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Police chiefs say no to armed police

After the brutal robbery in Stavanger earlier this month, the debate regarding whether or not police officers should be armed at all times has once again been resumed.

Almost all police chiefs in Norway said no to a general arming of the police, according to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

The paper interviewed 24 of the 27 chiefs of police in Norway regarding their attitudes towards an armed police force. Of the 23 people who answered the paper’s questions, all of them were against having armed Norwegian police officers at all times.

Former Chief of Police in Oslo, Willy Haugli, wrote a letter to the editor in Aftenposten Friday stating that the presence of weapons often leads to the use of them. Furthermore, he stated that Norwegian police never will be able to be equipped to meet such an attack as the one in Stavanger.

«To meet and to possible put down such a raid would demand a force of trained officers, armed vehicles, two hands weapons and battle ammunition. The robbery was carried out as a military operation, and could easily have turned into a complete blood bath,» wrote the former Chief of Police in Tromsø.

The Chief of Police in Telemark supports his notations.

«If we get a permanently armed police it may contribute to more violence. Research indicates that there are more injuries in Sweden where the police are armed,» said Chief of Police Geir Sønstebø in Telemark.

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