Humlegård named as new police chief

Humlegård named as new police chief
Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum
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.

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.

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