About 20% of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police’s force are women – almost twice the percentage of U.S. police, and a higher percentage than in many EU countries.
MBL reports that of the 296 officers in the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police force, 243 were men and 53 were women. Amongst the 78 civilian employees of the capital area police, by comparison, 54 were women and 24 were men.
All told, this means 20% of Iceland’s capital area police officers are women. Comparing this figure to how other countries stack up is revealing.
According to US Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics from 2011, only just under 12% of American police officers are women. US Bureau of Justice Statistics point out that this varies greatly depending on the type of department – women comprised 15% of the force in large local departments, but only 4% of the force in small local sheriff departments.
In addition, research done in 2012 by the Government of Catalonia shows that the latest figures on the Reykjavík area police force’s gender composition exceeds that of Denmark, France, and Belgium, amongst other countries. Further, a 2011 report from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona also shows that more women are joining the capital area police – at that time, 17% of Reykjavík police officers were women.