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CRIME

Record number of foreigners deported

A record number of foreign citizens were deported from Norway last year, after country's police stepped up the use of deportation as a way of fighting crime.

Record number of foreigners deported
Khaled Ahmed Taleb, the Norwegian politician who risks being deported for violating the immigration act - Jo E. Brenden / NTB Scanpix
Some 5,198 foreign citizens were expelled from the country in 2013, an increase of 31 percent since 2012, when 3,958 people were deported.  
 
"It is the highest number we've had ever," Frode Forfang, head of the Directorate of Immigration (UDI), told NRK. "We believe that one reason for the increase is that the police have become more conscious of using deportation as a tool to fight crime." 
 
Nigerian citizens topped the list of those expelled for committing crimes, with 232 citizens expelled as a punishment in 2013, followed by Afghan citizens with 136 expelled as a punishment, and 76 Moroccans expelled as a punishment. 
 
Afghan citizens topped the list of those expelled for violating the Immigration Act, with 380 expelled for this reason, followed by Iraqi citizens, 234 were expelled for violating the act. 

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CRIME

How the punishment for drugs possession in Norway is changing

Norway's Attorney General recently issued new guidelines for how the authorities should handle drug possession charges. 

How the punishment for drugs possession in Norway is changing

Last week, the Attorney General announced updated guidelines for how the police should work with drug possession charges

The Attorney General has said that drug addicts should not be prosecuted for having drugs for personal use. The Supreme Court has said that this advice applies to those found with up to five grams of heroin, amphetamine or cocaine. 

Lawmakers also say that those caught with “modest exceedance” of this limit should receive a reduced sentence or punishment. The Attorney General has advised that fair exceedance would be a quantity of narcotics of up to ten grams. 

Three recent rulings in the Supreme Court, which saw three drug addicts handed reduced sentences or no punishment at all for being in possession of drugs, prompted the new guidelines. 

“The decisions from the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s guidelines entail a change in the police’s work with drugs. The prosecuting authority will no longer punish drug addicts’ acquisition, possession and storage of small doses of drugs, and the police will carefully consider whether a criminal case should be opened in these cases,” Beate Brinch Sand, head of the prosecution service in Oslo Police District said to public broadcaster NRK.

One unclear thing is how the new guidelines will affect recreational drug users who are not addicted or dependent on narcotics. 

However, Marius Dietrichson from the Norwegian Bar Association said it was probable that they were also less likely to be charged under the new advice issued by the Attorney General. 

“The consideration of equality before the law indicates that they too (recreational users) should benefit from this changed practice. Namely by avoiding punishment for being caught with “normal amounts” for one’s own use,” Dietrichson explained to NRK. 

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court handed a lower sentence to a recreational drug user for possession of an illegal substance. 

Last year, the Conservative Solberg government presented a proposed drug reform package which was voted down in parliament. 

The current Labour government told the NRK that it was working on its own drug reform package. 

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