Published April 30, 2012
The majority of Icelandic police want to carry tasers, and the Minister of the Interior intends to examine the case for allowing them to do so.
Icelandic police are unarmed, save for pepper spray in some cases. Only the Viking Squad, Iceland’s tactical police squad, carry guns. Icelandic police have regularly brought up the idea of being allowed to carry tasers, although the idea is regularly rejected by the Ministry of the Interior.
RÚV now reports that a new poll conducted by the Police Federation of Iceland shows that the majority of Iceland’s police force want to be allowed to carry tasers, and a portion of them want to follow the Norwegian model of being allowed to have handguns in their patrol cars.
Many police officers argue that their job has gotten more dangerous, and requires being better prepared. Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson said that while he understands the concerns of the police, he wants to approach the matter cautiously.
Ögmundur pointed out that the Viking Squad do carry guns, and that it’s one thing to be able to call for greater weaponry in a particular situation when needed, but quite another to be continuously armed in all situations.
No formal request for tasers and handguns has yet been submitted to the minister, but Ögmundur said he is prepared to discuss the matter further with the police.