Violent crime is rare in Iceland

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Iceland is awash in guns, yet it has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world. For the first time, ever, Iceland’s police have shot a man dead:

Tear gas canisters were fired through the windows in an attempt to subdue the 59-year-old, who lived in the east of the capital, Reykjavik.

When this failed he was shot after firing at police entering the building. Between 15 and 20 officers took part.

Back-up was provided by special forces.

The tear gas was used when the man, who has not been named, failed to respond to police attempts to contact him and continued shooting.

When they entered the apartment, two members of the special forces were injured by shotgun fire — one in the face, the other in the hand.

Iceland’s police, like the English bobbies of old, don’t carry guns. Only their “special forces” do. Oh, and they’re called the Viking Squad.

I love how the only explanation for their low crime rate is their equality, and not, say, the fact that everyone knows everyone else and is rather closely related — even more so than in Japan, I’d guess.

(Hat tip to Reason‘s Hit & Run.)

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