Crime in Iceland Decreases by Nearly 25 Percent Skip to content

Crime in Iceland Decreases by Nearly 25 Percent

The number of offenses registered by the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police dropped by 23.5 percent in 2011 compared to the year prior, from 73,525 to 56,257. There is a decrease in criminal activities of all kind, apart from drug and sex offenses.


Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

This is stated in a new report from the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police.

Friðrik Smári Björgvinsson, senior officer of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police’s investigative department, told Fréttablaðið it is hard to name one specific reason for the development.

“I believe police actions regarding breaking-and-entering and theft are delivering results,” he said. “Repeat offenders are monitored closely and cases are effectively followed up on.”

Regarding the increase in registered drug violations, Friðrik stated the police have been more active in this field, and have incorporated new methods.

“However, it must be looked into in more detail why sex offenses are on the rise. Are people increasingly reporting such offenses or do more such offenses occur?” Friðrik asked.

Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson agrees with Friðrik on the overall decrease in crime. “We are on the right path. Perhaps preventive measures are delivering results? The police are serving their purpose very well and that impacts society.”

Traffic violations have not been fewer since 2005, although the report states that part of the reason is failure in speed cameras.

Overall, crime has been on a steady decline since 2007; when 2011 is compared to 2007, the number of registered offenses has dropped by almost 30 percent.

At the same time the number of working police officers has decreased, from 827 in 2007 to 716 last year.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article