The crime category with the biggest decline is sexual crimes (44.2 percent), followed by cases involving violence (33.8 percent), illegal drugs (32.8 percent) and property crime (32.1 percent).

Uncertainty and variation

The actual number of committed crimes is very uncertain. There are fewer reports of sexual abuse and violence, but the police believe that despite the statistics, there is a likely increase in domestic violence, including violence against and sexual abuse of children. The police also believe there is an increase in online sexual abuse of children.

With kindergartens, schools and after-school activities closed, children have not been able to turn to adults outside their family for help, and there have not been other adults to observe children at risk and report concerns to the police. The police are concerned about unreported cases and worry about children at risk going unnoticed.

"We encourage everyone to pay closer attention to how children and families are doing," says the National Police Commissioner, Benedicte Bjørnland.

Compensatory measures

The police have implemented several compensatory measures to counteract an uptake in crime, particularly violence against and sexual abuse of children. The measures include stronger focus on inter-agency collaboration, more online patrols and clear guidelines on which cases the police districts should prioritise. Furthermore, municipal liaison officers and police councils maintain a close dialogue with local authorities, child welfare services and other collaborating parties.

Important Government initiative

The Government will appoint an inter-agency coordination group to ensure that children at risk get the necessary follow-up during the corona pandemic.

"This is an important initiative. The police cannot do this job alone. Cross-sector cooperation is imperative to make sure these children are brought to our attention and the right measures are implemented," Bjørnland comments.

More than 50 percent drop in disorderly conduct

Over the past five weeks, the number of criminal investigations launched into disorderly conduct has been reduced by 51.5 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.

"This is probably related to the fact that very many bars, pubs etc. are closed, which means that there are far fewer inebriated people in public, and consequently fewer instances of disorderly conduct," Bjørnland says.

Police reports related to Covid-19

Over the past five weeks, 101 criminal cases related to Covid-19 have been recorded. 46 of them concern violations of the new corona-related provisions, such as violations of quarantine and isolation provisions and the ban on staying in holiday homes. 14 concern threats, and 8 harassing conduct.

Police services temporarily closed to the public may have affected the figures

The number of reports made to the police may have been affected by the fact that the police have temporarily closed services to the public due to the corona pandemic and the risk of contagion.

"We cannot rule out that we will see an increase in requests from the public as we gradually re-open our services. We are also working on expanding the opportunity to report crime online. Due to the risk of contagion, we want as many as possible to make use of our web-based services," Bjørnland says.

Recorded call-outs

Over the past five weeks, a total of 64,103 call-outs have been recorded in the police operations log. The corresponding figure in 2019 was 78,754.

"It is likely that the various restrictions and measures in connection with the corona virus have contributed to the reduction," Bjørnland comments.

Cross-border activity during Easter

The police districts report that there was relatively little passenger traffic across the border during Easter. Preliminary figures indicate that about 100 persons were refused entry during Easter because of the intensified border control.

All who crossed the border without having been exempt from the duty of quarantine, must quarantine themselves. The police do not keep statistics of this.

"It is difficult to check whether people crossing the border into Norway actually comply with the quarantine provisions. I encourage everyone to be responsible and heed the authorities' advice," Bjørnland concludes.

 

The police are continuously updating its criminal case statistics according to new procedures in connection with the corona virus, with the proviso that the new procedures may have caused some inaccuracies in the presented figures.

The police are working to improve how cases are recorded. Furthermore, the figures recorded over the past five weeks are relatively low, so normal variation may partly explain the changes. However, it is too early to draw any conclusions in that respect.