And the winner is …

Norway hasn’t just been named the best place to live and the spot with the best place to visit. The country has also topped the European chart in a surprising category, the nation with the greatest … amount of confiscated amphetamine.


Spells police

Norwegian police have noted two alarming statistics in recent years – an overall decline in crime may partly be due to a startling lack of reporting, and much of the wrongdoing that is definitely taking place shows signs of being serious, organized crime.

An Aftenposten article noted that the Analysis and Intelligence branch of the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) found that four out of five violent incidents were not reported to police and that half of all cases of theft and vandalism were not deigned worth the trouble of bringing to the attention of the authorities.

Meanwhile, Norway seized more amphetamines and methamphetamines than any other European nation, which indicated a growing problem with this type of drug – and also an increasingly efficient police force.

The authorities point the finger of blame at the Schengen Agreement which has made access to Norway easier for certain countries. There is a clear statistical rise in violations committed by Eastern Europeans (from Bulgaria, Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Romania) and the offenses are largely those associated with organized crime – drug and human trafficking, assault and auto theft.

Kripos also mentioned motorcycle gangs like the ‘Bandidos, Hells Angels and Outlaws’ as a focus of police attention.

The porn industry is usually considered a target of the vice squad, but a lateral thinking student doing her masters in educational science at the University of Oslo grabbed attention by proposing that the Norwegian state start offering custom-made blue movies for 14-year-olds.

Heidi Helene Sveen argued that since very many young teens were watching adult porn anyway, they should be given an offer of sex films more rooted in reality and with plot lines more relevant for their age group. While the first part of the argument is almost certainly correct, her solution did produce a certain amount of debate – even for a society with very few sex hangups.

Never a dull moment in the Norwegian media, and as noted many times before, nothing is better than something to argue about, the more panels of experts involved, the better.

I heard a particularly entertaining debate between Sveen and a representative for the porn industry, who didn’t do an especially convincing job of arguing that the idea was poor … because one vital point of porn was how unrealistic it was.

Given the reports one hears about how many youngsters actually believe that what they see in porn movies is supposed to be completely normal, one can’t help feeling Heidi Helene has a point, and that if nothing else, her suggestion could help puncture the spam industry, which seems to thrive on the market demand for huge throbbing monsters spraying bucketfuls into the air at hourly intervals.


7 responses to “And the winner is …

  1. The Heidi Helene Sveen story is brilliant – and you appear to tbe the only person referencing it in the English language. Stands to reason, really; this is your blog doing its job to perfection. Her suggestion makes a great deal of sense.

    Shame that this is the only English language entry on her blog!

    • Jonathan Tisdall

      Thanks Chris, as usual it is not only a pleasure to hear from you again, you come bearing news. I must see if I can get some sort of follow-up from Ms. Sveen. Can this really be the only English language reference? I know that the demise of Aftenposten’s News in English service has made Norwegian news even more esoteric, but surely a proposal involving state-financed youth porn must have been noticed somewhere?!

  2. State-financed-teenage-porn ! Stunning.

    Having found this blog ( thanks to Grandmaster Growl ) I am fascinated by its view on life in Norway, which seems even more wonderful that life in the Netherlands.

    I can’t remember the exact details ( it was a year or more ago ) but the amphetamine story reminds me of the change of law in the Netherlands regarding its policy on drug trafficking. As I recall, it is now only amounts of cocaine over 1,5 kg [sounds so much, I must try to find the reference ] that will result in being arrested if trying to bring it in via Schiphol Airport.
    Less than that, I think they just confiscate it and/or return you to your origin.

    I notice a lack on snow-related news, (which is probably understandable) particularly when compared to the UK . Although major snowfalls that cause traffic problems are reported in the Netherlands, the most recent heavy fall produced a major complaint from the head of the cycling organisation, who complained that cycle paths weren’t being gritted enough ! No mention of the dreadful state of the pavements.

    This “cycle-heavy” attitude is common, at least in Amsterdam ,where, sadly, cyclists rule the roost, coming way above cars and pedestrians. Only trams, by virtue of being hard-to-stop behemoths, cannot be ignored by cyclists here.

    • Jonathan Tisdall

      Greetings! I am impressed that life here sounds ‘even more wonderful’ than the wonderful Netherlands – but that might be because I have become a specialist in finding relative gems.

      That is a massive amount of cocaine, that can’t be right surely?!

      Re snow, it is the cold that has been newsworthy think I’ve mentioned it, but will probably have to report more as it is starting to get strange, fire hoses freezing during firefighting, etc. You cycle in the snow there? Amazing. And yes, here too trams can hit anything and ‘be right’.

  3. Yes, I thought 1,5 kg was a lot, hence my remark that I must check.

    Naturally, I cannot find my original ( I think it was the newspaper site “het parool” ), but a search pulled out a related article, proving that I was wrong, but since it was a long while ago ( 2004 ), so I absolve myself.

    It is in fact 3kg, although this is ‘tolerated’ rather than law. Stunning amount, since cocaine was selling at Eur 50k/kilo as reported in the article (,1518,326088,00.html ). Yes, they are deported, rather than prosecuted. Probably a sensible decision, given the cost.

    I just remember being amazed at the amount at the time. After all, I wouldn’t consider smuggling even a small amount 🙂

    The article also includes the phrase “cleaning a full bathtub with the faucet running”. Is that faucet ? or fawcet ? Not my spelling area, and maybe I am becoming confused with Farrah !

    Yes, the Dutch cycle in the snow. In fact, think of an activity, and they do it on a bicycle, probably two or three of them at the same time.

    • Jonathan Tisdall

      Wow. Though deportation is probably an extremely efficient way of dealing with it. But that is massive.

      Re cycling, it’s the other way round here. In the summer people roller-ski.

  4. PS..Meant to mention (since there is a vague chess connection via the site from whence I found you ), the Justice Minister mentioned in the article [Piet Hein Donner] is in fact the nephew of Dutch GM Jan Hein Donner, the outspoken chess columnist. His book “The King: chess pieces” is a great collection of his columns and not over-heavy on chess analysis, more on opinions and reminiscences : most enjoyable.

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