Norway Will Let Civilians Carry Out Police Duties

Security guards and civilian employees in police department should to a greater extent do prisoner transport and attend to court cases, suggest the government. The new initiative aims to free up time and resources for the police in Norway.

One of the proposals by the government is that private persons will to a greater extent carry out some of the tasks that the police today carry out. It may include prisoner transport and guarding in low-risk litigation.

In 2004, the police districts of Søndre Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark started a pilot project. The security company Hafslund Sikkerhet transported prisoners between prisons and courtrooms.

The experience of this project was very good, says Peter Christian Frølich from Conservative Parrty (Høyre).

-Then they saved 30,000 police hours. So we believe that in the long term we can save hundreds of thousands of police hours which can be used for investigation and make Norway safe, he says to NRK.

The pilot project in 2004 was frozen the year after the red-green government came to power. But now, Conservatives thinks it is time to make another attempt.

-We will do this in a limited manner and ensure good training. They also will not have major authorizations. The police have a monopoly on the use of force in Norway, Frølich says.

But Norwegian Police Federation opposes the proposal. The leader of the organisation, Sigve Bolstad says the experience from the previous trial showed that the measure did not have the desired effect.

-No matter who gets the assignment, they should get payment for the job. And then experience shows that it is not more cost effective, says he.

He also notes that the budget of this project should not be from the Norwegian police force’s budget. If it will be so, there will be a zero effect, says he.

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