83 per cent females) and among victims of sexual crimes (87 per cent, see figure).

Based on reports to the police, the risk of being exposed to violent offences is clearly highest during the very first years after reaching the age of 18 (the age of majority): This is the case for both males and females, but in the age 18 to 20 the risk of violence is nearly doubled for males compared to females. After this, the exposure to violent offences reduces with age. Furthermore, few in the youngest age groups are being registered as victims of violence (see figure), but these have increased the most in the last five years in relative terms.

Many young females exposed to theft

In total, 70 500 males and 50 200 females were registered as a victim of theft and other offences for profit in 2008. As for previous years, the reports to the police in 2008 indicate that girls and boys are being registered as victims of offences for profit in equal numbers up to the age of majority (18). In 2008, females were somewhat more exposed in the age group 18-21, but thereafter males are considerably over represented (see figure).

Victims (persons) of other offences for profit, by sex and one-year age group. 2008. Per 1 000 population

Offences reported to the police, by type of victim and group of offence. 2008. Absolute figures

10 100 fewer offences for profit against enterprises

Of all offences reported to the police in 2008, 17 per cent were registered as committed against an enterprise or other juridical unit, whilst 35 per cent were without a registered victim. Six out of ten offences committed against enterprises were offences for profit, and narcotic and traffic offences make up two thirds of all offences without registered victims (see figure).

The enterprises reported in 2008 to have been exposed to 65 500 offences, which was somewhat more than the previous year. The number of offences for profit, however, continued to decline, and is almost 20 per cent lower in 2008 than in 2004. In the same period, more of other types of offences against enterprises, in particular crimes inflicting damage to property (which increased by 45 per cent), were reported to the police in 2008 compared to 2004. In total, enterprises reported 7 per cent fewer offences to the police in 2008 than in 2004.

Statistics on victims of offences, reported to the police

The statistics are based on information from the police criminal record system (BL/STRASAK/PAL) and include all parties that are victims in all offences registered by the police in 2008. The statistics were published for the first time in 2006, and now include the years 2004-2008. Because of the practice in registration of victims and offences in BL/STRASAK/PAL, Statistics Norway cannot identify absolutely every registered offence that victims are exposed to (cf. tables 1, 2, 11 and 14).

The statistics on victims of offences reported to the police are developed, produced and published on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and the Police. More on sampling, definitions and sources of errors is available in About the statistics . See also Statistics Norway’s Survey of level of living, victimization and fear of crime and enterprises' victimization on economic crime in Ellingsen and Sky 2005 (only in Norwegian).