Norway confirms three-month period of armed police
Police at Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport will be armed for a period of at least three months, Norway’s government has confirmed – possibly as early as this weekend.
Justice and security minister Per-Willy Amundsen confirmed the move yesterday, as reported in the newspaper VG.
“The Politidirektorate [National Police Directorate] has asked to be armed and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security has agreed to temporary armament at Oslo Airport. The armament will initially apply for three months,” he said.
Airport operator Avinor thinks the measures do not go far enough. Global terror threats require armed police at all of Norway’s major airports, its director, Dag Falk-Petersen, told the broadcaster NRK.
“Gardermoen is obviously key, but we think police should be armed at all of our largest airports,” he said.
Though not a proponent of armed police in general, Chief of Police Steven Hasseldal said he would carry out the measure at Gardermoen, possibly as soon as Friday, telling VG: “This initiative is necessary in order to avoid and limit potential terror attacks at Gardermoen.”
Now that Oslo Gardermoen has expanded, large open areas are accessible with relatively few security measures, with increasing numbers of travellers passing through, making the potential for damage caused by an attack there significant. Hasseldal said that this was the main motivating factor behind the decision.