20:38 GMT +322 January 2020
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    A third of sexual abuse reports in 2017 involved abuse against children, according to Norwegian police chief Odd Reidar Humlegård.

    Despite the overall decline in crime, reported sexual abuse, above all against children, is on the rise, according to the recent figures for 2017 published by the Norwegian police.

    At the national level, the number of reported cases of abuse of children aged 14-16 increased by 182.3 percent since 2013. During the same period, reported abuse of children under 14 increased by 73.1 percent. In the Western police district alone, reports of sex abuse against children under 14 have increased by 132 percent in 2017.

    "It's a huge boost. This is partly due to an increased detection of 'dark numbers,' and partly because it has a greater spread, especially in network-related cases. They involve many people and have been going on for many years," Humlegård told national broadcaster NRK.

    The police chief referred to the Dark Room case, in which a pedophile ring involving dozens of people was detected, and the Tysfjord case, in which over 150 rapes and sexual assaults happening over decades in the tiny eponymous municipality in the Arctic were brought to light.

    "Often, the child knows the perpetrator. Often these are people they are attached to, and it happens in a life situation from which the child cannot escape," Humlegård said, as quoted by Norwegian TV-channel TV2.

    READ ALSO: Sweden Shelves Sexual Crimes Against Children for Lack of Police Resources

    As regards other crime, though, Norway has seen a steady decline for five consecutive years, the police reported.

    "Between 2013 and 2017, there's been a decline of 70,000 registered cases, which is very much," Humlegård said emphasizing a marked drop in crimes against property, in particular burglary, theft and robbery, which have fallen between 40 and 55 percent over the past five years.

    READ ALSO: Santa's Naughty Norwegian Neighbors: 150+ Sex Assault Cases in Arctic Town of 2K

    In 2017, 52.6 percent of all reported offenses were solved. Although a decline of 0.8 percent compared with 2016, it is nevertheless an increase of 2.2 percent compared with 2013.

    In 2016, Statistics Norway reported the lowest crime rate in 24 years, with 336,500 reported offences, prompting an increase of confidence in police work for the third consecutive year, reaching a solid 83 percent.

    "Where people don't feel safe is online. There is a lot of cybercrime going on, and it's increasing greatly. Fraud, scams, threats, bullying. The police must follow up," Humlegård said, pointing out that confidence in the police reached its lowest point in such matters.

    READ ALSO: Generation Google Porn: Nordics Propose Filters to Stop Kids' Sexualization

    Newly appointed Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug lauded the police effort behind the reduced crime rate.

    "Nevertheless, we are entering a future when crime is moving from the street to the net," Listhaug told NRK.


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    crime, child sexual abuse, child abuse, Sylvi Listhaug, Scandinavia, Norway
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