Police misconduct in Norway

Police misconduct in Norway

Police misconduct has become an issue of high media attention in Norway. The death of Eugene Ejike Obiora, a naturalized Norwegian of Nigerian origin in September 2006 stirred an uproar that as of September 2007 has caused the authorities to announce significant changes to the way charges of police brutality and other forms of police misconduct, including corruption involving the Norwegian police will be handled on the future.

tatistics on police misconduct

The Special Unit for Police Affairs was established on January 1, 2005. In 2006 the unit received 904 complaints, of which 101 led to indictment. Of these 26 ended with the issuance of a fine. In 8 cases criminal charges were brought, in 64 decision was made to prosecute, and 3 cases were given "påtaleunnlatelse" (decision not to try the case despite a conclusion that a punishable offense has taken place). Four police officers alone were responsible for 63 of the 101 cases.

Noted cases

One officer employed in Oslo Police District, one of the four mentioned, was sentenced in 2006 to two years in prison for human trafficking, embezzlement of money and weapons, as well as theft of emergency passports.

Two cases were from Follo Police District (immediately south of Oslo). One officer was accused of having felt up a number of women during interrogations. He was acquitted on almost all charges by the regional court. Another officer had been accused of abuse of power during an arrest. This case is now receiving a subject to renewed trial in the regional court, ordered by the Supreme Court, after an initial acquittal at the lower court was appealed.

The fourth case involves a female officer from Telemark Police District who was issued a fine of 10.000 kroner and the loss of her employment for a period of five years for embezzlement and breach of confidentiality, among other issues. [cite news
last = NTB
first =
coauthors =
title = Fire politifolk fikk 63 anmeldelser
work =
pages =
language = Norwegian
publisher = "Dagsavisen"
date = 2007-09-17
url = http://www.dagsavisen.no/innenriks/article315103.ece
accessdate = 2007-09-21

In late June 2007 the Oslo daily newspaper "Dagsavisen" published an overview of police cases with a deadly outcome. The presentation showed the investigation into ten of the most serious cases which were concluded after the establishment of the Special Unit for Police Affairs on January 1, 2005. In all 10 cases, all charges against the police were eventually dropped.

In recent years, several police officers have been noted to be instrumental, on some occasions aware and intending, in several cases of miscarriage of justice.fact|date=July 2008 In the most prominent case, the one in the case against Fritz Moen, several officers appear to have manipulated timelines, threatened the accused and witnesses and made false statements in the intent to close the case. Several cases appear to have the same characteristics.fact|date=July 2008

Police internal affairs investigations on the Internet

In mid-September 2007, the leader of the Special Unit for Police Affairs, Jan Egil Presthus, stated to the Oslo daily "Dagsavisen" that all investigations into police conduct in cases that have ended in deaths are going to be posted on the Internet. He states that total openness in this way will strengthen the publics confidence in the unit's integrity and ability to conduct its investigations impartially. This came following "Dagsavisen"'s listing in June of police cases with a deadly result.

A buzzing media discourse focusing on deaths incurred during police arrests and transports continued in Norway throughout 2007, and Presthus counts this as one factor triggering the initiative to publish ongoing investigations on the Internet. The cases will be presented on the web pages of the Special Unit for Police Affairs, and they will be presented in a way that preserves the anonymity of officers that are involved, and also other parties in cases where that is considered necessary with respects to protection of privacy. [cite news
last = Letvik
first = Tore
coauthors =
title = Vil legge politi-klager ut på nett
work =
pages =
language = Norwegian
publisher = "Dagsavisen"
date = 2007-09-18
url = http://www.dagsavisen.no/innenriks/article315164.ece
accessdate = 2007-09-21

Top police leadership confirms significant changes will take place

As a direct consequence of the Obiora case, training at the Norwegian Police Academy has undergone changes and national police director Ingelin Killengreen has instigated a thorough review of police methods in general. [cite news |first= Bjørn |last= Solli |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= Markering for Obiora |url= http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/nrk_trondelag/1.3412751 |work= NRK |language= Norwegian |publisher= |date= 2007-09-07 |accessdate=2007-09-20 ]


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