Norway police force permanent arming creates internal division, non-readiness / News / The Foreigner

Norway police force permanent arming creates internal division, non-readiness. Norwegian police patrol cars will be carrying arms and ammunition in sealed compartments from 1 October this year. Not all vehicles are suitably-equipped for now, reports say. Officers currently do not carry do not carry firearms/ammunition on a daily basis as the main rule. Whilst they have had the right to carry arms in police vehicles since 1989, it has been up to the local Chief of Police to determine guidelines as to their use.

norwaypolice, policearmsnorway



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Norway police force permanent arming creates internal division, non-readiness

Published on Wednesday, 25th September, 2013 at 09:15 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Linn Schjerven   .
Last Updated on 25th September 2013 at 09:28.

Norwegian police patrol cars will be carrying arms and ammunition in sealed compartments from 1 October this year. Not all vehicles are suitably-equipped for now, reports say.

Norwegian police car in Trondheim
Norwegian police car in Trondheim
Photo: HuBar/Wikimedia Commons


Officers currently do not carry do not carry firearms/ammunition on a daily basis as the main rule.

Whilst they have had the right to carry arms in police vehicles since 1989, it has been up to the local Chief of Police to determine guidelines as to their use.

According to the National Police Directorate, “if the circumstances of a foreseen or unforeseen situation demands for, or makes it necessary to carry firearms as a safeguard, the procedure is to obtain an order to do so in beforehand from an executive officer (normally the Chief of Police).”

Lacking

The new coming move is to handle increasingly tougher criminals, but a considerable number of vehicles do not have required Gunlock (or Trigger Lock) systems for securing firearms. They are awaiting installation.

Rogaland Police District operations central spokespersons tell The Foreigner all of their vehicles are ready. This is in keeping with police cars and vans in other major Norwegian cities.

West Norway regional paper Bergens Tidende reports up to six vehicles in police districts Haugalandet and Sunnhordland, Hordaland, and Sogn og Fjordane are Gunlock-ready.

Sør-Trøndelag, Nord-Trøndelag, Sunnmøre, Nordmøre, and Romsdal have four, Helgeland, Salten, Midtre Hålogaland two, and Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder one.

Police response vehicles still requiring fitting in these districts are up to 12, 14, 7, and 20, respectively.

Split

At the same time, publication Dagsavisen conducted a survey amongst five of the most central districts regarding police chiefs’ and police officers’ opinions about permanent in-car arming.

The results show a major difference of opinion.

Senior police personnel are satisfied, while officers believe measures that will take effect next week are inadequate.

“Measures implemented with in-car storage and the soon forthcoming ability to have easier access to ammunition are sufficient so far,” Hans Sverre Sjøvold, Chief of Police for Oslo told the paper.

“I am against general arming of the police. General armament will require more training, more resources, more manpower and more training facilities. There isn’t enough room for it at the moment,” said acting Sør-Trøndelag police district Chief of Police Marti Fostervold Johansen.

Life and death

In February this year, an increase in violence against officers prompted police union officials to voice the need for reforms.

A majority of members in major union Politiets fellesforbund voiced their support for general armament at a congress meeting in Molde, Møre og Romsdal County, last November.

Also in 2012, the majority of officers working in Oslo called for permanent arming whilst on duty.

Present leader of the some 14,000-strong police union, Sigve Bolstad, declares he will push what will be the new Center-Right coalition for general arming.

“Criminals have become more organized, tougher, with the takes larger,” he said.

“You never know what you’ll meet as a police officer. […] A report about a domestic disturbance can quickly become a situation of life and death for the third party and for the police. Having the necessary aids beforehand, such as firearms, is important,” added Mr Bolstad.

Not a problem

The Foreigner asked the National Police Directorate earlier this year how they would reassure the general public issuing officers with arms permanently would not lead to a US-style society.

“Police services/forces all over the world carry guns on themselves, with the exception of the UK, New Zealand, and Norway,” said then Assistant Chief of Police Erling Fosse.

“In this case the reference to the US is to be unfounded in relation to the police in Norway which have the opportunity to lock down weapons in boxes.

“[…] The difference compared to other countries is that the police in Norway will carry weapons by having it locked in the vehicle, and armament from a superior level must initially be ordered, if it is not in self-defense situation,” he concluded.




Published on Wednesday, 25th September, 2013 at 09:15 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Linn Schjerven   .
Last updated on 25th September 2013 at 09:28.

This post has the following tags: norwaypolice, policearmsnorway.





  
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