The number of reported violent crimes against people under the age of 18 in Oslo has risen by as much as 62 percent since last year, according to new statistics from the Norwegian police. The majority of repeat offenders have an immigrant background or are children of immigrants.
Between January and September this year, the number of reported acts of violence among individuals aged 10 to 17 in Oslo has significantly increased compared to the same period last year, according to a report from the city’s police district. There has also been a doubling in the number of reports of carrying a knife or other weapon during the same period.
– We see that the perpetrators are getting younger and the violence is becoming more severe. We are particularly concerned about the drastic increase in reports of violent perpetrators under 15 years of age, says Hanne Finanger, head of the prevention section in the eastern unit of the Oslo police district, to Nettavisen.
The report also shows that most of those who committed repeated crimes had an immigrant background or were children of immigrants. It also indicates that many were repeat offenders, with 114 individuals accounting for 36 percent of the reports.
Among reports of violence against children aged 10-14, there has been a doubling since last year. This can limit police action as the age of criminal responsibility is 15.
– What the police can do with children below the age of criminal responsibility is to detain them for a maximum of four hours, speak with their parents, and then transfer the case to social services for further follow-up, says Finanger.
At the same time, the Norwegian police authority criticizes the government for lacking a comprehensive view of criminal networks, according to the Schibsted newspaper Aftenposten. The police state that there are approximately 100 criminal networks in Norway, but they only have the capacity to closely monitor 40 of them.
The Norwegian police further warn that Norway might face a similar situation to Sweden with gang-related crime if measures are not taken to reverse this trend.