Migrants commit almost 70 percent of violent crimes in Norway’s capital, but they account for only 33 percent of Oslo’s population.
A survey carried out by Norwegian channel TV2 from the beginning of 2018 until today, has compiled all the various knife attacks, assaults, beatings and other instances of serious abuse, in which victims have suffered lifelong and lasting debilitating injuries, including deep cuts and skull fractures.
According to TV2, over two-thirds or nearly 70 percent of the crimes were committed by migrants, which constitutes a dramatic over-representation, as migrants only make up about 33 percent of Oslo’s population, according to Statistics Norway.
The survey also found a spike in the use of knives during assaults in the capital, Oslo. The city has recently seen a marked increase in knife crimes, TV2 reported.
Oslo Police Chief Hans Sverre Sjovold expressed concern over the latest rise in such crimes, adding that the threshold for using a knife is also very low. He said that criminals showed no respect for law enforcement either.
Sjovold admitted that migrant youths who do not perform at school are over-represented but attributed this to “poverty and a lack of space”, which makes it “tough to grow up” instead of pointing a finger to obvious cultural differences.
A researcher into the violence, Ragnhild Bjornebekk said the extremely high numbers of violent migrants were not surprising. According to Bjornebekk, they are over-representated because the perpetrators come from cultures where violence is more prevalent.
“They are more vulnerable, they have experienced more trauma. Some of them come from violent cultures, and they take it along with them. Also, there are those who are not Oslo residents, who just come from other countries and only stay here for a few months,” Bjornebekk said.
Mayor Johansen has admitted that Norway has “challenges”, but rejected criticism that the city’s flawed integration policy was to blame. Johansen blamed men instead even though Norwegian men were not prone to assault people with knives. “For instance, immigrant girls do well in higher education,” he said.
But neither Norway’s police nor Prime Minister Erna Solberg know the real cause of the increased crime in the Nordic country’s capital over the past two years, according to the daily Aftenposten.
In 2017, registered youth crime in Oslo increased by 25 percent, with violence among youth from eastern Oslo increasing at an alarming rate, most among the youngest under the age of 15, a report noted.
According to John Roger Lund, the head of police in the district of Stovner, police do not why. “But maybe we, the school, and the municipality rested on laurels to a too-large extent since the level was stable. Perhaps we should have been more offensive than we have been,” he told Aftenposten.
While only 3 percent of young people between 10 and 17 years of age are behind the registered juvenile delinquency in Oslo, there is a small group of youth involved in four or more cases, which accounted for 37 percent of all registered juvenile delinquency.
Sjovold is also baffled. “The extent has not increased so violently, but those who are criminal have become even more criminal. Then there has also been recruitment to organized environments,” he said.
Assistant chief of Oslo police Janne Stomner, who works with crime prevention, pointed out there are about 20 percent more youths in Oslo than 10 years ago, and there is an increased number of youth both under and over 18 years of age who repeatedly commit crimes.
Stomner blamed the influence of social media. “Youth make videos of crime events and put them online. They stage themselves with some kind of ‘hero status’,” she said.
A significant increase in child poverty in Norway is linked to migrants or their children. The prime minister said the underlying conditions, such as the problem with large families, often single-parent families, had contributed to permanent child poverty.
Patrick Lie Andersen, a researcher at the Norwegian social research institute NOVA, said: “Several of the areas east of Oslo stand out, with lower income, lower education level, higher unemployment rate and more young people who do not finish high school.”
It is likely that some young people who live in areas with challenging living conditions are more vulnerable to being pulled into negative environments, the researcher said.
An MP of the conservative Progress Party blamed the Oslo City Council and its Labour Mayor Raymond Johansen’s immigration policy. “He must understand that the policy he leads is having consequences. If you want to maintain high immigration to Oslo, then it would be easier to handle the problems we are now seeing,” the MP said.
But the Progress Party’s Indian rising star, Himanshu Gulati, was investigated by his party in 2013 for signing up twenty three new party members without mentioning that they all lived in India.
Gulati even paid the membership fees for the members, who he had met while studying on the subcontinent, and gave them false addresses in Oslo. This corruption however has not hurt his career. He served as State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Public Security from 2013 to 2014, and at the Office of the Prime Minister from 2014 until 2017, and in 2017 he was elected as a representative in the Norwegian parliament from Akershus, where he has served in the Committee on Justice.
Norway’s immigrant population exceeds 880 000 people, accounting for about 17 percent of the country’s total population (up from only 4,2 percent in 1992). The migrants have come mainly from Somalia, Eritrea, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.