Youth gangs behind repeated Oslo trouble: police

After three incidents of arson in consecutive nights, police believe that a youth gang has been targeting the Vestli neighbourhood in Oslo.

Youth gangs behind repeated Oslo trouble: police
A police car in the Vestli neighbourhood after a separate incident in 2015. Photo: Audun Braastad / NTB scanpix

A daycare facility and a car were set alight Sunday night in the latest of the incidents, reports news agency NTB.

Both fires were extinguished by Monday morning, operation leader Cathrine Sylju of Oslo Police told the news agency.

Police have been present in the area throughout the weekend after youth set fire to rubbish and threw stones at firefighters, security guards and police, according to the report.

“We think the same gang is out again. It is remarkable that this has happened for the third night in a row, at almost the same place,” Sylju said at 2am on Monday.

“First they set light to some paper on top of a car. Shortly after, we received a report of a fire at a daycare,” the officer continued.

Police dispatched several units to apprehend the youths, but were unable to track them down, reports NTB.

Two teenagers aged 17 and 18 were arrested after a comprehensive police operation on Saturday, accused of dropping 15kg of stones on a security guard’s car as it passed under a bridge, according to the news agency.

“We don’t know whether it was the same boys or some others from the same gang. There were several of them out on Saturday night that we didn’t catch,” Sylju said.

The gang also caused disruption Friday night, with several incidences of rubbish being set on fire in the area. Stones were thrown by youths at security staff, police and fire services responding to reports of the fires.

READ ALSO: Norway arrests 40 young people in organised crime raid


Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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