In light of the recent shooting of an Albanian man in Rauðagerði, there are discussions taking place over whether the police in Iceland need to review their weapon rules.
Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, National Commissioner of Police, told Bylgjan yesterday that reviews on the matter will go ahead on Thursday.
Much of the discussion has surfaced due to the recent shooting and the police wonder if it is because of an increased violence in the Icelandic underworld.
The dark side of Iceland beginning to surface.
The police investigation of the shooting has recently been focused on whether it had anything to do with the criminal underworld in Iceland.
Karl Steinar Valsson, chief police officer in the International Division of the National Commissioner of Police, spoke with Vísir yesterday.
He told the news agency that if the shooting has any connection with the organised crime ring, it needs to be taken especially serious and that it is an indication of another reality in Iceland.
The International Division is assisting the police in the capital area in investigating the case.
Icelandic police have been preparing for the worst.
Sigríður told Bylgjan that more emphasis has been placed on police training in recent years.
Attempts to strengthen investigative capacity and interrogation technology have also been made due to more crimes coming out of the underworld.
Sigríður believes that in order to better handle organized crime, it is necessary to allow the police to conduct more in depth investigations and to have better co-operation between police authorities and district prosecutors.
Reviewing the powers of the police.
Sigríður says that there are various restrictions currently reduce the police’s ability to monitor crime.
“We do not have strong enough credentials in the police’s crime prevention role, which is something we are discussing with the ministry,” she says. “We also have very narrow restrictions, for example, regarding the delivery of data and how long we can keep people in custody in large-scale investigations.”
I am the law and you can’t beat the law.
Sigríður does however believe that if we are to give the police more power, the supervision also needs to be heightened.
She went on to say that in recent years, there has been an increase of special unit calls.
“We are seeing more and more calls from special forces and we must not forget that special forces can be armed and are specially trained so that the general police do not have to be armed,” she said. “It is just our societal understanding that we do not want an armed police force in general, but that is why we need a strong special unit and then a strong general and well-trained police force that can arm itself when needed and a special decision is made based on a risk assessment or a decision.”
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