Police in Oslo were faced with two murders and several stabbings over the weekend, in a wave of violence that police officials themselves called unusual. Inspector Hanne Kristin Rohde sought to reassure the public, reporting that suspects were in custody in both murders.
The first occurred in the late-night hours of Friday at Romsås, a neighbourhood north of downtown, when a man called police and said a weapon had gone off by accident. Police found his live-in partner shot and killed and the man was arrested. His weapon was not registered and he had no permission to own it.
On Saturday night a 28-year-old Swedish man called police and said he had killed another man, in his flat in Oslo’s popular Grünerløkka neighbourhood. The Swede was arrested outside the building and charge with murder but sent to a psychiatric hospital because of his distressed mental state. Rohde said police had been unable to question him.
Meanwhile, a taxi driver was stabbed in his car in Oslo’s Grønland district. Police had no immediate suspects but Rohde said they had “a lot of interesting information” in the case and witnesses who saw a man run from the scene of the crime. “We have great confidence we will find the assailant,” Rohdetold news bureau NTB.
Police also dealt with several other stabbings in the capital, at both Sinsen and Skøyen, while police also were called out regarding reports of dead bodies found in Lillestrøm, Nittedal and outside Kongsvinger. Those cases apparently involved accidents and also an apparent hit-and-run incident early Sunday morning.
Rohde thinks it was coincidental that relatively so many serious cases of violence occurred over a short time period. “We know from experience that we can have peaks in criminal activity that seem dramatic,” she told reporters, “but we can also have long periods of calm.”
Norway’s traditionally busy period of street crime and violence doesn’t begin for a few more weeks, when the so-called julebordsesong (Christmas party season) begins, bringing with it a rise in drunkenness and quarrels.