Norwegian police criticised for slow accident response times / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian police criticised for slow accident response times. Emergency services are frustrated at their police colleagues because are taking too long to respond to road accidents. Whilst specified response times for fire personnel and ambulance staff in built-up areas and cities are 10 and 12 minutes, respectively, there are none in place for police. “It’s a paradox that those who are put in charge ofan accident have no requirements to arrive within a certain time limit when it really matters. I do not understand why they are permitted to do so,” Svein Gunnar Larsen, head of Flekkefjord municipal fire services tells Aftenposten.

slownorwegianpolice, accidentresponsetimes



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Norwegian police criticised for slow accident response times

Published on Tuesday, 12th July, 2011 at 10:56 under the news category, by John Price   .

Emergency services are frustrated at their police colleagues because are taking too long to respond to road accidents.

Mercedes Benz Vito police van
Mercedes Benz Vito police van
Photo: © 2007 J. P. Fagerback/Wikimedia Commons


Whilst specified response times for fire personnel and ambulance staff in built-up areas and cities are 10 and 12 minutes, respectively, there are none in place for police.

“It’s a paradox that those who are put in charge ofan accident have no requirements to arrive within a certain time limit when it really matters. I do not understand why they are permitted to do so,” Svein Gunnar Larsen, head of Flekkefjord municipal fire services tells Aftenposten.

To illustrate, the paper mentions an accident in 2009, where three people died and eight were injured on the E39 motorway Flekkefjord exit. Fire services arrived at the scene three minutes after being informed, the police came 36 minutes later.

Mr Larsen says they also often have to perform police tasks themselves, referring to several serious accidents in the district in recent years.

“We experience that police arrive when it's over far too often. On several occasions, we have been standing and waiting for them after the accident scene has been cleared. This can’t be the intention.”

Agreeing with Mr Larsen about poor police staffing levels, head of section at the Police Directorate’s project department, Knut Kværner, admits, “Unfortunately it's often luckthat determines whether we are in the vicinity when there is an accident.

“Although we prioritise life and health, the police in many districts have too fewpatrols. They can often cover large geographicareas, thus the response time may be highlyvariable depending on where and when an accident occurs,” he continues.

Mr Kværner hits back, however, claiming response time should not be a goal in itself.

“It’s all about the number of patrols for us. Fire and ambulance personnel are sitting localised in one place, and just have to drive out to a scene when something occurs. The police are not just sitting around waiting for things to happen.”



Published on Tuesday, 12th July, 2011 at 10:56 under the news category, by John Price   .

This post has the following tags: slownorwegianpolice, accidentresponsetimes.





  
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