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Reprimands Høyre’s Crime Initiative: − an Election Campaign Bluff

The Labor leaders believe the Conservative Party is failing to combat youth crime, and point to Sweden. – Falling on their own unreasonableness, replies the fresh Right-wing city council leader.

  • They spend more money on emptying septic tanks from boats in the Oslo Fjord than they spend on crime prevention among children and young people, says Oslo politician Jon Reidar Øyan (Ap) about the new city council.

VG meets Øyan and justice policy spokesperson Hadia Tajik (Ap) at Oslo City Hall – where the Conservatives and Liberals have taken over power after the autumn elections.

They presented their first budget last week, and the Labor leaders are not impressed.

Towards Swedish conditions
But first: Are there Swedish conditions in Oslo?

  • I don’t think this with Swedish conditions is a comparable situation, says Øyan.
  • When the police union says that we are heading towards Swedish conditions, and that we are 10 years behind Sweden in development, then we have to deal with it now. If not, we risk it becoming a more serious problem in the future, says Tajik.

LOOKING TOWARDS SWEDEN: Hadia Tajik warns against being naive in the face of increasing crime.
LOOKING TOWARDS SWEDEN: Hadia Tajik warns against being naive in the face of increasing crime. Photo: Lars Martin Hunstad / VG
Before the election, the Conservative Party presented its ten-point plan to combat youth crime. Eirik Lae Solberg (H) promised NOK 75 million for the venture.

In the budget for Oslo, however, the investment has “shrunk”. There they propose only 7.5 million – i.e. 10 per cent of the election promise. In addition, 1.5 million of the 7.5 have been taken from the pot to prevent violence and social control against women, Ap can point out.

  • Then you pit two vulnerable groups against each other. I think that is misleading, says Øyan.
  • I thought at least they were going to come with a package of 40 million, also only 7.5 will come. It’s too complicated.
  • Can’t run away from responsibility
  • I thought politicians as experienced as Tajik and Øyan knew that election promises apply for four years at a time. Not four weeks, says city council leader Eirik Lae Solberg (H) to VG about the criticism.

The Labor Party has governed Oslo for the past eight years, he points out:

  • In that period, youth crime has increased. It is a responsibility the party cannot run from, says Solberg.
  • I lead a city council that took over four weeks ago, and we have already taken steps to strengthen the work on crime prevention, he continues.

Most of the 75 million he promised will be used for a leisure card scheme, explains Solberg.

  • This will ensure that all children and young people in Oslo are offered at least one free organized leisure activity a week, he says.
  • It will cost money, but we cannot afford not to, he adds.
  • Restless
    Youth crime in Oslo is increasing – or “crime committed by children and young people”, if we want to be politically correct.

The Labor Party had positive expectations of the Conservative Party in Oslo – even believing that they could be a collaborative partner in the area, says Tajik.

  • We are worried about whether there will be enough power behind the preventive work. When there is growth in reports of children and young people committing crimes, it must be taken seriously straight away, she says.
  • Tajik highlights three measures the government is working on:
  • A fast track in the court which leads to young offenders being sentenced more quickly.
  • Change the juvenile penalty and with it toughen the penalties.
  • Lower evidence threshold for confiscation of money, meaning that it will be easier for the police to confiscate money from criminals. Tajik says this is part of the government’s work against organized crime, and that they will soon present a proposal on this.

Criticized the government

  • This is a criticism that falls on its own unreasonableness. Police leaders across the country have sounded the alarm ever since the AP government put forward the proposal for the state budget, says Eirik Lae Solberg.
  • The new Conservative city councilor has previously asked the government for more police officers in the capital, and said he was worried about the citizens’ safety.
  • The Oslo police district has said that for the first time they are unable to solve ongoing police tasks without help.

Source: VG News