Police in Oslo to target funding at areas at risk of serious crime

Oslo police have announced a new system that will see more measures targeted at areas more prone to crime.

Pictured is Oslo.
Police in Oslo have announced a new way of tackling crime in the capital (pictured above) Photo by Ben Garratt on Unsplash

Six vulnerable zones have been identified by the police, the majority of them in the east of the Norwegian capital.

According to a report in the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen, two of the zones are Grønland and Tøyen and four locations in the districts of Stovner, Alna and Søndre Nordstrand.

Police have selected these areas based on indicators such as low income, low education, short residence in Norway and households with a single parent. Police also considered the level of police activity in the area and existing intelligence on criminal networks in these areas.

“The police do not ignore the fact that more vulnerable areas will be uncovered as a result of good intelligence and analysis,” John Roger Lund, head of the east police unit, told Klassekampen.

A research group at the Police Academy in Oslo would also work on identifying new areas to which the police should target their attention.

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“Right now we are working on analysis of what may be exposed areas in Norway, based on similar analyses in Sweden and Denmark,” Manne Gerell, who researches crime and gang violence at the University of Malmö and the University of Oslo, said.

Research would also explore which crime prevention measures are the most effective for the police to pursue.

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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.