Norwegian police officers have traditionally only been armed in special events.(Photo: Thomas Nilsen)
The police in the streets of Norway have historically remained unarmed. Not so any more. As of today, patrolling police officers will carry gun because of the threat that they could be targeted by terrorists.
“To ensure the police’s own safety and ability to act fast, the Ministry of Justice agrees to arm uniformed police officers in reaction forces,” says Anders Anundsen, Minister of Justice and Public Security in a press-release.
The decision is taken after a request from the Police Directorate arguing that the terror threat is high and police officers are designated targets.
Norway’s police force, including the riot troops, are traditionally unarmed. (Photo: Thomas Nilsen)
Earlier in November, the Police Intelligence Service (PST) warned that Norway faces a terrorist threat suggesting fighters from the Islamic State, including returning jihadists with Norwegian citizenship, could attack police officers, soldiers or political decision makers in Norway.
Police officers will be armed for the coming four weeks’ period.
“We are continuously evaluating the situation, and when the police take action, it is natural that we adjust our own measures. Safety of our personnel is important, and there is no reason to take unnecessary risk. Therefore, I recommend that our personnel do not wear uniforms when they are not on duty,” says Chief of Defence, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen.