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Gangs Believed to Have Acquired Firearms

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Gangs Believed to Have Acquired Firearms

Weapons seized by Icelandic Customs authorities in 2014

Photo: Icelandic Customs Authority.

The Icelandic police believe that criminal gangs in the country have acquired weapons, Vísir reports. This is reflected by the fact that between 2010 and 2015, 100 firearms were reported stolen and 784 were confiscated by police.

The information is revealed in a letter from Minister for the Interior Ólöf Nordal in response to an inquiry by MP Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir of the Left Green Movement, published today. The Ministry for the Interior presides over the police force.

The letter reads, “In recent years, there have been instances in which offenders have used firearms against one another. In such cases, they have not yet used firearms against the police. It should be mentioned, however, that there have been instances where police officers on duty have been shot at.”

Ólöf states that new attack methods by criminals in our neighboring countries in recent years call for different work methods among the Icelandic police. One of the goals must be a shorter response time. Thus, she says, those police officers permitted to bear arms receive 69 hours of operations training annually, including practice in the use of firearms. Ólöf’s response indicates that 355 police officers have received such training, counting the Special Unit of the National Police Commissioner, or so-called Viking Squad. Of the 355 trained in carrying firearms, 46 are women.

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