The Reykjavík area police are finalists in an international competition regarding how police use the internet to stay in communication with each other and the community. The ConnectedCops Awards, held every year, judges those agencies from numerous countries which have “demonstrated a proactive strategic approach to the implementation of open source technology into their communication plans.” In the category of Excellence at a Large Agency, the capital area police are now finalists.
The Reykjavik Metropolitan Police (RMP) began using social media in late 2010. With 22,000 followers on Facebook in a country of 320,000, it’s one of the largest followings, per capital in the world. The social media implementation is a small step towards building digital policing in Iceland, the end product being a fully digital police station with additional presence in Twitter (the Chief is currently using Twitter) and YouTube. The RMP is finding that social media is both a cost-effective way of community policing but is also turning out to be one of the key points into building trust between the police and the public.
Stefán Eiríksson, chief of the capital area police, waxed philosophical to Vísir in explaining how his force interacts with the general public: “The key detail is to just be yourself. Just act natural and come to the door as you are. That’s what the police do every single day that they’re out on the street in contact with people.” Stefán added that he was honored by the nomination, and that more and more agencies around the world are making better use of technology to communicate. The finalists for the ConnectedCops awards will be announced September 10.
The US Embassy in Iceland says they have received the written statement from protesters who oppose the Gaza attacks, and “have delivered this message back to appropriate colleagues in Washington”. As reported, protesters assembled in front of the US embassy yesterday, in opposition to US support for Israel while the attacks on Gaza continue. Vísir reports that some 2,000 people attended the protests, and delivered a written statement to embassy officials. The statement, addressed to US President Barack Obama, called upon US authorities to put an end to Israel’s use of force against Gaza. Today, the US embassy posted a
Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir met with the former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police four times during police investigations of her ministry, but denies she ever tried to exert influence. These acts may put her on shakey ground with members of her own party. In a statement posted on the ministry’s website, Hanna Birna has responded to a formal request from Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson regarding news that Hanna Birna had allegedly told then Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson, both in person and over the phone, that she was unhappy with how investigations of
Minister of Housing and Social Affairs Eygló Harðardóttir said she is worried about second- and third-generation children of immigrants, saying that they are in danger of becoming isolated. RÚV reports that her ministry is also concerned about immigrants on the rental market. “We are very worried about the status of immigrants on the real estate market, as it relates to overall integration into Icelandic society,” she told reporters. “Language comprehension is also important, in order to ensure that the children of immigrants can finish primary school, continue to secondary school, and then decide to learn a trade or go to
Welfare Minister Eygló Harðardóttir has announced that, come next fall, the Ministry intends to propose legislation against racial discrimination. This was reported by RÚV. According to RÚV, ‘the notion of equal rights’ will thereby be ‘extended, making it also apply to race and people’s place of origin’. The Minister is quoted as saying that ‘what we have in mind, first and foremost, is for people to have a way through the state apparatus, to verify whether they have been discriminated against or not.’ The legislation will apply, it is reported, ‘both within and outside the job market’. ‘Of course discrimination
Disappointed with the delay of his flight from Spain, Icelander Davíð Aron Guðnason decided to take matters into his own hands by fixing the plane’s engine, reports Vísir. There were no flight mechanics available when the delay of Davíð’s plane from Spain to Iceland was announced. It was likely that all 180 passengers would have to spend the night at a hotel while the issue was dealt with. Incidentally, Davíð is a flight mechanic by trade and offered to help fix the plane so that it could leave. “I spoke to the pilot, who put me in touch their flight mechanic
A comprehensive round of testing of beef products across Europe has revealed almost no traces of horse meat in Europe beef and none in Iceland, reports Vísir. The European Commission described the results of the testing as encouraging following last year’s horse-meat scandal, in which millions of ready-made beef meals were pulled from supermarket freezers across Europe. European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, has said the results prove that there has been progress following the events of last year. According to the report, 10 tests were conducted in Iceland but none showed traces of horse DNA.