Gaming cuts Norway youth crime by a quarter

Computer games may have cut youth crime in Norway by as much as a quarter over the last decade, social research outfit Nova has argued on the release of Norway's latest crime statistics.

Gaming cuts Norway youth crime by a quarter
In the virtual hood - Grand Theft Auto
Norway has seen a dramatic drop in youth crime over the last decade, according to figures from Statistics Norway released this week, with just 7.8 percent of 15-20 year olds charged with an offence in 2011, compared to 10.3 percent in 2002. 
"What we see is that young people spend more time in front of their screens, and this changes the conditions for  youth crime," Nova's lead researcher Anders Bakken told The Local.

"Traditionally young people have been stealing from shops, and smashing things up. Young people today spend more time at home, either alone or with their parents, and all together, this has contributed to the fall in youth crime." 
He said his research had also documented falling levels of alcohol and drug abuse among young people, better participation at school, and better relationships with their parents. 
"The young people that are teenagers today are probably more serious than earlier generations," he said.

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Norwegian intelligence agency apologises over Oslo Pride shooting

Norway's domestic intelligence service apologised Thursday after a report concluded it could have prevented a shooting on the sidelines of Oslo's Pride festival last year that left two dead.

Norwegian intelligence agency apologises over Oslo Pride shooting

On the night of June 25th, 2022, a man opened fire outside a gay bar in central Oslo during the Pride festival, killing two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounding nine others.

Just after the attack, police arrested the suspect, Zaniar Matapour, a 43-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin who had contacts with a known Islamist extremist in Norway, Arfan Bhatti.

The motive for the attack has yet to be officially established. But a report commissioned by the chief of police and the PST intelligence service, published Thursday, concluded that it would have been “possible” to prevent the shooting if agents had followed up on early warning signs.

The PST was criticised for failing to take preventive measures despite information suggesting that Bhatti could use Matapour for an act of “political violence”, as well as for lowering its surveillance of Bhatti, who posted an image on Facebook of an LGBT flag in flames a few days before the shooting.

It also came under fire for not keeping a close eye on Matapour despite a June 20th warning from the Norwegian military about the risk of an imminent
“terror attack” that suggested the involvement of Bhatti, who was known to be abroad at the time.

“We apologise for any potential evaluation errors that were made and the consequences these had,” PST chief Beate Gangas said after the report was published.

Matapour was quickly overpowered by passers-by and found to be carrying a hundred rounds of ammunition for his weapons.

“It could have turned into one of the deadliest attacks in Europe in years,” said the head of evaluation committee, Pia Therese Jansen.

Twenty-five other people were injured in the chaos that followed the shooting.

Matapour is currently in custody on suspicions of a terrorist act, but has yet to be charged. His trial could take place in 2024.

Bhatti, who is suspected of being an accessory, has been arrested in Pakistan and Norwegian authorities are seeking his extradition. Two other people are also being held as suspects in the case.