27 September 2023

ICELAND: ‘Real concern’ at violence against police

Start the conversation

Icelandic Police are reporting an upsurge in violence against officers, with the latest incident involving a policewoman’s vehicle being set on fire outside her home.

Professor of Criminology at the University of Iceland, Helgi Gunnlaugsson says the attacks are a matter of real concern and are happening at a rate previously unknown in the northern European country.

“Police officers are public officials who are performing their duties, and it is totally unacceptable that they have to live in such an environment and endure these threats,” Professor Gunnlaugsson said.

“Although there have been times in the past when threats to police officers have been reported, and they have often proved to be more smoke than fire, this is different — there is an increasing feeling that people intend to follow through on these threats”

He said it was a concern for police officers on the scene, “but it’s also a concern for us as a society, because the police are our representatives and the ones who are in charge of public safety”.

“We want them to be safe in their job, of course, and this is not what we want to see, and we need to minimise the risks.”

Professor Gunnlaugsson said police saw the attack on the policewoman’s car as an attack on each and every officer and the job they were trying to do, with obvious impacts on future recruitment.

“It is necessary to learn from these incidents and respond appropriately,” he said.

Reykjavik, 30 August 2023

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.