Police ignore vice in Oslo
An apartment block just a stone's throw from Oslo's downtown police headquarters angers neighbors who say it houses a drug den, two bordellos and illegal clubs.
Police maintain that it is difficult to prove that this apartment block conceals illegal activities.
In Grønlandsleiret 37 in Oslo's 'East End', narcotic khat leaves are sold in a Somalian club, sex is on sale at two brothels and nightclubs stay open well after mandatory closing time. Neighbors are tired of police doing nothing, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports.
Odd Vidar Bakkejord, secretary of the self-help group Fattighuset (Poorhouse), the nearest neighbor to the controversial apartments, finds the lack of police intervention untenable.
"Bordellos in Norway are not legal, so it is strange that the police cannot prove that it shouldn't be happening and crack down on it. Trafficking could be an issue here too," Bakkejord told NRK.
Last November the police raided an illegal nightclub in the building and found a loaded pistol hidden behind a cushion. Aftenposten's evening edition "Aften" reported the open sale of khat earlier this year and now NRK's Østlandssendingen news program had a reporter offered sex at both brothels.
Police say they know what is going on but claim it is difficult to stop.
"Partly it is because it is very difficult to prove wrongdoing. We are constantly in there checking at all hours of the day. But they change owners and activities the way other people change shirts," station chief Kåre Stølen said.
Neighbors say police just can't be bothered to do something about the problems.
"Norwegian politicians are very slack about this kind of thing. So the police become friendly caricatures that just say hello, and we'll do something about it eventually - but then nothing happens. It is just talk," said Bakkejord.
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