BBC Magazine has published an article on the reasons why violent crimes are rare in Iceland.
To sum up,
1 .People Identify themselves as Middle or Upper Middle Class.
2.High percentage of Fire arms.(33%)Police Unarmed!
4.Lenient fines for offences.
5.Children are left unattended.
6.Gay,Lesbian Marriages allowed, so is living together arrangements, Loose family Structure
Bit confusing picture emerges.
Are our notions wrong on Crimes?
Or it is easy if you make the offense legal?
I have posted another story on Organised Crime towards the end of the post.
According to the 2011 Global Study on Homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Iceland’s homicide rate between 1999-2009 never went above 1.8 per 100,000 population on any given year.
Homicide count in 2009
- Brazil 43,909
- Denmark 47
- Iceland 1
- UK 724
- US 15,241
Source: Global Study on Homicide (UN)
On the other hand, the US had homicide rates between 5.0 and 5.8 per 100,000 population during that same stretch.
After visits with professors, government officials, lawyers, journalists and citizens, the pie-chart breakdown became clear – though admittedly, it is impossible to determine how much each factor contributes.
First – and arguably foremost – there is virtually no difference among upper, middle and lower classes in Iceland. And with that, tension between economic classes is non-existent, a rare occurrence for any country.
The tycoon’s children go to school with everyone else”
Björgvin SigurðssonSocial Democratic Alliance
A study of the Icelandic class system done by a University of Missouri master’s student found only 1.1% of participants identified themselves as upper class, while 1.5% saw themselves as lower class.
The remaining 97% identified themselves as upper-middle class, lower-middle class, or working class.
On one of three visits to Althing, the Icelandic parliament, I met Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, former chairman of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Alliance. In his eyes – as well as those of many Icelanders I spoke with – equality was the biggest reason for the nation’s relative lack of crime.
“Here you can have the tycoon’s children go to school with everyone else,” Sigurdsson says, adding that the country’s social welfare and education systems promoted an egalitarian culture.
Crimes in Iceland – when they occur – usually do not involve firearms, though Icelanders own plenty of guns.
GunPolicy.org estimates there are approximately 90,000 guns in the country – in a country with just over 300,000 people.
The country ranks 15th in the world in terms of legal per capita gun ownership. However, acquiring a gun is not an easy process -steps to gun ownership include a medical examination and a written test.
Police are unarmed, too. The only officers permitted to carry firearms are on a special force called the Viking Squad, and they are seldom called out.
In addition, there are, comparatively speaking, few hard drugs in Iceland.
According to a 2012 UNODC report, use among 15-64-year-olds in Iceland of cocaine was 0.9%, of ecstasy 0.5%, and of amphetamines 0.7%.
There is also a tradition in Iceland of pre-empting crime issues before they arise, or stopping issues at the nascent stages before they can get worse.
Right now, police are cracking down on organised crime while members of the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, are considering laws that will aid in dismantling these networks.
When drugs seemed to be a burgeoning issue in the country, the parliament established a separate drug police and drug court. That was in 1973.
In the first 10 years of the court, roughly 90% of all cases were settled with a fine.(BBC Magazine)
According to reports in Iceland Review, international crime has started coming to Iceland. Not only are criminals being sent to Iceland in order to break the law, but large scale organisations are setting up branches in the Nordic nation.
Sigridur Bjork Gudjonsdottir, assistant national commissioner of the Icelandic police told Icelandic newspaper Frettabladid that international crime has become a reality in Iceland. “Reports from the investigative department of the Icelandic police confirm that organised crime has taken root in Iceland,” she said.
Reports indicate that criminals are being sent from organisations in East and Central Europe in order to commit crimes in Iceland.(icenews)