176,000 persons victims of offenses


Offenses reported to the police show that 3.3 per cent more persons were victims in 2009 than the previous year. More female, but fewer young victims of violence are registered in the most recent years. The number of offenses against enterprises rose 12 per cent from 2008 to 2009.

Of the 398,000 offenses reported to the police in 2009, nearly half (48 per cent) were registered with a person as victim, and 18 per cent were registered as committed against enterprises or other juridical units. A total of 73,200 offenses was committed against an enterprise – the highest number among the now six years of statistics on victims of offenses reported to the police. Many offenses do not inflict a direct experience of victimization, and 33 per cent of all offenses filed by the police were without a registered victim. Narcotics and traffic offenses constitute two thirds of these (see figure).

More offenses for profit against person and enterprise

Theft and other offenses for profit make up about two thirds of all offenses reported to the police against both persons and enterprises, and in 2009, 134,000 offenses for profit were committed against persons and 47,300 against enterprises. The number of offenses for profit decreased from 2008 to 2009 (see offenses reported to the police), and the statistics on victims of offenses show that enterprises as well as persons had an increase of more than 6,000 offenses. Enterprises had, however, a larger percentage increase (15 per cent) than persons (5 per cent).

In 2009, 126,000 persons were registered as victims of offenses for profit, and more than one out of five of these victims lives in Oslo. There are major regional variations in the number of victims of offenses for profit from year to year, and the residents of Hordaland had the greatest increase from 8,900 in 2008 to 11,000 in 2009.

Different age groups are victims of different groups of offenses

How many are exposed to, and what type of offense they are exposed to, varies by sex – but to an even larger extent by age (see also Survey of level of living, victims and crime). Young adults have a far higher risk of being registered as victims of offenses than the youngest and oldest in the population. A total of 3.6 per cent of Norwegian residents were registered as victims of offenses in 2009, whilst the corresponding figure in the age group 20-29 years was 7 per cent.

Looking at the separate age groups and distribution by principal group of offense, we find some relatively clear patterns and inequalities: 77 per cent of victims in the age group 0-9 years have been exposed to sexual or violent offenses. The corresponding proportion of victims in the other age groups decreases with age. For example, 30 per cent of victims in the age group 10-19 years have violent or sexual offences as the principle offense, whilst the corresponding proportion is 2 per cent among victims of offenses aged 80 or older. An approximate opposite pattern can be found relative to other offenses for profit, damage to property and economic and traffic offenses (see figure).

More female, and fewer male victims of violence

In 2009, 22 300 persons were registered by the police as victims of violence and threats – about the same number as in 2008. During the last four years, a greater share of the female, and a smaller share of the male population was exposed for offenses of violence. These changes apply especially for physical violence, and in 2009 there were 4 per cent more women and 2 per cent fewer men than the preceding year.

Still most violence against men

Overall, males make up a larger share of the victims exposed to violent offences than females, and in 2009 men made up 60 per cent of the victims of this group of offense. The share of males is particularly large for wounding or inflicting bodily harm (86 per cent males) and assault (64 per cent males), but not as considerable among the victims of threats (56 per cent males). Females are, however, strongly over represented among victims of ill-treatment in family relations (including serious ill-treatment) and among victims of sexual crimes, were the share of females are 77 and 85 per cent respectively (see figure).

Young people most exposed to violence, but less so the last three years

Based on reports to the police, the risk of being exposed to violent offenses is clearly highest during the very first years after reaching the age of 18 (the age of majority): this is the case for both males and females, but in this age range the risk of violence is considerably higher for males compared to females. After this, the exposure to violent offenses reduces with age (see figure).

However, in 2007 there were 11.8 victims of violence per 1 000 of the population between 13 and 22 years old, while the share was 10.5 per 1,000 population in 2009. That is equivalent to an 11 per cent decrease, and the reduction for this age group is larger for males (14 per cent) than for females (6 per cent). Few in the youngest age groups are being registered as victims of violence (see figure), but these have increased the most in the last six years in relative terms.

Source: Statistics Norway

Norwegian American Logo

The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.