Proposed Expansion Of Police Powers Causes Disagreement

Published January 16, 2013

A proposal to expand police powers to purposefully bait child sexual predators on the internet has drawn its share of supporters and critics.
The recent high profile arrest of Karl Vignir Þorsteinsson, who on hidden camera admitted to sexually abusing scores of children over a period of decades, has brought greater attention to the finding, prosecution, and supervision of sex predators in Iceland. Former MP Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson, who leads a focus group researching the legal response to the sexual abuse of children in Iceland, has proposed among other things that police be permitted to bait sexual predators. For example, a police officer could enter a chatroom pretending to be a minor in the hopes of attracting one.
Vísir now reports that while parliamentary meetings are currently being held over the idea, not everyone is in agreement over how the power, if granted, should be used, or even if it should be granted at all.
One of the strongest supporters of the proposal is Reykjavik Metropolitan Police Commissioner Stefán Eiríksson. He has told members of parliament that the internet is becoming the new stalking ground for those who prey on children, and that the police lack the necessary tools to find and arrest potential offenders. As it is, police do have some powers to bait criminals, but they do not have the power to invent a fictional person, let alone one who could entice someone into committing a crime.
State prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir, along with experts in the field of human rights, sexual abuse and child protective services, have voiced worries over such a police power being given. They point out that such a power might lure someone into committing a crime they might not otherwise have committed. Sigríður called the proposal a “tremendous interventionist power”, although she would not rule out its use entirely.
Björgvin G. Sigurðsson, chairperson of the Judicial Affairs and Education Committee, told reporters that he believes “it is necessary to take the step towards” giving the police this power, “although it does bring with it some controversial details.”



News
Photo Gallery: Magic Aurora

Photo Gallery: Magic Aurora

by

Last night saw the arrival of a spectacular display of aurora borealis over many parts of Iceland. A car full

News
Katla Teases Us Once Again

Katla Teases Us Once Again

by

Tremors were recorded just south of the volcano Katla yesterday, but it remains decidedly unclear if an eruption is imminent.

News
Viðreisn Moves Into Third Place In New Poll

Viðreisn Moves Into Third Place In New Poll

by

A new poll from Market and Media Research shows centre-right newcomers Viðreisn are continuing their ascendancy, and are now polling

News
Russian Bombers In Close Proximity To Icelandic Passenger Jet

Russian Bombers In Close Proximity To Icelandic Passenger Jet

by

Two unidentified Russian bomber airplanes, probably Tupolev Tu-22Ms, flew directly under an Icelandic passenger jet traveling from Keflavik to Stockholm

News
Intense Northern Lights Over Reykjavík Captured On Film

Intense Northern Lights Over Reykjavík Captured On Film

by

Some stunning northern lights put on quite a show over Reykjavík last night. Our Facebook feed was full of brave

News
“The Icelandic People Are My Hope Now” – Afghan Mother & Daughter Still In Peril

“The Icelandic People Are My Hope Now” – Afghan Mother & Daughter Still In Peril

by

A group of Icelanders arrived at the Ministry of the Interior today to hand over a petition of some 3,300

Show Me More!