Crime in Norway: Which cities are considered the most dangerous?

Norway is generally considered a very safe country. Crimes rates are relatively low and violent crimes are rare. 

As is to be expected, there is more crime in the cities. Oslo has the most crime of any city in Norway. But according to statistical numbers, which take into account the number of inhabitants, Kristiansand has the highest crime index.

That being said, all Norwegian cities should be considered safe. Crowning the most dangerous city is like crowning the most dangerous among a litter of puppies.

What is the most dangerous city in Norway?

According to the Norwegian bureau of statistics, Oslo has the highest number of reported crimes of any city in Norway, and the highest number of reported crimes per 1000 inhabitants.

Despite this, Oslo is considered a safe city and can not be considered dangerous.

According to a survey by Numbeo looking at the crime index across 164 European cities, including the Norwegian cities of Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, and Kristiansand.

Kristiansand has the highest crime rate, followed by Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim.

  • Kristiansand: 44
  • Oslo: 34
  • Bergen: 28
  • Stavanger: 24
  • Trondheim: 20

That being said, Kristiansand is also considered safe, and despite its higher crime index, it only ranked number 58 out of the 164 cities included.

At the end of the day, All major Norwegian cities are considered safe. If one city were to be crowned as the most dangerous you could make the case that it is Kristiansand.

What are the most common type of crime in Norwegian cities?

According to the Norwegian bureau of statistics, there was a total of 300 636 reported criminal offenses in Norway in 2020. This includes everything from violent crimes and theft to minor traffic offenses. 

If we consider theft, violent crime, sexual misconduct, and drug-related offenses, theft is by far the most common criminal offense, comprising almost 29% of the total. 

The statistics do not break down crime rates from city to city, but rather across the different counties. Oslo is the only city that is also considered its own county.

That being said, the population of the county capital represents between 30-45% of the population in the county, making it a relatively representable portion.

TheftViolent crimeSexual misconductDrug-related
Norway (total)29%12%2%13%
Vestland (Bergen)28%13%3%12%
Trøndelag (Trondheim)27%12%3%14%
Rogaland (Stavanger)31%12%2%14%
Agder (Kristiansand)31%13%2%14%

When looking at the table above we can see that crime levels in the different county follows the common trend for the entire country with theft being the most common type of offense.

Oslo stands out as having a higher percentage of theft, but lower percentages of both sexual misconduct and drug-related offenses. 

Violent crimes in Norwegian cities

Fortunately, most cases of violent crime do not involve the use of lethal force. In this category, Norway fares even better.

According to an annual report from the Norwegian police, There were only 31 murder cases across the entire country in 2020. Also, no particular city stood out as having a higher murder rate.

Moreover, there was only one murder case in which there was no relationship between the perpetrator and victim. 

Also, gun deaths are very rare. There were only 2 murders that were carried out using a firearm, and there have only been 28 in the last 10 years.

Use of force by the police

When it comes to the use of force by the police, Norway’s numbers are also favorable.

The Norwegian police officers are one of the few police forces in the world that do not carry weapons during daily uniformed service. That being said, they have firearms stored in their patrol vehicles.

Despite access to firearms, they are rarely used. According to the Norwegian police, there were 9936 responses in 2019 in which the police decided to arm themselves, however, they only threatened to use them in 85 responses and were only drawn 13 times.

Out of those 13 cases, shots were fired in a total of 3 responses, killing one person.

Bottom line

Norway is a very safe country in all regards and there is no city that stands out as more dangerous than others. 

While you might be unlucky to fall victim to some sort of crime, your chance of falling victim to a violent crime is very low. Also, the use of lethal force either by a perpetrator or the police is extremely rare.


Europe: Current crime index by city – Numbeo

Offenses and victims reported to the police – Norwegian bureau of statistics

Nasjonal drapsoversikt 2020 – Polities (Norwegian police)

Photo of author


Erik is the creator and editor of Planet Norway. Born in Trondheim and currently living in Oslo, Erik knows the ins and outs of Norwegian History, society, and culture. His idea for starting planet Norway came about when helping his foreign fiance to settle in Norway.