Norway’s state police directorate could announce a decline in reported crimes on Wednesday for the fifth year in a row. The number of sexual assaults reported against children, however, has skyrocketed.
State Police Director Odd Reidar Humlegård said that every third reported violation of laws regarding sexual conduct last year involved assaults on children. “This is an enormous increase,” Humlegård said at the police directorate’s annual presentation of crime statistics. He said the increase was at least partially a result of more people are reporting such crimes that previously were hushed them up.
He also pointed to the assaults, some of them stemming from many years ago, making up the so-called “Tysfjord case.” The massive “Dark Room” case involving Norwegian men who have committed the equivalent of online assaults on children, also contributed to the sharp increase in reported assaults. Many of them were also against children living abroad, for example in the Philippines.
Reported assaults on children in the police district covering Western Norway were up 132 percent from 2016 to 2017. On a national basis, assaults on youth aged 14 to 16 have risen by 182.3 percent since 2013.
There otherwise was a decline in reported crimes in Norway last year for the fifth year in a row, down by 70,000 since 2013. “That’s a lot,” Humlegård said, adding that the greatest decline was in burglaries and robberies.