From Iceland — Police Chief Agrees: Independent Supervisory Office Needed

Police Chief Agrees: Independent Supervisory Office Needed

Published January 14, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Becky Conway

The Chief of the Reykjavík Police said in a new interview that she supports the idea of an external supervisory apparatus over the police.

“I think the time has come to have an external supervisory office of the police, and we have expressed the willingness to make that a reality,” Chief of the Reykjavík Police Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir told Vísir.

Her statement comes at a time when there is considerable controversy within the Icelandic police force, in particular regarding two cases. In one, a recorded conversation between a police officer in the drug crimes division and a man working in the drug scene has revealed the two exchanging information for money. In another case, investigations have only just begun of a police officer who has been accused of corruption, despite many complaints to his superiors over the years.

Sigríður told reporters she hopes neither of these cases will hurt people’s trust in the police.

As reported, Haraldur Johannessen, the Chief of the National Police, recently told Vísir that there is a need for the creation of a supervisory body for the police force. Haraldur says that such an office would “increase trust and transparency”.

Currently, there is no independent organisation that supervises police conduct.

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