House-breakers thrive in wealthy Norway

The number of burglaries in Norway rose by eight percent in the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period last year, new figures show.

House-breakers thrive in wealthy Norway
File photo: Sara Johannessen/Scanpix

With 15,358 break-ins up to the end of June, the fall-off recorded last year appears to have been short-lived, according to statistics from Finance Norway (Finansnæringens Fellesorganisasjon – FNO), a trade organization for banks and insurance firms.

Insurance companies have paid out a total of 254 million kroner ($43 million) in compensation for burglaries carried out in the first half of the year.

“Thieves travel around a lot and spend time on surveillance before they strike,” said Leif Osland, communications director for FNO.

“A lot of the thieves are fast and effective both when they break into and leave a property. More valuables are being stolen than before.”

Norway has more home alarms per head of population than any other country in the world, while people have also invested heavily in better locks.

But burglars for their part have also become more professional, said Leif Osland, who attributed much of the recent rise to criminals entering the country from abroad.

“The level of activity of foreign gangs in Norway comes in waves. Norwegians have more and more valuables in their homes.

“Norway’s high standard of living is tempting for organized criminals from Eastern Europe. There are major challenges linked to organized crime from Eastern Europe,” said Osland.

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Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped 

Norwegian police will continue to be armed following a mass shooting in Oslo, but the advice for Pride events nationwide to be postponed has been scrapped, the Police Directorate announced Wednesday. 

Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped 

Police in Norway will continue to be armed for the foreseeable future, the Norwegian Police Directorate announced yesterday. 

It was announced that police in Norway be armed following a mass shooting in Oslo, which left two dead and 21 injured last week

Yesterday, Norway’s domestic intelligence and counter-terrorism service, PST, lowered the terrorist threat level from extraordinary to high- the second-highest level. 

“The threat level in Norway has changed from extraordinary, to high, according to PST. The danger of follow-up actions or inspired attacks means that the police will continue to be temporarily armed,” the Police Directorate wrote on its website

The police said that PST had widened the threat picture from LGBT groups to other broader targets. 

“PST maintains that LGBTQI + is still included in the target picture, but also people and events that are perceived to offend Islam, religious gatherings and uniformed personnel from the police and defence,” the police said on its website. 

Police also dropped the advice that Pride and LGBT events across the country be postponed. The recommendation was implemented due to a fear of copycat attacks from PST. 

Decisions on whether it was safe for events to go ahead would be made by local authorities going forward. 

“A national recommendation to postpone Pride events expires. The police districts will themselves make risk assessments related to individual events and handling of large crowds based on the overall threat picture and local conditions,” police director Benedicte Bjørnland said.