Oslo police surveillance deficient / News / The Foreigner

Oslo police surveillance deficient. A lack of surveillance cameras at the centre of Norway’s capital is hampering police efforts to combat rape. The capital has a plethora of civilian cameras installed in such places as shops, bars, hotels and banks. Up to 300 devices are within the Oslo S train station area alone. Officers have access to these, but only one of eight police cameras (one out of six around Oslo S) is working. Oslo Central District Chief Inspector Bjørn Åge Hansen says, “The [non-police] cameras are installed to monitor premises and buildings, not common areas, certainly have some preventative effect. Nonetheless, they are unmanned, of varying ages and types, and extremely variable quality.”

oslorapes, norwegianpolice



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Oslo police surveillance deficient

Published on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011 at 15:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 13th November 2011 at 15:32.

A lack of surveillance cameras at the centre of Norway’s capital is hampering police efforts to combat rape.

Illustration photo: Karl Johansgate Oslo
Illustration photo: Karl Johansgate Oslo
Photo: John Erling Blad


The capital has a plethora of civilian cameras installed in such places as shops, bars, hotels and banks. Up to 300 devices are within the Oslo S train station area alone.

Officers have access to these, but only one of eight police cameras (one out of six around Oslo S) is working. Oslo Central District Chief Inspector Bjørn Åge Hansen says, “The [non-police] cameras are installed to monitor premises and buildings, not common areas, certainly have some preventative effect. Nonetheless, they are unmanned, of varying ages and types, and extremely variable quality.”

“A camera is not a camera, and even a modern one is not enough independently, but is effective in conjunction with operative police patrols,” he tells Aftenposten.

20 extra officers were deployed last weekend, but this did not prevent six new attacks, one of them attempted. Whilst the bureaucrats argue over DNA forensic analysis facilities, politicians are outraged over the doubling of assault rapes in the last year.

Police started CCTV surveillance around Oslo S in 1999. Numbers of annual criminal cases declined from 13,000 to 8,500, and the cameras’ success led to expansion plans along Akerselva.

“The seriousness of many cases was reduced because police could intervene early. Potentially violent incidents were replaced by disturbances of the peace instead,” says Sigve Bolstad, Oslo Police Union leader who headed the project.

Despite the success leading to expansion plans to include such areas along the Akerselva, however, Oslo S central operations unit staff was moved to the main police station, and the facility closed in 2005.

Officer Bolstad finds it “incomprehensible that we have gradually reduced using cameras.”

Police in two of Norway’s other five main cities with smaller populations than Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, have no police surveillance cameras at all. Officers in both tell The Foreigner there have been 13 assault rapes so far this year. In Kristiansand and Stavanger, where there are police cameras, reported assault rapes have equaled 3 and 1, respectively.

Meanwhile, Oslo Police Commissioner Anstein Gjengedal says to Aftenposten that, “the need for cameras has been reduced recently because of we’ve had many officers in the area of our police post furthest down Karl Johan.”

“Only one camera is active for now, and the other five around Oslo S will be activated shortly,” he says, urging for more police patrols in order to intervene.



Published on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011 at 15:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 13th November 2011 at 15:32.

This post has the following tags: oslorapes, norwegianpolice.





  
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