This country profile was migrated from the legacy system and the new text is under consideration of the respective government authorities.
Policing overview: The main body is The National Police, including six special agencies which render expert assistance to the local police districts, and in some cases act as a prosecution authority. The Norwegian Police Security Service, reporting directly to the Ministry of Justice and the Police, prevents and investigates offences against the security and independence of the State.
1. General information
The National Police in Norway is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice and the Police and is completely independent from the military forces. In certain emergency situations, such as rescue operations and natural catastrophes, the police can seek the assistance of the military when there are insufficient civilian resources to cope with the situation. In such cases, the military forces are under the command of the police and must follow the laws which regulate police actions.
2. Functions and missions
The mission of the National Police is to ensure a predictable, efficient and flexible service for the benefit of the public. The Norwegian Police Directorate was established in 2001 to develop and co-ordinate the central, regional and local organization of the police. Please visit the Attachments section to view an article on the implementation of Problem-Oriented Policing in Norway.
3. Structure and organization
There are 27 local police districts, each under the command of a Chief of Police who has full responsibility for all policing in his district. Each police district has its own headquarters, as well as several police stations (71 all told).
The districts are divided into sub-districts (303) under the command of a Police Chief Superintendent.
The special agencies are organized directly under the National Police Directorate. The security service is under direct control of the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
4. Staff data
As of 2006, the total staff of the Norwegian police was about 12,000 employees.
5. Education / Training
The Norwegian Police University College is the central educational institution for the police service in Norway. Basic training for police officers is a three-year university college education aimed at providing a broad practical and theoretical foundation. The first and third years of the study programme are taken at the College, while the second is a year of on-the-ground training, in which the students are divided into groups at training units in police districts around the country.
In 2005, 2265 candidates applied for admission to the basic study program; 1134 were summoned for admission tests and 360 were admitted as students. Of all applicants admitted to the Norwegian Police University College in 2005, 37% were women.
The College has a comprehensive education programme. The key areas are: policing tasks, crime investigation and prevention, and prosecution and administrative responsibilities, in addition to leadership. Research at the Norwegian Police University College comprises both short- and long-term projects and is concentrated on police duties, the effects of policing, the role of the police, and other aspects of police operations.
The College is responsible for training relating to three main areas:
- International Civil Crisis Management: Training of Norwegian and foreign police officers for service in conflict areas under the auspices of the UN, the OSCE, the EU or bilaterally;
- Schengen Border and Immigration Service: Training of Norwegian and foreign police officers who are to work in the border service of the Schengen area;
- Nordic Baltic Police Academy: The Academy has educational responsibility for Norway’s range of courses for the police of the Baltic States.
The Special Agencies
1. The National Criminal Investigation Service (KRIPOS)
(NCIS) The National Criminal Investigation Service (KRIPOS) is a central agency whose core function is to prevent and combat organized and other forms of serious crime. In addition to providing specialist support to the Norwegian police districts, NCIS investigates and prosecutes major and complex cases related to serious organized crime. The organization consists of a Central Unit in the capital, Oslo.
The Authority has approximately 400 employees, and the main activities are:
Criminal investigation – expertise focuses on three main areas: managing and supervising investigation, general criminal investigation (including conducting interviews and project management) and operational criminal analysis;
Forensic investigation – Norway`s national forensic laboratory is situated at NCIS;
Criminal intelligence – gathering and analysis of information about criminal networks and persons;
International police cooperation – NCIS is the national contact point for operational international police cooperation, e.g. Interpol, Europol, Schengen Information System (SIS) and Frontex.
2. The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM)
Functions and missions
The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (OKOKRIM) is both a police unit and a prosecution authority. The Authority and other police units co-operate with the surveillance authorities, the business sector and others in combating economic and environmental crime in keeping with the following mission:
to detect, investigate and prosecute crimes and appear in court for the prosecution;
to assist domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities;
to increase the level of expertise among the employees of the police and prosecuting authorities in Norway and to disseminate information;
to gather criminal intelligence and to receive and process suspicious transaction reports;
to act as a consultative body for national and supervisory authorities; and
to participate in international co-operation initiatives.
Structure and organization
The Authority has a flat organizational structure. The Director and Deputy Director are supported by the Executive Group which consists of the heads of the Administration and the Press and Information Departments, a chief superintendent, a senior adviser with qualifications in finance and a senior public prosecutor.
Investigations are conducted by fixed, multi-disciplinary teams. As a rule, an investigation team consists of: a team leader (senior public prosecutor); a police prosecutor; investigators with police training; investigators with qualifications in finance (e.g. auditors, commerce graduates) and an executive officer.
For more detailed information on the organizational structure, please view the brochure in the Attachments section.
Each team is headed by a public prosecutor. The Authority has approximately 135 employees.
3. The Central Mobile Service (UP)
Traffic safety work is the main focus of the Central Mobile Service (UP), but the unit also assists the police districts in other police tasks. A total of 300 individuals are in operational service, and the patrol service consists of police officers seconded from all the country`s police districts. In police controls, surveillance and enforcement, the focus is primarily on:
driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
aggressive and dangerous behaviour in traffic
use of personal safety gear
4. The National Police Immigration Service (PU)
The National Police Immigration Service (PU) is the Norwegian police`s expertise centre and ancillary body in immigrant cases. Their main task is to register and identify asylum seekers arriving in Norway. Further, the unit co-ordinates the repatriation of asylum seekers who have had their request for asylum refused. The National Police Immigration Service is also responsible for the transportation of other foreign nationals who are to be removed or deported from Norway.
5. The National Police Computing and material Service (PDMT)
The service has responsibility for information and computer technology and administration within the police service and the higher prosecuting authority. They also provide other agencies within the public administration with certain services and products.
6. The Norwegian Police University College (PHS)
See National Police
The Norwegian Police Security Service
1. Functions and missions
The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) is the national security service of Norway. All of PST’s activities are regulated as duties assigned by the Norwegian Parliament pursuant to the Police Act. PST is a police body with the authority to lead prosecutions.
PST’s main tasks are counterterrorism, counterintelligence, non-proliferation, counterextremism, contingency planning, dignitary protection and vetting of personnel.
PST shall detect and identify potential threat actors, analyze their presumed intentions and capabilities and actively seek to prevent them from materializing these threats.
PST is providing the authorities with both general and periodic threat assessments, and threat assessments connected to particular incidents, events and visits of dignitaries.
2. Structure and organization
PST is run from the Headquarters in Oslo, and has local offices in all police districts outside Oslo. The Norwegian Police Security Service reports directly to the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
Criminal Justice System
In Norway, the first level of prosecution is organized within the police. The Norwegian police therefore also employ personnel with legal educational and professional backgrounds.
The police prosecutors do primary and basic prosecution service and go to court with minor criminal charges. In this context, the police receive their instructions from the Higher Prosecuting Authority. On all other questions, the police have instructions from the National Police Directorate and the Ministry of Justice and the Police.