Border Commissariat will remain

The Border Commissariat in Kirkenes.

The Border Commissariat will not be merged with the police as part of a nationwide police reform, while the two existing police districts in Finnmark will be united into one.

The Norwegian Government will not merge the Border Commissariat for the Norwegian-Russian border with the police, but let it stay as an independent body under the national Police Directorate, iFinnmark reports.

As BarentsObserver reported, in its first draft to the police reform, the Government suggested merging the Commissariat with Eastern Finnmark Police District and appointing the Chief of Police as Border Commissioner.

The Government has together with the largest political parties in Norway discussed how to make the police system in Norway more effective. The results of the discussions were presented to the public on Sunday.

Border Commissionaire Roger Jakobsen is pleased with the decision to keep the commissariat, and calls the decision “very rational and smart”. He feared that resources would we drawn from the commissariat if it was to be made subject to the Chief of Police’s priorities. The body has four employees in addition to the commissionaire himself.

Jakobsen believes placing the border commissariat under the police could have had negative impacts on the stable relations to his colleagues in Russia. Although he is under the jurisdiction of the Police Directorate, the Border Commissioner has always been recruited from the armed forces and wears a military uniform.  Head of the Russian Border Guard detachment on the border to Norway is a FSB officer, traditionally the rank of colonel. “One of the weaknesses in the Government’s first draft was that the border commissionaires would not have been able to meet on an equal footing,” Jaksobsen says to iFinnmark.

Only one police district in Finnmmark

The police reform suggests reducing the number of police districts from today’s 27 to 12. In Northern Norway, the six current districts will be united in three. Western Finnmark Police District and Eastern Finnmark Police District will be merged. It is still uncertain where the Chief of Police in Finnmark Police District will have her headquarters, NRK reports.