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Reykjavík Police Force in Turmoil

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Reykjavík Police Force in Turmoil

The Reykjavík Police Station. Photo: The Greater Reykjavík Police.

Turmoil within the Greater Reykjavík Police has caused police officers to consult with Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal, due to their discontent with the work methods of Police Chief Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, RÚV reports. The head of the National Police Federation of Iceland would like the minister to interfere in the dispute.

According to a recent report on the Reykjavík Police, conducted by an occupational psychologist, there is a problem of communication within the office. The report maintains that immediate action must be taken to address the problem. The police recently hired two psychologists whose task it is to follow the recommendations made in the report, but no information has been provided by police regarding their progress.

The police chief herself has claimed that she is unaware of any discontent within the office. Police officers contacted by RÚV, however, describe an intolerable situation, which has begun to affect police work.

The ministry of the interior has sent RÚV a written statement saying that two meetings have been held at the ministry, one of them with one member of the police force, the other with five of its members. In addition, one formal request is said to have been received by the ministry in which there are complaints about communication with the police chief.

Snorri Magnússon, head of the National Police Federation of Iceland, reports that 14 police officers have contacted the federation in past weeks regarding the situation at the Reykjavík Police Station.

“It’s her [the police chief’s] work methods, her demeanor and more, which have come to my table,” Snorri stated. He said the complaints came from female as well as male officers.

Meanwhile, the Reykjavík Police Association has declared its full support of the police chief.

Sigríður Björk declined RÚV’s request for an interview, but sent a written response, explaining that the Greater Reykjavík Police is a large workplace with a staff of 360-380: “Changes are underway which naturally aren’t to everyone’s liking. In addition to those, there are issues covered in recent days and weeks by the media, and hiring processes for management positions. I don’t believe there is anything abnormal going on and await to hear in more detail from the National Police Federation of Iceland regarding the matter.”

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