2011 Norway Attacks Effectiveness of Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Pineda (2012) noted that the tip was wasted entirely due to communication problems, the failure by the police to follow procedures as well as inadequate means-Factors that together bogged down the Norwegian Police's reaction as well as operation on the emergency following the incident.

The Gjorv Report also indicated that the nation's only helicopter in the city of Oslo was unusable since its crew was absent on vacation (Blair,2012). This is inefficiency by the Police since this is a clear sing of a lack of disaster/emergency preparedness. There was no emergency/replacement crew to fly the chopper. The availability of the chopper was also "limited." The understaffing of the police centers was also another problem.

Weaknesses in the police information sharing system

At the time of the Oslo and Utoya Island terrorist attacks, the Norwegian Police information-sharing infrastructure was subjected to a very formidable weakness. Further, the Police Security Services never had sufficient training to deter or react to a terrorist attack (Greene,2012). This is evident from the fact that even though it was quite clear that an act of terrorism had been committed and was even still underway on Norwegian soil, no immediate rapid response warning or alert was issued. No roadblocks were set up neither was their any observation posts set up to deal with the situation. The operation center was in fact overloaded to an extent that the personnel could do very little to prevent attack propagation.

The time taken by the police to reach the Utoya Island trouble spot was simply unacceptable the Gjorv Report indicated that if the right procedures could have been followed and adhered to, then the police could have arrived at Utoya Island around 12 minutes earlier. This could have possibly saved several lives (NOU,2012).

The Norwegian Police Security Service was also ineffective since it failed to detect Breivik's actions earlier. The Gjorv Report indicated that Breivik could have been stopped about 7 months earlier prior to the attacks had the nation's internal security service acted on a tip from the Norwegian's customs officials who successfully flagged a very suspicious purchase of bomb-making materials from Poland (Lewis,2012). A more effective police response to the warnings on Breivik would have effectively revealed that he had been secretly buying automatic rifles. His frequent visits to far-right websites too should have been flagged (Lewis,2012).

Effectiveness of the police and other stakeholders

The findings of the commission which was initiated to look into what transpired during the Oslo andUtoya attack revealed a number of loopholes within the police force and other stakeholders which couldworks with policeto avoid the bloodbath. According to the report, the police didn't carry out their duties ineffective. This is because, even though theyhad intelligent information of the planned attack. The police failed to coordinate properly with other relevant stakeholders, such as the military which could have assistedthem in tracking down the killer (McCormack, 2011, pg. 1).

The way the police responded to the Utoeya mass shooting was unprofessional because the police center was understaffed and only a few helicopters were available to be used for transportation. A part from that the station lacked a qualified pilots who could fly the helicopter were on because most of their pilots went for a vacation. Instead of the police center engaging other departments or stakeholder such as the military to provide a qualified pilot to assist them, they simply ignored. This however indicates lack of proper leadership and communication within the police force. The commission report pointed out that, the two police officers who arrived to the scene first were supposed to do anything possible to reach the island, but they didn't do anything. Instead they stayed at the lakeshore, claiming that they couldn't get a boat to get them across to the island. It was until the police's elite Delta force, which came from Oslo which is located forty kilometers away, to arrive at the island to safe people; this was after experiencing a lot of difficulties on their way to the island (McCormack, 2011, p.2).

According to the commission report published in 2012, Breivik should have been arrested much earlier before causing a lot of casualties. If police could have acted on the intelligent which was provided by
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one customs official who noticed a suspicious shipment of bomb making chemical from Poland but the intelligent and the police failed to put him on the watch list. The special commission revealed that if Breivik was put on the watch list and brought in for questioning, he would have informed the police and intelligent where he stored the chemical which was used for making bomb and therefore the attacked could have been avoided (Libell, 2011).

The police could have prevented attack on the Oslo complex if the security measures which were approved early had been effectively implemented. These measures were to involve the deployment of more rapid operation to safeguard people living on Utoeya Island. It could have provided adequate time to stop the gunman from causing a lot of causalities and advanced preparedness would have been in place to responds to any further attack. In the commission report, they term the reaction of the police to the incidents at the Utoeya shorting as inadequate, highlighting the way which Breivik as describe by the police as a show of lack of seriousness and irresponsible, and the method with was used communicate the registration number of his vehicle was an indication of lack proper channel of communication in the police center. The laydown procedures and protocol were not followed properly (Libell, 2011).

However, to safeguard the people the police should have automatically initiated drills which are meant to protect the public against a number of attacks. But the kind of weak leadership and organization skills resulted to the delay in the deployment of these measures. More accurate disaster and threat measures or preparedness should have been initiated to handle the casualty. The coordination with other stakeholders was very poor, this why the military was not immediately engaged. If the police would have contacted the military, the possible of getting a helicopter to take over the island would be there and they could get to the Utoeya Island within a minute. This however indicates the evidence of some of the challenges which is normally being experience in the police center. Most so lack of leadership and communication, and limited number of available response personal to deal with such threat, this therefore shows the ineffectiveness among the police forces and other stakeholders which are supposed to assist during such threats (Seidl, 2011, pg. 3).

In critical analysis of how the key personnel responded to the threat, it showed lack of priority and serious in part of the police and stakeholders. It is stated by McCormack (2011) that the police took much time to get the island and some of the available police officers who arrived at the vicinity first could not do anything because they lacked materials like boat and helicopter.

The response initiated was very insignificant and needed proper coordination. This was seen right away from the beginning, instead of the police raising road blocks on all major roads across the town and providing the registration number to all the traffic in the area, which would have helped in getting the gunman and stopped him from reaching the island, the police mistakenly communicated wrongdetails about the vehicle registration number and color. This however, indicates the point of lack of effective execution of duties and laxity among the police officers and stakeholders (McCormack, 2011, pg. 6).

Moreover, McCormack (2011) noted that according to the report, the commission identified bureaucracy within various departments for deserting the government building in Oslo for attack. Even though the building previously had been marked by the National Intelligent as soft spot and might be reliable anytime for terrorist attack long time back in the year 2006, which force the security apparatus to come up measure such as closing the surrounding streets especially where Breivik parked his explosive van. The police should have placed a good number of security personnel around the building to offer better protection since it had been identified earlier years before. This made the commission of inquiry to ask why Grubbegata, the street which is located just outside the office of the prime minister, was not closed for any traffic even though, the measure was recommended early in 2004. This plan was initiated much earlier to ensure all the streets located both in front and at the back of the building was approved to be closed but physical barrier was not completely constructed and parking ban in the area was not strictly enforced., however, it could easily be assessed and that what Breivik used to assess more close place to the government building (McCormack,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bjelopera, JP (2011). Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service .Available online at http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/166837.pdf

British Broadcasting Corporation (2012a). Norway PM Jens Stoltenberg 'sorry' over Breivik response.Available online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19401598

Blair, David (14 August 2012). "Breivik 'could have been stopped sooner' by police." The Daily Telegraph. The Irish Independent. http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/breivik-could-have-been-stopped-sooner-by-police-3200081.html. Retrieved 18th September 2012.

Cook, AH (2009).Emergency response to Domestic Terrorism-How Bureaucracies reacted to the 1995 Oklahoma Bombing.Continuum-New York

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