Police Called Out to Investigate Sound of Resident Pounding Pork

In a weekend filled with the typical set-tos, scraps, and scrapes downtown, capital-area police got a call-out for the books on Saturday night when they received a report of loud thumping noises coming from an apartment on the east side of Reykjavík. DV reported.

Officers arrived at the scene and knocked on the door, only to be met by the homeowner, brandishing a meat hammer. Thankfully, the explanation for the prurient pandemonium was gastronomic—and perhaps a little tragicomic.

It seems that the home chef had been hard at work that evening, vigorously pounding pork. Tenderizing a fillet, that is, presumably in preparation some delectable meal—schnitzel, perhaps.

Mystery solved, the officers returned to their regularly scheduled bust-ups of underage ragers and barroom hurly burly.

Knife Crime Callouts on the Rise in the Capital Area

Over the last few weeks, police have intervened in an increasing number of weapons-related incidents, particularly involving knives, RÚV reports. The weapons have all been confiscated, and police have issued a reminder that the carrying of weapons of any kind is prohibited under the Weapons Act.

The Weapons Act applies equally to smaller knives, like pocket knives, as it does to larger blades. The only exception is if the individual carrying the knife needs it for their work or while out hunting.

According to the police blotter, knife-related conflicts have not only been happening late at night, downtown on the weekends, but also throughout the city and even in private homes in some cases.

Comprehensive statistics not available

Comprehensive statistics on police callouts related to knives are not readily available, Rannveig Þórisdóttir, division manager of the National Police, told RÚV. Preliminary analysis indicates that individuals committing robberies are often armed, although the weapons are not always used in the course of the crime. It appears that the number of armed robberies began to increase after 2016, but this may simply be due to better record-keeping and reporting as of that year.

In 2015 and 2016, there were an average of 15 incidents a month in which a knife was confiscated. From 2017 to 2019, this number steadily rose until it reached an average of 23 knife-related incidents a month. There were spikes within this period, namely in July 2018 and 2019, which both saw 42 knife-related incidents. This number dropped somewhat after the COVID-19 pandemic to 21 knife-related incidents a month.

Extraordinary jump in knife-related incidents in July

The number of knife-related incidents seems to be on the rise again; in July, there were 42—back up to the high of 2018 and 2019. The police emphasize, however, that these latest figures do not reflect the number of callouts in which the person in question was armed, simply those incidents in which a knife was confiscated. They say, however, that the numbers do indicate a surge in weapons-carrying in the capital area.

Two Armed Robberies This Weekend

The police department’s special division arrested a man in Austurvöllur square in downtown Reykjavík around noon on Saturday on suspicion of committing an armed robbery, RÚV reports. The man is suspected of having drawn a knife on employees in a shop on the square. This was among the incidents reported in Saturday’s police blotter.

This is the second armed robbery to have occurred in Reykjavík in just as many days. On Friday afternoon, Vísir reported that the Mexican-style fast-food restaurant Chido in the westside neighbourhood of Vesturbær had also been robbed at knifepoint. In an unexpected twist, the robber made sure to use hand sanitizer before brandishing their weapon. None of the staff were harmed in the robbery, but by the time police arrived, the perpetrator had run off with the contents of the cash register, somewhere in the range of ISK10,000, or a few hundred dollars. The perpetrator had still not been found as of 10:30pm on Friday night.

In addition to the armed robberies, police also stopped a man who is believed to have broken quarantine twice. He had recently arrived in the country but had not yet received the results of his second COVID-19 test. Police also arrested a man who had violated a restraining order, but not until after he’d driven an electric scooter into a police car and briefly evaded capture. There have also been a spate of robberies in 101 and the environs.