From Iceland — Plans To Arm The Icelandic Police Are Heavily Criticised

Plans To Arm The Icelandic Police Are Heavily Criticised

Published October 3, 2022

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Justice Minister Jón Gunnarsson’s plans to arm the Icelandic police with tasers have been criticized, reports Vísir.

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Júlía Birgisdóttir, the chairperson of the association Snarrótin, which protects the interests of people who are subjected to coercive measures by the police, says that stun guns may increase the safety of the police, but not the public.

“If this way of preparing for war is started, there is no going back. We don’t get over it,” says Júlía, adding that the Minister of Justice’s ideas about proactive investigative powers are very questionable.

“That means we live in a police state. You don’t have to have done anything or be suspected in order for the police to use powers against you. Do we want to live in such a society?” she said.

Criminologists Margrét Valdimarsdóttir and Helgi Gunnlaugsson discussed the proposed legislation on the increased powers of the police in the national program Sprengisandi on radio station Bylgjan this morning. They agreed that now was not the right time to begin changes to the law on police firearms and their powers of investigation.

Helgi and Margrét agree that it is important to strengthen the supervision of the police before their powers are increased.

“The committee for monitoring the work of the police is not overseeing today’s situation properly. It would be necessary to build a new committee or to transform the current one and give it increased investigative powers and the authority to issue an indictment,” says Margrét.

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