District Director Elf Humborstad Sørland told Norwegian broadcaster NRK: “There is a general problem that many young people are out too late in the evenings.”
The district of Stovner, which according to Statistics Norway has one the highest immigrant populations in the country at over 50 per cent, has seen three weeks of youths setting cars on fire and throwing stones at police, ambulance personnel, and the fire brigade responding to the fires.
Lars Norbom, general secretary of Oslo’s ‘Ravens’ neighbourhood watch organisation, acknowledged the high proportion of migrants involved in the violence. Speculating the youth gangs, who live in low socio-economic conditions, feel “excluded”, “rootless and restless”, he urged the engagement of mosques and NGOs to improve the conditions of young migrants.
Despite the reports of violence against police and there being 20 reported cases of arson from January to March alone, Stovner Police Chief John Roger Lund has denied the Oslo suburb is suffering from “Swedish conditions” where police “run when attacked” in migrant no-go zones, stating: “Here, the youngsters run when we arrive.”
Police Inspector Lund believes there are only a “small number of youngsters” aged 17 to 19 behind the attacks and arson, and have detained and let go several young men.
Speaking to Aftenposten, the chief would not state whether the youths were part of a “gang environment”, but confirmed suspects are “known to police”. Police said they could not provide information about the ethnicity of the gang members.
However, Norway’s Human Rights Service, an organisation praised by ex-Muslim and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has accused the media and Norwegian authorities of “hushing up” the reports of crimes and violence in migrant-heavy neighbourhoods.
“As we know, media and politicians have tried to tell us over time that we do not have ‘Swedish conditions’ – conditions that Swedish media and politicians will not recognise even though the awakening in neighbouring countries has begun,” organiser Rita Karlsen wrote.
U.S. President Donald Trump was chastised by media and political figures in February for linking mass migration and rising violence in Sweden. Hours later, a riot in the migrant no-go zone of Rinkeby broke out with cars set ablaze and shops looted in what a journalist on the scene described as being “like a warzone”. Police were pushed back after a group of 30 rioters pelted them with stones.
Frequent arson attacks also occur in high-immigrant districts of France, with French authorities being accused of a cover-up after claiming New Year’s Eve 2016/2017 “went off without any major incident” despite more than 1,000 cars being torched.