From Iceland — Police To Be Given Expanded Powers

Police To Be Given Expanded Powers

Published March 3, 2011

Police will be given greater investigative powers, with the goal of fighting organised crime in Iceland.
Smugan reports that Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson addressed parliament over the matter, saying that organised crime syndicates have been increasing their activities in drug smuggling, weapons trading, human trafficking and extortion in Iceland, putting a strain on both police and customs officials. For this reason, he would like to see the investigative powers of police expanded.
A bill based on a similar idea was introduced last August but did not pass, even though it was submitted by the Minister of Justice at the time. That bill would have included giving the police the power to be able to investigate people who have not committed a crime, nor are suspected of even planning on committing a crime. The rationale behind the idea – known as “proactive investigation” – is that it would assist police in the fight against organised crime, both foreign and domestic, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and terrorist threats.
While the minister received support across party lines for his address, he emphasised that “proactive investigation” was not the method he was aiming for. Rather, he wants to see police investigative powers expanded, but with the permission of a judge, on a case-by-case basis.
The minister’s proposal appears particularly aimed at motorcycle club the Hell’s Angels, who have appeared in the news most recently in connection with organised crime. Members of the club are currently banned from being able to set foot in Iceland.

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