Discover the truth about crime in Oslo: Is the Norwegian capital safe?

Whether you are planning a trip to Norway that includes a visit to Oslo, or are thinking about relocating to Oslo. You might be wondering, is Oslo a safe city?

According to statistics, Oslo is considered a very safe city for both inhabitants and tourists alike. Overall crime rates are low, and Oslo and Norway, in general, enjoy one of the lowest homicide rates in the world.

In this article, we will take a look at the statistics supporting the fact that Oslo is a safe city, as well as discover which areas have the highest crime rates and whether Oslo can be considered safe at night.

Is Oslo a dangerous city?

Overall, Oslo is considered to be a very safe city. Despite having the highest total number of reported criminal offenses in Norway, this is to be expected, given its size relative to the population.

Close to 13% of Norway’s total population lives in Oslo despite the area only covering a little more than 450 square kilometers of Norway’s total land area of more than 385 000 km2.

This is supported by statistics from numbeo which ranks Oslo as a safe city with a crime index of 34. For comparison, London has a crime index score of 53, while New York has a crime index of 47.

It is also supported by the fact that a survey conducted among Oslos inhabitants revealed that 93% feel safe in the city.

Violent crimes are also rare in Oslo. Theft is the most common type of crime, while violent crimes only account for under 14%. Also, the murder rate in Norway is one of the lowest in the world.

According to the Norwegian police, there have only been 25 homicides in Norway in the past 5 years.

Is Oslo safe for tourists? 

Oslo is as safe for tourists as it is for its inhabitants. The high standard of living does not put tourists at a higher risk for pickpocketing or mugging.

That being said, you should follow general safety precautions, such as not leaving valuables and wallets unattended, even when visiting Oslo.

Your chances of being scammed are also low. In general, there are few people selling contraband or other tourist items on the street which is a common tourist trap in other countries.

In addition, there are no semi-legitimate taxi services charging excessive rates.

Is Oslo safe at night

While Oslo is considered safe overall, statistics show that it is less safe during nighttime. This is true for most cities, including Oslo.

There are regular reports of incidents of assault and robbery in Oslo, especially after midnight. In addition, there are also reports of rape and attempted rape directed toward younger women.

Most often than not, victims are people heading back to their apartments after a night out in the city.

While the overall risk is relatively low, you should take some basic precautionary measures, especially when heading home after midnight. These include:

  • Avoid walking alone (Especially women)
  • Consider taking a cab home which can take you directly to your door/hotel
  • Avoid poorly lit areas devoid of crowds, such as parks, alleyways, parking lots, cemeteries, etc.
  • Stay in crowded streets/areas.

Areas of Oslo with the highest crime rates

Statistics clearly show that there are higher crime rates in certain parts of the city. These areas are predominantly, but not exclusively located on the eastern side of Oslo. 

According to criminal statistics in Oslo, the following areas have the highest number of reported crimes in Oslo;

  • St. Hanshaugen
  • Grünerløkka
  • Sagene
  • Gamle Oslo
  • Grønland

Based on crime statistics in Oslo and Norway as a whole, crimes in these areas account for 12% of all reported crimes in Norway, despite housing only about 4% of the total population.

This can partly be explained by some of these areas being popular destinations for going out at night (St. Hanshaugen and Grünerløkka).

Nevertheless, you should take extra caution and follow the previously mentioned precautionary measures when going to these areas at night.

Emergency services in Oslo

Being the largest and most populous city in Norway, Oslo is equipped with the largest, and one of the most technologically advanced emergency services throughout Norway.

Norway has countrywide emergency numbers for the police, fire department, and ambulance service;

  • Police: 112
  • Fire department: 110
  • Ambulance: 113

These emergency numbers can be dialed free of charge, however, they should only be used if you or someone needs urgent assistance.

If you are rendered unable to call, you can also send an emergency SMS to the police at 112.

For less urgent matters, you can call the police at 02800 (dial +47 02800) for questions, or if you wish to report something.

When dialing this number, you automatically be transferred to the operations center of the police district you are calling from.

As a Norwegian living in Oslo, I used this number not too long ago when I contacted the police to report an ongoing bicycle theft I witnessed during my daily commute to work. Not long after I was contacted by the police asking for a description of the suspects. 

Although I don’t know the outcome, my experience was that the police responded quickly to the call despite it not being a serious crime and the fact that this occurred around 6 AM in the morning.


Crime in Oslo, Norway – Numbeo

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

Disse bydelene har mest kriminalitet – Journalen (Norwegian)

Nasjonal drapsoversikt – Politiet (Norwegian police, Norwegian)

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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.