Norway's police only fired two bullets last year... and no one was killed

US police killed more people in the first 24 days of 2015 than police in England and Wales did in the last 24 years

Alice Harrold
Thursday 09 July 2015 08:21 BST
Armed police in Norway patrol Oslo Airport
Armed police in Norway patrol Oslo Airport

Police in Norway fired their guns only twice last year – and no one was hurt – new statistics which reveal the country’s low level of gun use have shown.

Norwegian officers drew their weapons just 42 times in 2014, the lowest number of times in the last 12 years. Only two people were killed in police shootings in the same period.

The majority of Norway’s police, like forces in Britain, Ireland and Iceland, patrol unarmed and carry guns only under special circumstances.

In the US, where officers are armed at all times, 547 people have been killed by police during the first six months of 2015 alone, 503 of them by gunshot.

Daquan Green, age 17, sits on the curb while riot police stand guard

UK police have a similarly low rate of gun use to Norway. One person was fatally shot by British police in 2014.

In the first 24 days of 2015, US police shot and killed 59 people, which is more than police in England and Wales did in the last 24 years (55).

With the difference in populations taken into account, US citizens are still around 100 times more likely to be shot by police than British citizens are.

"Any attempts to roll back the militarization of the American police would need to be accompanied by policies that increase economic and racial equality and legitimate opportunity for advancement for the poor," a sociology professor at Northern Michigan University, told The Washington Post.

US police are faced with greater day-to-day violence than most developed countries. In 2013, 30 officers were fatally shot while on duty.

The last time a British officer was killed by gunshot was in 2012 when two female police constables were shot in Manchester.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said in a statement at the time, "Sadly we know from the experience in America and other countries that having armed officers certainly does not mean, sadly, that police officers do not end up getting shot."

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