Norway’s Murder Rate Drops to 60s Level

The figures Aftenposten extracted from the database of Statistics Norway (SSB) and Death Case Registry (Dødsårsaksregisteret) proves the record drop of murder rate in Norway. While there were 42 murder cases in 2013, only 8 murder cases have been registered so far in this year.

The historical statistics show that this number is as low as in 60s, in which average annual homicide rate was between 10 and 20 people.

By far the highest murder rate in Norway was during World War II where the yearly average was over 300 reported murders.

In 2011, the rate jumped to 110 people – due to the terrorist attacks of Anders Behring Breivik.

Talking to Aftenposten, violence and murder researcher Ragnhild Bjørnebekk says there is a general trend in the world that the murder rate goes down. In addition, emergency medicine becomes much better to save injured people, notes he.

– We do not have a violent tradition thanks to the proper development of the welfare system, small differences between people, and good upbringing and schools. This is a community level and contributes to low homicide numbers, says the researcher.

She also believes that preventive measures were initiated in the 90s in Norway have affected this trend.

– Especially family training programs that targeted risk families were effective. But these programs did not reach to especially those who come from other countries, she says, pointing out that people with foreign backgrounds are overrepresented as both perpetrator and victim in recent years.

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