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. Bad guys with guns don’t exist in Norway…?
    Someone shoul alert NRA about this. Success through arms?

  2. Although we do not often agree on politics, what I do whole heartedly agree with you on is getting money out of politics. We need major campaign reform, we need to scale down these lavish campaign budgets that mean that supremely qualified individuals of modest means and beholden to no one cannot compete, and we need to get rid of special interest financing. No more “bundling” by companies, or forced political donations by union members. Get ALL the money out so politicians care more about their constituents than their cronies.

  3. Karen

    You are close to if not right on the head of the nail here. The US has a lot to learn and socialism does not work alone. However, a good work ethic, balanced social structure, and common sense seems to work in most places where it is tried. The US is still on an either or war footing. Perhaps, like Norway, Denmark, Germany, and other success stories the US has to hit bottom first in order to figure it out. You can’t argue with a millionaire. You can’t argue with a dozen nuclear aircraft carriers.

    One thing on which to focus is the difference in political systems. The US is the only country with two political parties. This does more harm than good. No political system is as dependent on money as in the US. This does no good at all and is the root cause of the circus voters are presented with and simply avoid or mindlessly support.

  4. JAG, Those Norwegians need crystal meth just to get up to speed w/ everyone else. I knew little about Norwegians until I moved to Madison. There is a town nearby called Stoughton. It is very Norwegian. Every May they have a Syttende de Mai festival. So, the first May we lived in Wi. we went. I kept waiting for the freakin’ party to start! Watching women rosemauling or eating lutefisk is not a festival, it’s penance! Norwegians live longer than anyone else. I think it’s God’s way of punishing them.

  5. davidm2575:

    Norway focuses on rehabilitation first, and punishment last. The mere loss of freedom is deemed punishment enough. The maximum sentence possible for any crime at all is 21 years. Every 5 years, the prison can tack on another 5 years if they feel that the inmate is not rehabilitated. So it’s 21 years with the possibility of a life sentence.

    I think Norway’s utopian jail system evolved because they have a low violent crime rate. It may be more comfortable to know that the young man who stole your car is in jail doing yoga, taking group therapy lessons, and learning a trade, in an effort to turn his life around, than it would be if a pedophile like Sandusky was having the time of his life in Jail Hotel, having a massage. Or a violent rapist who disfigured his victims. What must it be like for victims of violent crime to know that their attacker has a better standard of living in jail than they do?

    I must admit that I am firmly in the typical American camp of punishment first, rehabilitation next. Plus, as yet again America is different than Norway, we just don’t have the enormous resources it would take to get millions of inmates onto a therapist’s couch and taking basket weaving. It’s certainly nice when a young criminal turns his life around. “First Time Felon” is one of my favorite small movies. But I’m not going to bankrupt the country, which is already spending at a pace to outstrip Greece, so that pedophiles and murderers and rapists can live in Club Med.

    1. Karen – it is really hard to do a lot of damage to someone in a parka. And frankly, it is hard to aim straight when it is 50 below.

    2. Karen S, I think Anders Brievik should be executed. He proudly confesses his crime, there is clear evidence he massacred scores of innocent men, women and children, and he does not acknowledge the authority of his government. Give me one good reason why he should not be executed immediately?

  6. Please note that low crime rates do not necessarily mean low crime. If criminals are not pursued, the country will report a very low crime rate, but in actuality, the criminals are simply allowed to commit crime. You have to be careful how you interpret statistics. You have to look at the source and how the data is collected, then how it is analyzed, and then whether the conclusions being made are warranted.

  7. Speaking of cultural differences, this story for some reason reminds me of my father describing driving by Polish harlem. He said that after having passed through the ubiquitous high drug high crime trashed neighborhoods, he reached the Polish part of town.

    All the women were out scrubbing their doorsteps early in the morning. Not a spec of trash in sight. They were facing the same grinding poverty as everyone else, but they took great pride in the simple things like a clean home and good manners.

    There is so much I wish our youngest generation can learn from around the world: how to be punctual, avoid debt, and make high quality things like the Germans, be polite and get along like the Norwegians, live simply, take pride in yourself, and hold yourself to high standards like the Poles.

    The downside of our global economy may be the exportation of our fast food and accompanying health problems, but the upside can be exposure to different cultures and ways of doing things.

  8. Well, its certainly not Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, or Ferguson over there, that’s for sure.

    I think Justagurl has a point – poverty breeds misery which contributes to violence.

    and Paul H is right on that there are cultural differences in Norway. Just like Germans are, apparently, never late and strictly abide the rules, Norway is known for being polite.

    Isaac – that is very interesting that North Sea Oil contributes to its finances to such a degree. And you’re very right – Norway is completely different than the US in many ways.

    Here is an interesting take on Norway’s low crime rate: they deport immigrants who break the law, including asylum seekers. That has accounted for falling crime rates.

    So, for everyone who is waxing rhapsodic about Norway, they have a very strict immigration policy. Break the law, and you’re out. Immigrate there illegally, and you’re out. No driver’s license. No free phone. And no benefits. You’re out, but in the nicest possible way. “Have a nice day! Don’t come back!”

    Now there’s an idea! We can try to improve unemployment and crime stats by cracking down on illegal immigration, and deporting immigrants/asylum seekers who break the law. I disagree with their insistence on financial security upon entering. After all, we are “the American Dream.” But I DO very strongly believe that our bare minimum requirement is that the prospective immigrant be law abiding and that they be deported if they break the law (at least violently) during their asylum/visa/citizenship process. That’s a reasonable requirement, right? Follow our legal immigration procedure, and don’t engage in criminal activity while you’re here. If an immigrant gains citizenship, then they should not be deported, but treated like any other citizen. But if they (at least violently) break the law while on any kind of visa, they should be deported.

    You cannot have it both ways – admire Norway’s low crime among it’s largely homogenous culture, and then not follow its immigration model which keeps unemployment and crime down.

  9. isaac – “Most of them, unlike the US have been attacked and most have been occupied and tormented.”

    Only isaac would consider 9/11 not an attack or torment. How quick he is to forget. Pearl Harbor doesn’t count either I guess.

  10. The Norwegians are such good, non-violent people…except when it comes/came to their treatment of Jews. To this day, their government policy is one of the most anti-Zionist in all of Europe.

  11. Justagirl

    The same problems are found pretty much throughout the ‘free world’. The difference is how the different societies deal with them. Sexuality, drugs, and other problems become political hinge points for US politicians. Nixon, Reagan, and other Presidents both Democrat and Republican mindlessly used drugs and crime as positions to illustrate just how tough and in control they were. Americans need to hear that because since WW2 they have been under attack by one villain or another and would rather have a tought guy than an intelligent guy. If anything proves that it was the eight years of the cheerleader captain.

    In the rest of the world there are countries that are not under attack constantly. Most of them, unlike the US have been attacked and most have been occupied and tormented. Most of these countries do not support politicians that constantly ‘talk tough’. They support concepts, ideas, and solutions to the problems. Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and most other European countries have evolved past the ‘lock em all up’ approach and have taken on a more proportionate approach, one unique to the problems at hand. What makes a drug abuser criminal is not the drug but the effects of the drug: not being able to work, being ostracized by society, physical and mental damage. The approach most countries are taking these days is to keep the crime out of it and refer to education and support. It seems to be working. However, in the US the same old politicians, ignorant to everything except bullet point sloganeering, tell Americans what’s what. The way to fight drugs is to punish the drug user. 99% of the scientists don’t have any idea of what they are talking about, but bible thumping senators do. Education is best administered with two bit slogans like, ‘leave no child behind’, pretty powerful stuff so that’s all we need to do, “Watch this drive.”.

    America is a great country but the attitude of being perfect and needing no improvement is what is making it not so great.

  12. Well, I think we are a stupid country, too. I mean, we elected Barack Stupid Obama TWICE! One time you could kind of overlook, but TWICE??? OK, that being said, one good part of our crazy culture is that we aren’t as pussified as the Europeans, who just a few years back compliantly hopped into box cars and went off to concentration camps.

    Can you imagine our wonderful Black Citizens hopping into cattle cars to go off to God Knows Where??? Because I see them shooting it out with the Gestapo. Many White Americans, too.

    Norway is a nice place, and I might even move there one of these years, but their cops don’t have to deal with feral blacks and poor white meth trash and savage illegal Mexican immigrants like ours do.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  13. “We, the adults, have made this generation of young men by allowing, over the course of some 40 years, the eventual construction of a hyper-sexualized, publicity-obsessed, winner-take-all twenty-first-century culture in which success means money, sex, and fame at any cost. Young males no longer live in a world where there’s a Jack for every Jill, or where social institutions like schools, the police, churches, or the military—all decimated by repeated social attack since the 1960s—provide some kind of equalizing effect among men, protecting and building up the weaker boys while disciplining and maturing the stronger ones.”

  14. I think we should start a reality show “Trading Po-pos.” We will sent the entire Chicago police force to Norway for a month and they can come to Chicago for a month. Every week the audience can see how they deal with these new problems in a new country.

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