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Norway wants armed police

For the first time ever, the majority of the Norwegian population wants an armed police force. A majority among police officers are also in favor of being armed at all times.

A survey conducted by MMI on behalf of the Norwegian Police Federation (NPF) indicates for the first time ever that more than half of Norway’s population wants the police armed when they are in ordinary service.

Police officers in favor
A resolution from law enforcement’s national convention states that the police are against being armed at all times, however, a poll among the police’s own members indicates that 58 percent are in favor of being armed.

In the survey by MMI, a total of 55 percent of the people participating are in favor of having armed police at all times, while 32 percent claim it would be wrong.

Men are generally more in favor of an armed police force than women, 60 and 50 percent. The support for an armed police force is strongest among the people over 60, and the majority of people in favor of an armed police force vote for the Progress party.

More liberal attitude
No officials in the Norwegian police force are willing to state that they are in favor of arming police officers on ordinary duty.

Arne Johannessen, head of the Norwegian Police Federation, said he is not surprised that so many want an armed police force.

«I’m not surprised by the poll because of the development with the increasingly violent crimes,» Johannessen said. «I’m more surprised that more than 58 percent of our own members are in favor of being armed in ordinary service, but this is probably a development found particularly in the cities and in the suburbs.

The resolution from the national convention is against being armed at all times, but Johannessen said that the national board is in favor of adding to the resolution and opening up for a more liberal attitude and a continuous debate regarding the crime development.

Only country in the Nordic region
The leader of the Swedish police federation, Jan Karlsen, said he can not understand that Norwegian police manage without being armed at all times. The police in Sweden have been armed since the 1960s.

«I think it’s very important to be armed in order to be able to meet the threats against society, its citizens and the police,» he said to TV 2 Nyhetene.

Norway is the only country in the Nordic region that does not have an armed police force.

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