Following Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson’s declaration of a “war on organised crime” after the recent knife attacks in a Reykjavík nightclub, Icelandic police are set to receive ISK 500 million (3.5 million USD, 3.3 million EUR) in funding for the establishment of special investigation teams.
In an interview with RÚV, the minister stated: “It is absolutely necessary to take drastic measures to stop the development that is taking place in Icelandic society when it comes to organised crime.”
Included in the new crime bill is the ability for Icelandic police to now monitor individuals, not under concrete suspicion of having committed a crime, but merely for connections to known criminals. The police will now also be able to monitor places known to be associated with organised crime, in addition to writing “preventative search warrants.”
Such warrants will lower the standard for probable cause, allowing Icelandic police to issue search warrants on suspicion of criminal activity.
According to the budget proposals for the new crime legislation which was submitted to parliament this week, ISK 500 million are expected to go to Icelandic police to strengthen their response to organised crime. Much of the new funding is expected to go to the establishment of special investigation teams against organised crime.
The budget committee has also proposed an additional ISK 750 million (5,3 million USD, 5 million EUR) to address “weaknesses in police operations” throughout the country. Of these new funds, ISK 650 million are to be allocated to general operations and training, with another ISK 50 million each going to equipment and investigations.
The budget committee stated that the new funds aim to “improve the quality of investigations, shortening case turnover, improving operations in rural areas, and improving equipment in the fields of digital and technical investigations.”