SHARE
COPY LINK

POLICE

Humlegård named as new police chief

The head of Norway’s serious crimes unit (Kripos), Odd Reidar Humlegård, has been named as the new chief of the country’s police force after the resignation on Thursday of Øystein Mæland.

Humlegård named as new police chief
Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum

Justice Minister Grete Faremo made the announcement at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

The police force has come under heavy fire since the publication on Monday of a damning report by the independent July 22 commission strongly criticizing the police response to last summer’s twin terrorist attacks.

“There’s very important work to be done at the National Police Directorate in terms of improving our readiness,” said Faremo.

Anders Behring Breivik set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people, before going to the island of Utøya, north-west of the capital, where he spent more than an hour gunning down another 69 people, mostly teenagers, and wounding dozens of others.

The victims, the youngest of whom had just celebrated her 14th birthday, had been attending a summer camp hosted by the governing Labour Party's youth organization.

"The attack on the government complex on July 22nd could have been prevented through effective implementation of already adopted security measures," the commission said.

The report lamented police shortcomings before and during the Utøya shooting, noting the tardiness with which the description of Breivik and his vehicle were released, communication problems and a failure to follow procedures, among other things.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLICE

Norwegian police end emergency carrying of arms

The temporary arming of all police in Norway, ordered after an attack in Kongsberg left five dead, ended on Friday morning. 

Police in Norway will no longer be armed after the temporary order was dropped. Pictured is a police van in Oslo.
Police in Norway will no longer be armed after the temporary order was dropped. Pictured is a police van in Oslo. Photo by David Hall on Flickr.

The order for all police in Norway to be armed following an attack in Kongsberg last week was lifted on Friday morning. 

The police said in a statement Friday that, based on the information it had received from police security service PST, there was no longer any basis for maintaining the national armament order. 

“Norwegian police are basically unarmed in daily service, with firearms being stored in police vehicles, and police can be armed in connection with specific missions when needed. In that sense, we are now moving to a normal situation,” Tone Vangen, emergency preparedness director for the police, said in a statement

The police had been armed since last Wednesday following the incident in Kongsberg where Danish citizen Espen Andersen Bråthen killed five with an undisclosed sharp object and shot at police with a bow and arrow.

During police questioning, Bråthen confessed to the killings and to wounding three others. 

Police said earlier this week that the victims were chosen at random. The Danish citizen was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Bråthen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

The 37-year-old had previously announced publicly that he had converted to Islam and police initially reported that there had been fears of radicalisation. 

But police later said that mental illness was to be considered the primary motive for the attack. 

 “As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt said to reporters earlier this week. 

SHOW COMMENTS