Five foreign citizens have breached issued travel bans by leaving Iceland this year. The foreigners were grounded so that police could investigate cases they were involved in. Police claim travel bans are a weak resource to keep suspects in the country, but Minister of Justice Björn Bjarnason disagrees.
Bjarnason told ruv.is that police chiefs in Iceland had a certain scope to act if they suspected individuals intended to breach travel bans. The authorities could for instance request a special insurance, as stated in a Supreme Court ruling from 1999.
Sudurnes Chief of Police Jóhann R. Benediktsson said such resources were not sufficient. He suggested that police should be permitted to use GPS equipment to monitor the movements of individuals subject to travel bans.
Bjarnason said such resources may be looked into but added that the best solution for the judicature would be to sentence individuals to custody whenever police have reason to believe that they might try to escape the country.
The minister concluded by stating that the Schengen area has a very efficient supervisory system. Iceland is part of the Schengen area and therefore individuals who escape convictions in Iceland can easily be caught by police authorities in other countries.