In the wake of the terror attack on 22 July 2011, and on the basis of the 22 July Commission’s criticism, the authorities implemented a number of different measures to reinforce the Norwegian police’s emergency response. Here are some of the most important measures:
- Reinforcement of emergency response personnel through recruitment and training. Since 2011, the number of police officers in the police service as a whole, including the Norwegian Police Security Service, has increased by 3,495. In the IP4 category of emergency response personnel, annual firearms training has increased from 40 to 48 hours.
- Upgrading of staffing, qualification requirements and technical solutions at the joint operation centres.
- Establishment of a new situation centre under the National Police Directorate in 2016 to obtain a continuous round-the-clock overview of incidents and to communicate information to cooperating agencies. The situation centre functions as a point of liaison in relation to emergency response, security, crises and serious incidents.
- Preparation of new assistance instructions in 2017 for the purpose of making the cooperation between the Armed Forces and the police more efficient. In 2011, the police needed approval at the political level to receive assistance from the Armed Forces, which proved to be time-consuming.
- Implementation of procedures and drills for cooperation between the police, fire services, search and rescue service and the health services in the event of ongoing life-threatening violence (PLIVO).
- Acquisition of three Leonardo AW169 police helicopters. The police are now permitted by law to shoot from a helicopter, which was not the case on 22 July 2011.
- The police have incorporated a new national alarm system, and the national digital radio link, Nødnett, now covers around 86 percent of the country (land area).
- A national police emergency response centre will operate from 1 January 2021. The centre will bring together the Counter-Terrorist Unit, helicopter service, bomb squad and crisis and hostage negotiators.
After 22 July 2011, Norway has implemented or initiated both small-scale and more extensive measures taking many different forms, at both local and national level, to make the country better equipped to handle critical incidents in the future.
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