This summer, Uteseksjonen (outdoor recreation and environment) counted 119 people in the outdoor areas where drug users congregate, in the capital. This is a marked increase from earlier years, Aftenposten writes.
Last year, 106 people were registered in the outdoor drug abuse areas. Two years ago, the number was 73, the newspaper writes.
There is also a marked increase in the number of young adults under the age of 25 who are getting high in the outdoor drug user areas.
“It is troubling that more younger people are becoming a part of Norway’s most vulnerable drug environment. The proportion of young people is still low, but the number is increasing. In 2011, we counted on average five people under the age of 25 at the annual checkpoints. This summer we have counted 13 people at the same time,” says Børge Erdal, Head of Department in Oslo Municipality, to the newspaper.
Uteseksjonen thinks the growth is mainly due to reduced presence by the police in those areas in Oslo that are most exposed.
Station chief Tore Soldal at Sentrum police station reports to the newspaper that they are taking the criticism seriously from Utseksjonen in Oslo. He acknowledges that the police are not present enough.
“But it is a resource problem and we have had major challenges following the police reform. We are now going to increase the staffing on the patrol section to be more present in open drug areas. We have not forgotten the sites,” says Soldal.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today