Icelandic Police Busier In 2018 Than In The Year Previous - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Police Busier In 2018 Than In The Year Previous

Published January 2, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photo by
Hlynz/Wikimedia Commons

Police were called to respond to incidents about 350 times a day in 2018, showing a 16% increase overall. The capital area police chief, Sig­ríður Björk Guð­jóns­dóttir, points out that in some categories of crime, an increase in reporting had more to do with greater openness and diligence than an increase in the crimes themselves.

Fréttablaðið reports that police were called to respond 9,762 times in 2018, showing a 5% increase from 2017, or about 350 incidents per day. When broken down by type of crime, a more nuanced picture of the year comes to light.

Reports of physical assaults increased by 6% between 2017 and last year, especially serious assaults. This is in keeping with the trend that has been ongoing in years previous, but police say it is also attributable to changes made in how domestic violence is reported.

By much the same token, there was an increase in reported sexual assaults, going from 300 in 2017 to 387 last year. This Sigríður attributes to a more reliable system, and an increase in the social discussion of sexual assaults, such as the #MeToo movement, encouraging more people to report such crimes rather than remain silent about them.

One type of crime that increased much more dramatically in 2018 was breaking and entering. About 45,000 break-ins were reported to the police in 2018, showing an increase of 60% between 2017 and last year, and doubling in just the past two years alone. Traffic violations only increased by 15%, and financial crimes, such as embezzlement, actually decreased.

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