There were 26 reports throughout last year – now they have their own police office – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

There were 26 reports throughout last year – now they have their own police office – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

More police offices in the districts was a key promise of the Center party in the 2021 election campaign.

NRK reported on Tuesday this week that many police chiefs are criticizing the government’s establishment of new police offices.

– We don’t want a new office. Offices and rent tie up resources that we can spend on patrols and investigations. Then we get more for the money, said Nils Christian Moe, Chief of Police in the Trendelák Police District.

Among other things, he pointed out that the number of criminal cases and other conditions in the municipality of Merakar did not indicate that a new office with five employees was necessary.

NRK has now reviewed the number of reports in municipalities where a police station will be set up this year or next.

The survey showed that seven out of 19 municipalities had fewer than 100 reviews last year.

The Norwegian Police Union believes the figures are further evidence that the new police stations are misusing resources.

Ørjan Hjortland, vice president at the police federation, is critical of the new offices.

Photo: Caroline Finnema / NRK

– Although the number of reports does not say anything about the need for isolated police, we believe that this too proves that the use of police resources is the wrong priority, says Norway’s Vice President Ørjan Hjortland. Police Association.

26 reviews last year

On Wednesday, local Center Party politicians wore bonnets and ate marzipan cake as the government handed out ten new offices to be established in 2024.

Åseral is one of the municipalities where the police office was told to reopen.

– This is good news. I have to pinch myself, said Åseral mayor Inger Lise Lund Stulien (Ap).

Mayor Aceral Inger Liz Stulian (AP)

Aceral Mayor says the new police station is good news.

Photo: Vetle Hjortland / NRK

But in his village of 911 residents, only 26 reviews were registered in the entire last year.

The Norwegian Police Federation believes that resources should have been used differently.

– Are 26 reports enough to run an entire police office?

– No. It doesn’t exist. If you look at last year’s figures, we have a total of 300,000 reviews in Norway. If you have to distribute cases to one person, it’s much less. Then police resources must be used in a different way, responds Hartland at the Norwegian Police Union.

Kerstin Askold, chief of police in the Aktor police district, previously told NRK that he feared the police service would deteriorate without additional money to run the police offices in Åseral and Kvinesdal, which are to be reopened.

– I would like new police stations for individual municipalities and look forward to it on their behalf. But our daily lives already involve difficult priorities every day. If we get new resources, I want them to be used flexibly and for the happiness of all municipalities across Akter, he says.

– With 26 reviews throughout the last year, how would you rate the demand for police officers in Åseral?

– Then we still want to prioritize Åseral, but flexibly use resources for Åseral and the rest of the Agder police district. It will be important to us, she replies.

These municipalities will get new police stations from 2024 onwards.

Offices are spread across the country.

– The breadth of police work

When the Center Party proposed where new police stations would be set up in 2024, NRK asked Vedham if he knew how many reviews there were in various municipalities.

– New police stations are being established in many small places. Do you know, for example, how many cases there are per year, for example, Rockestad?

– I didn’t go into it. Vedam replied that it is important for us to have, to have police, to strengthen local preparedness and prevention work.

– But don’t you consider the caseload and man-years required?

– Here, of course, both the Ministry of Justice and the Directorate of Police have their rounds. We are keen to see the expansion of police work. It is both daily presence, preventive youth work and, of course, individual cases, he answers.

Five years of police work

Earlier this year, the government released a list of nine new service centers to open this year. In each of these positions, five new FTEs will be created.

For the ten new offices known on August 23, the number of employees has yet to be determined. The same applies to Åseral.

It has not been decided when the service centers will open in 2024 or how many people will be staffed at the in-person service center. This will be clarified later, among other things, depending on local processes between the police and the municipality, the Ministry of Justice and Emergency Preparedness wrote in an email.

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