The Norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service, Kripos, has so far not registered a single murder in Norway this year. At the same time last year, seven murders were under investigation.

No one has been murdered in Norway so far this year

Not one murder has been registered in Norway three months into the year of 2021. Corona restrictions could be an explanation.

Seven murders were registered during the first three months of last year, the same number as the year before.

“So far we have not registered any murders in 2021. There could be many reasons for this, corona restrictions could be one of many explanations”, says Vibeke Schei Syversen from The National Criminal Investigation Service, Kripos, to NTB.

The last few years have seen between four and eight murders during the first three months of the year. The first murders have usually occured during the first few days of a new year.

Too early to draw conclusions

Relatively speaking, there are few murders in Norway. The trend for the past few years has been at a stable low number. 31 people were killed in Norway last year.

Even so, for the last seven years there has never been such a long period without a single registered murder. This is according to continuously updated statistics kept by NTB.

“We have few murders in Norway every year, and these are very small numbers. It’s too early to draw any conclusions after such a short time span. But it is of course very positive that we haven’t had any murders so far in 2021”, Syversen says.

Like holding your breath

Vibeke Ottesen at the University of Oslo does research on murders. She is an expert in domestic violence and murder. Ottesen believes the unusual situation is due to the corona pandemic.

“It’s a bit like holding your breath, but it’s good news”, Ottesen says to NTB.

The researcher however points out that there may be hidden cases of lethal violence occurring during these unusual times, especially violence against small children. Many people are isolated and have been hit hard financially due to the pandemic.

The trend may change

“This is the murder category with the largest hidden numbers, also in Norway. To isolate families with small children who are struggling financially increases the risk of violence and abuse against children. This we know”, Ottesen says.

She warns that the positive development may turn once many enough are vaccinated and society reopens. Many women will again have the social and financial opportunity to leave their men, and this is the setting in which most domestic murders take place. There may also be an increased risk of murders that take place within families when men experience financial struggles.

“Everybody’s at home now. For as long as there is an experience of everybody being in the same boat, things are stable. It’s when the reopening slowly happens and the increased differences become apparent, that the contrasts appear. While some return to work, others have lost their jobs. These are conditions that we know may trigger murders”, Ottesen says.


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