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Fatal Shootings Stats of Norway’s Police Haven’t Changed Since 2006

One of the last reported fatal police shootings in Norway was in 2006. One order to shoot to kill has been issued in recent history during a hostage crisis in 1994. In fact, American police kill more people in a typical day than officers in Norway have in the past nine years.

Fatal Shootings Stats of Norway's Police Haven't Changed Since 2006


The Norwegian police force, Politi- og lensmannsetaten, is an organization beneath the Ministry of Justice and public security, and is comprised of around eight thousand officers. The police academy offers a three-year education and is considered a university college. Norway’s Police Act regulates police procedure. One major component of this is that Norway’s police officers are not armed while patrolling. Weapons are available to them; guns are locked down in the patrol car, and officers must request permission from higher command before firing. Police in Norway are not permitted to use tasers.

When a crime takes place, it is investigated by police on duty. Norwegian police must request permission by the police prosecutor on duty before a search and seizure. Those who are apprehended are allowed free counsel. Section 185 of the Norwegian police codes sets a four-week limit for police custody, and the maximum prison sentence for any crime committed in Norway is 21 years. Additional years may be added if it is proven that the individual has not been rehabilitated. Sentences can be appealed to the Norway’s Supreme Court. Additionally, mental health services are compulsory to all offenders.

Prisoners in Norway often live in private pods rather than group cells, and are expected to take an active role in their rehabilitation. Many Norwegian prisons require prisoners to farm their own food and take on responsibilities and/or jobs for the prison community. When criminals in Norway finish their sentences, only 20% of them re-offend. In the US, nearly 77% of prisoners are re-imprisoned within five years of release.

The crime rates between Norway’s population and of that in the United states is quite different as well. A total crime rate for 100,000 inhabitants for Norway was 330,071, as opposed to 11.8 million in the United States. Norway’s incarceration rate is 75 people per 100,000, while in the US, that number is 707 people per 100,000.