Oslo police logged a total of 223 robberies in September and October, amounting to the worst such crime wave in five years. Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang told state broadcaster NRK Sunday night that the robbery wave “doesn’t only rob someone of their mobile phones, but of our feeling of security.”
Stang isn’t the only one reacting to all the robberies in a city generally viewed as safe and where residents haven’t feared walking the streets, also at night. Several residents told NRK they’re taking new precautions, like being more aware of who’s around them on the street or walking in groups instead of alone.
Police have started urging people against carrying valuables or their smart phones if they go out for a night on the town, because they’re a target of the robbers. There were 22 robberies in Oslo last week alone, and only around 20 percent of them end with arrests.
Five out of eight robbery suspects arrested last week, reported NRK, were asylum seekers whose applications had been rejected. While awaiting deportation they went on a robbery spree, police said.
The police have established a special robbery unit to deal with the crime wave, and also are making efforts to be more visible on the streets. Only two robberies were reported during the weekend.