Adapting the Norwegian police national emergency resources to contemporary crises

Lian, Johnny (2022) Adapting the Norwegian police national emergency resources to contemporary crises. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The main objective of this thesis is to identify if the organisation and capabilities of the Norwegian police national emergency resources (NB) are well aligned to the challenges confronted by the Norwegian police in contemporary crises. NB consist of the Special intervention unit, the Bomb squad, the Helicopter unit, the Crisis and hostage negotiation unit and the newly established Tactical support unit. These units are principally deployed to respond to significant crises such as those prompted by terrorist incidents and other crises the police districts do not have the competence to manage. The study uses and develops the notion of crisis management to explore key factors that explain NB’s and the Norwegian police’s performance in mitigating the threats posed by such serious incidents.

The core of the thesis focuses on the case of the terror attacks on 22 July 2011 to explore NBs capabilities and analyse the changes this incident has triggered in the Norwegian police. Public evaluations of this incident have highlighted room for improvement for the police and NB. The 22 July attacks have catalysed reform, leading to the colocation of NB units in a single centre (PNB) and investments that developed capabilities – from new helicopters to communication equipment and training arrangements, all of which are expected to better align the police to the complex nature of contemporary crises. Recent crises tend to cross boundaries and require various societal actors to cooperate. Recent reforms and training have empowered the police districts to tackle most crises, including through PNB training and support. Yet, districts continue to require assistance from NB when facing particularly demanding crises that they do not have the special competencies or resources to handle themselves.

The thesis highlights how connectivity between NB and local partners has become the most central element in responding to contemporary crises. Occasional misalignments between police organisation and capabilities on the one hand and societal needs on the other are inevitable. They become increasingly apparent through major crises, which shed light on points of failure and insecurity. The story of NB in the last decade shows that the Norwegian authorities have actively sought and managed to identify and confront various lacunae in the police emergency system. The thesis argues that, despite some shortfalls, NB’s role has effectively adapted to societal needs in the last decade, mostly through greater connectivity between NB and local police districts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Masters
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities
Supervisor's Name: Van Puyvelde, Dr. Damien and Fischbacher-Smith, Professor Denis
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83207
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2022 15:54
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 15:57
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83207

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