Report: Norwegian Police Fired Just Two Shots in 2014

170px-Police_students,_Storberget_and_Gjengedal_patrolling114px-Badge_of_the_Norwegian_Police_Service.svgA couple years ago, we discussed how police in Iceland killed a man for the first time in history and compared that remarkable record to our own level of police shootings. This week we have another stark contrast out of Norway where police fired only two shots in 2014. They brandished firearms on just 42 occasions in 2014. Their highest rate was only 75 such incidents in 2005 and 2010.

In 2011 when the country was faced with the Utøya terror attacks,the Norwegian police only fired one shot.

Clearly, there are major differences in population and crime rates, but the United States has been criticized for a greater use of lethal force in some circumstances. Even for a small state, the firing of just two shots in a year would be considered astonishing in the United States.

40 thoughts on “Report: Norwegian Police Fired Just Two Shots in 2014”

  1. Davidm2575,

    If it is true that only one man planned and implemented the Utoya attacks, then how many shots do you think the police should have fired in order to provide good police protection?

    1. Riesling wrote: “… how many shots do you think the police should have fired in order to provide good police protection?”

      It is not about how many shots are needed. Perhaps no shots are needed, or perhaps a volley of shots were needed. The point is that it is easy to rack up a record of low shootings if the police are not doing a good job with security. The statistics being given can be interpreted different ways. In this case, I question whether the attack could have been prevented, or at least stopped before the killer went to Utoya. I question whether a single person in the United States could have ever gotten away with a massacre on this scale. Note that the killer was arrested and sentenced to 21 years, with 10 years being mandatory. Is that your idea of being tough on crime?

      There was an independent report done which said the police were lax. The bombing could have been prevented, and the amount of time it took for police to respond was unacceptable. A police chief resigned over the findings.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-19290947

  2. Isaac,
    I don’t begrudge people that believe the United States is not #1 (whatever that means); I have issues with people actively trying to ensure we are not. It seems truly weird to “hope” to “change” the culture of one’s own country from the proud belief we are an exceptional nation to one that is identified as anything but exceptional.

    Here we are on a thread discussing possible reasons Norway is the Mayberry RFD of the world and it might simply be NO ONE is actively trying to destroy their culture and make them “blend in” with the rest of the world.

  3. davidm1575

    Yeah, you figured it out. Every once in a long while, you actually hang a pinky on something, but then you wipe it all away. A lot of that going on.

  4. In Norway, does the descendant of the slave live next door to the descendant of the slaveholder, and does free-market competition there pit one against one’s neighbor in a no-holds-barred fight which ends only when one is caught cheating?

    I can’t understand why blood pressure is so low there.

  5. Some of the best sailors in America are of Norwegian descent. They were smart too and migrated to northern climes when they came to the States.

  6. “In 2011 when the country was faced with the Utøya terror attacks,the Norwegian police only fired one shot.”

    In Oslo and Utøya, 92 people were killed. The police only fired one shot? And this is good police protection?

  7. Olly

    The US has been on a war footing for almost all of its history. Since attaining world supremacy after WW2 the US has had one enemy or another to justify an either or mentality in most of its citizens. The, ‘either you agree that the US is Number One or you are a communist, socialist, progressive.” mentality supports a perverse interpretation of the Constitution regarding gun ownership.

    The internal fracturing since the Civil War and the racial tensions that continue including blacks as well as immigrants, is also perversely morphed into an us or them mentality.

    Norway has been one of three areas of a people that share a similar history. The Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes all speak virtually the same language. At one time or another each of the three countries was top dog. Most of European royalty can find their beginnings with the Vikings. William the Conquerer was the grandson or great grandson of Rollo the Walker, a Viking that created Normandy.

    Norway was subjugated as a vassal state by Denmark and then sold to Sweden as the same. It became fully independent in 1905 even though the people as a country had been around since the 9th Century. Half the population left due to poverty in the early 20th Century. Up until the North Sea Oil revenues started flowing in in the 80’s Norwegians lived pretty much a conservative, plan for the future, nothing to excess lifestyle. They had and may still have a society designed in the best interests of its inhabitants in actions not just words.

    Aside from the crimes committed upon them by Germany in WW2, Norway has pretty much been at peace for hundreds of years and for most of those years not in a position to save or threaten the world.

    This pretty much sums up the differences between the US and Norway. They are two totally different countries with totally different histories. If one wishes to compare Americans with like type peoples then one should choose Russia, China, Great Britain of a century ago, etc.

  8. Penelope, Is that a sick Anders Behring Breivik joke? Too bad Norwegian cops didn’t unload their weapons on that guy before he killed 77 kids.

  9. Perhaps we could do a Summer Yute Swap with Norway? Maybe 25,000 of our Yutes from South Chicago for 20,000 of their Yutes! Think of all the things we could learn from each other! 🙄

  10. Whether it’s 2% or 10% of the population or anywhere in between, that is not lily white, that is the percent that is treated badly and the percent that resents being treated badly. Glorify violence and make guns easily available and voila, a violent country.

  11. More grist for the mill. There are so many significant reasons Norway and the United States are different that it’s ridiculous to claim only one causal factor. Their largest city, Oslo is 80% native Norwegian and the unemployment rate is below 4%. But wait, Isaac is working up his two page report.

    Good ‘possible’ answer Paul.

  12. Wikipedia tells me that while Norwegian police carry pistols and submachine guns in their patrol cars, the guns are locked down. I think this probably makes a big difference, just as having unarmed police forces does in the UK. Highly trained specialist armed response units with strict rules of engagement are used in the UK.

  13. Ok, for one, it is NOT easy to get the racial demographic stats due to the fact that they do not collect
    these numbers like they do in the USA. So, the CIA Factbook is NOT going to have these numbers either. 🙂

    I will do my best to give you some numbers though.

    ROUGHLY 2% of the population comes North Africa.
    Gambia, Ghana, Somalia, Eritrea, Morocco, Ethiopia, Sudan, DR Congo, Nigeria, Algeria, Kenya, Burundi, Tunisia, Liberia, Uganda, Egypt.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_immigration_to_Norway

    This does NOT include Immigrants from Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, China, Vietnam, South America or Central America….etc.. etc…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqis_in_Norway

    Also, many immigrants or people who come from other cultures, once they move to Norway, they will
    soon be able to receive a Norwegian Passport, and that is the ONLY thing that matters to people
    in Europe, not the color of skin, but, what does the Passport say.
    If a person from Gambia has a Norwegian Passport, then they will be considered Norwegian, NOT
    African Norwegian. Just Norwegian. 🙂

  14. Let’s just say, from birth in Norway children are taught to respect other persons property. They are taught to respect the authority of the police. And most importantly, when the police hollows a single word, “Stoppe” they stop.

  15. I think the 97% white claim clouds the discussion: Wikipedia: As of 2012, an official study shows that 86.2%[5] of the total population have at least one parent who is born in Norway and more than 660 000 individuals (13.2%)[5] are migrants and their descendants; numbering 110 000 second generation migrants born in Norway.

    Of these 660 000 immigrants and their descendants:

    335 000 (51%)[5] have a Western background (Australia, North America, elsewhere in Europe)
    325 000 (49%)[5] have a non-Western background (Morocco, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, Iran).
    In 2012, of the total 660 000 with immigrant background, 407,262 had Norwegian citizenship (62.2 percent).[6]

    So about 6% of the population of Norway is of color.

    New Hampshire is 93% white, 1% black and 2% Hispanic with 4% other. http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/distribution-by-raceethnicity/ So let’s say they have a similar ethnic population distribution to Norway.

    This is from 2014 but you get the picture: Twenty people have been shot and killed by police in New Hampshire since 2000; 19 others have been wounded. Eleven of those fatal shootings were in the past three years. – See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140504/NEWS07/140509658#sthash.jqL7np8Y.dpuf And that doesn’t include police who have been killed by criminals.

    American began as a violent country, grew by being violent (US military was still going to war with Native Americans as late as 1923), was at one time torn in two by violence, and over the past 200+ years has fought in at least one war in every decade but 1930s. Americans spend 40% of their tax money on war machines. It’s a violent country, filled with at least 300,000,000 million guns with many gun carriers willing to kill for territory, respect, control, money, power and anything else. Violence is bred into Americans from an early age and that violence is often revered and imitated. Until the cost of the violence is much greater than the perceived benefit, this twisted violence will continue unabated.

  16. Norwegian cities give the impression that it is a diverse country, but the CIA World Factbook reports that 97% of Norweigans are white. The largest immigrant groups are from Poland and Sweden. Of the non-whites, the largest group are Pakistanis, followed by Somalis and Iraqis.

  17. The problem is they are not doing enough broken windows, stop and frisk policing. But don’t worry. They are bright and resourceful. A few SWAT teams and some no knock warrants will cure this problem right away.

  18. This is not shocking to me at all.
    I lived in Norway before I moved to Sweden.

    I know that people will make the claims that it is because it is a homogeneous country, or that it is because it
    is much smaller than the USA.
    Well, Norway is almost just as Multicultural than the USA, and if you just break it down
    and look at Norway like it is just ONE state in the USA. Norway has a population of just over 5 Million.
    and if you compare that to Colorado, which has a population of just over 5.3 million

    I have no idea why they don’t seem to have the same kinds of crime as in the USA, but I do suspect
    that it has something to do with the fact that in Norway, they enjoy a very HIGH standard of living.

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