More than 300 000 sanctioned
Social conditions, welfare and crime;Immigration and immigrants;Svalbard
straff, Penal sanctions, crime, criminal cases, type of sanction (for example incarceration, community service, fine), punishment (for example amount of fine, length of prison sentence), sanctioned, judicial authority, offence groups (for example violence, drugs, crimes for profit), types of offence (for example theft, murder, rape)Social conditions, welfare and crime, Social conditions, welfare and crime, Crime and justice, Social conditions, welfare and crime, Immigration and immigrants, Svalbard

Penal sanctions2007



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More than 300 000 sanctioned

In 2007, 307 000 persons were registered for 357 000 sanctions, 3 percent more then the previous year. In total, 8 percent of the population over 15 years of age was given one or more sanctions. There was a slight decrease in the number of sanctions imposed in court.

Sanctions by category of offence. 1960-2007. Numbers

Sentences in law court, by type of sanction. 1997-2007. Numbers

Among the sanctions, 322 000 concerned misdemeanours. For crimes, 28 900 persons were registered with 35 100 sanctions in 2007. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of more than 6 percent, but considering the late registering of older sentences (see textbox) there are not more persons sanctioned nor more sanctions for crimes than in 2006.

Fewer cases in law court

In 2007, 23 400 sanctions were registered as settled in court, 1.8 percent fewer than in 2006. The percentage decrease was the largest for conditional sentences (7 500), with a 4 per cent drop from last year. For the first time since the introduction in 2002, the use of community sentence (2 700) have had a yearly decrease, which was of 3 percent. The law court’s distributing by type of sanction was almost unaltered compared with the previous year: 45 percent unconditional imprisonment, 32 percent conditional imprisonment, 12 percent community sentence and 12 percent fines.

10 400 sentences to unconditional imprisonment were registered in 2007, a decrease of 2 percent. Theft and other offences for profit (2 700), traffic offences (2 600) and violent offences (2 100) were typically the principal offence when the accused was sentenced to unconditional imprisonment.

The average unconditional sentence in 2007 was barely 5 months, whilst the average longest time for preventive detention sentences was more than 6 years and 4 months. Among the unconditional sentences that were registered in 2007, 70 percent were three months or less, 20 percent between three months and one year and 10 percent were longer than one year. Narcotic crimes were the principal offence in 43 percent of the sentences to more than one year.

Sanctions in crime cases, by group of crime. 1997-2004. Per cent

Sanctioned, by age and category of offence. 2007. Per 1 000 population over 15 years.

Narcotic crimes causes most sanctions

Sanctions against narcotic crimes have increased the most during the last ten years, and have contributed towards a shift in what groups of offences leads to sanction: From amounting to 33 percent in 1998, narcotic offences are now the principal offence in 41 percent of all crime cases. Correspondingly, from amounting to 35 percent in 1998, offences for profit are now the principal offence in 25 percent of crime cases.

After narcotics, violence is the group of crime which in the last ten year-period has had the strongest growth in number, but the share of sanctions with violence as principal offence has remained stable between 15 and 17 percent in the last ten years (see attached table).

Eight out of ten sanctioned are men

The statistics for 2007 shows that 11,7 per cent of all resident men over the age of 15 were sanctioned more than one time, compared to 3,4 per cent of all women. Among those who were only sanctioned for misdemeanours, 77 per cent were men, while the corresponding share for sanctions when a crime is the principal offence was 83 per cent. These are nearly the same shares as last year.

Young over-represented for crimes

The age distribution among persons punished is different for misdemeanours and crimes. One out of ten (between 8 and 10 per cent) in all ages between 19-49 years were sanctioned only for misdemeanours, and half of these are over 40 year old. However, among sanctioned for crimes the youngest are over-represented, and 32 per cent of the sanctioned are young aged 18-24.

Some are sanctioned more than once

13 per cent of the 306 900 persons sanctioned were sanctioned more than once in 2007, and younger people were more often sanctioned several times than other people. Women are to a smaller extent than men sanctioned several times - 8 per cent of women and 15 per cent got more than one sanction. 7 400 persons were sanctioned three times or more during 2007.

Nine out of ten sanctions to Norwegian citizens

87 per cent of all persons charged with crimes in 2007 were Norwegian citizens, and 8 per cent had citizenships in other European countries. Crimes of profit and narcotic crimes have the highest shares of foreign citizens, 18 and 12 per cent respectively.

Sanctions, by selected types of sanctions and principal offence. 1998-2007. Numbers

On the spot fines for traffic misdemeanours and ticket fines based on automatic traffic control, by scene of crime (county). 2007. Per 1 000 population over 15 years

Large county differences considering traffic fines

On the spot fines make up two thirds of all sanctions, and three quarters of all sanctions against misdemeanours. On the spot fines for misdemeanours against the Duty Act and traffic misdemeanours had an increase of 2 per cent, and other types of sanctions increased by 5 per cent compared to 2006. Of the 269 000 on the spot fines, 256 000 (95 per cent) were for traffic misdemeanours, of which 90 per cent concerned illegal speed.

Over four times as many on the spot fines against traffic misdemeanours were imposed per inhabitant in Vestfold county as in Nordland county. The counties of Vestfold and Akershus have the highest amount of on the spot fines (132 and 118 per 1 000 population), while in the counties of Nordland and Finnmark (30 and 38 per 1 000 population) have the fewest.

Supplementary registration of sanctions in 2007

The selection for statistics on sanctions is the number of sanctions registered into the originator register during the statistical year (see About the statistics ). Due to late registering of older sentences in the Norwegian Central Penal Register (SSP), there are about 2 000 more sanctions against crimes in the statistics for 2007, compared to previous years. Nine out of ten late registrations applies to ticket fines, and the rest is prosecution conditionally dropped. This involves a considerably larger number of sanctions and sanctioned in several of the tables on crimes in 2007, for instance the whole increase (10 percent) in sanctions against violent crimes compared to 2006.

The late registered sanctions are of no consequence to the number of sanctions in law court or in cases with misdemeanours as principal offence, and are of little importance to distribution by group of crime and citizenship. Distribution by age and sex not particularly influenced, but the extent of older sanctions for females (400) and the age group 15-17 years (300) are relatively greater than for men and other age groups. Distribution by county is however noticeably different, where especially Buskerud and Nord-Trøndelag have about 20 percent more sanctions against crimes, than in previous years.