Police ignored orders to drive past Utøya

Police ignored orders to drive past Utøya
Photo: Paal Sørensen (File)
Two police units from Southern Buskerud ignored orders from their superiors in a neighbouring district last July 22nd not to make their way straight to Utøya, the island where 69 mostly young people were shot dead by a right-wing extremist.

Eighteen minutes after the first emergency call from Utøya, three units from Drammen were dispatched to the scene to aid their colleagues in Northern Buskerud, newspaper VG reports.

But as they drove towards the island they received orders to first convene at Hønefoss police station. While one of the teams followed the order, which equated to a detour of 48 kilometres, the two other teams chose to disobey the command.

“I was surprised by the decision from the Northern Buskerud police district since there was a shooting incident underway on Utøya, as well as the possibility of shooting on the mainland. For that reason, we decided not to drive to Hønefoss,” according to a report from one of the officers.

The two dissenting units proceeded to Storøya on the mainland where they commandeered three boats that took them to Utøya 21 minutes after the arrival of emergency troops from Oslo.

Police authorities Northern Buskerud declined to comment on the order for units to assemble in Hønefoss, and referred instead to an ongoing evaluation by the National Police Directorate.

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