Overburdened police say skyrocketing murder rate leaves no time for other cases

Murder rates in Norway last year hit a ten-year high and this year looks no better with the count already at more than 20 homicides.

WORLD APRIL 26. 2024 13:50

With the unusually high number of murders committed in Norway in the first few months of 2024, police in many parts of the country have been swamped, leaving them little time to investigate other crimes. The Innlandet county police chief has also sounded the alarm, saying the district lacks the capacity to investigate other serious cases, such as rape. Johan Brekke has now requested a meeting with the National Police Directorate because, as he put it, he has never experienced anything like this in his time at the force.

Brekke spoke of how in his region alone, nine people have been killed since October last year. By comparison, three people were killed in the district all year in 2022, none in 2021 and three murders in 2020.

„I hope that this is not a new trend, but just a coincidence,” the county police chief told Norwegian newspaper VG. Whether coincidence or not, for many police staff in the district, this is practically an extreme burden level.

They have received limited assistance from Kripos, the national criminal investigation service, in tactical and technical investigations, and also from the Innlandet Eastern District and Oslo police districts. Nevertheless, Police Chief Brekke describes the situation regarding resources as „critical”.

This will have a significant impact on other priority cases that we should have investigated but have now been put on hold. These include domestic violence and rape cases that we simply do not have the capacity to investigate now,

he said, adding that some cases will be postponed, but they may also be forced to close some cases without a result, simply because they lack the human resources.

Last year, Norway saw 35 murders, which is the highest number in ten years, but if things continue at this rate, this record could be broken this year. By the end of March, the Norwegian police launched investigations into 16 murder cases, with a total of 21 victims, the Norwegian Nettavisen news portal reported.



crime, murder, norway