OSLO, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Neither Norway's police nor Prime Minister Erna Solberg know the real cause of the increased crime in the Nordic country's capital in the last two years, newspaper Aftenposten reported Friday.
There had been a positive development up until 2016, when the situation worsened. Last year registered youth crime in Oslo increased by 25 percent.
Violence among youth from eastern Oslo increased sharply, most among the youngest under the age of 15, the report said.
According to John Roger Lund, the head of police in the district of Stovner, police do not have a good answer as to the reason for such a development.
"But maybe we, the school, and the municipality rested on laurels to a too-large extent since the level was stable. Perhaps we should have been more offensive than we have been," he told Aftenposten.
While only 3 percent of young people between 10 and 17 years of age are behind the registered juvenile delinquency in Oslo, there is a small group of youth involved in four or more cases, which accounted for 37 percent of all registered juvenile delinquency.
Similarly, Oslo police chief Hans Sverre Sjovold also does not have a good explanation for what happened in 2016.
"The extent has not increased so violently, but those who are criminal have become even more criminal. Then there has also been recruitment to organized environments," he said.
Assistant chief of Oslo police Janne Stomner, who works with crime prevention, pointed out there are about 20 percent more young people in Oslo nowadays than 10 years ago, and there is an increased number of youth both under and over 18 years of age who repeatedly commit crimes.
Stomner also drew attention to the influence of social media.
"Youth make videos of crime events and put them online. They stage themselves with some kind of 'hero status'," she said.
The prime minister pointed out the underlying conditions, such as the problem with large families, often single-parent families, and with permanent child poverty. A significant part of the increase in child poverty in Norway is linked to immigrants or children of immigrants.
"We are working on a new integration strategy. Perhaps we must have a broader scope in the measures than we have had before," Solberg was quoted as saying.
Patrick Lie Andersen, a researcher at the Norwegian social research institute NOVA who specializes in youth research and social inequality, agreed.
"Several of the areas east of Oslo stand out, with lower income, lower education level, higher unemployment rate and more young people who do not finish high school," Andersen said.
It is likely that some young people who live in areas with challenging living conditions are more vulnerable to being pulled into negative environments, the researcher added.