Norwegian Police Training for and Use of Force
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- PhD theses (TN-IØRP) 
Original versionNorwegian Police Training for and Use of Force by Steinar Vee Henriksen, Stavanger : University of Stavanger, 2020 (PhD thesis UiS, no. 516)
Norwegian police have the statutory right, and sometimes obligation, to use coercive force to carry out their duties in society. In the extreme consequence, this entails the use of firearms. Law, instructions and a police use of force model formally regulate these coercive authorities, and this framework is compulsory professional content in the joint national police education and operational in-service training. Norwegian police use of force incidents regularly attract public attention, the use of firearms entails compulsory investigations which frequently question the police training delivered, and Norwegian police currently investigate the possible acquisition of new weapons. Despite the actuality and relevance of these issues, efforts to improve the knowledge of how Norwegian police are trained in and exercise their coercive authorities have remained almost nonexistent on a national level. The generally limited knowledge on these issues calls for greater attention on this important aspect of the Norwegian police services. Thus, I pose the following main research problem: How do Norwegian police train for and exercise coercive force? The main purpose of this thesis is to study how Norwegian police emergency response officers exercise coercive force, and how their use of force training is implemented. To promote an expanded understanding of this training, the study also includes a comparative study of police basic firearms training in New Zealand and Norway. This research project has three overall objectives: to improve the knowledge on Norwegian police use of force, to provide research-based knowledge for police training, and to provide a contribution to future research on the police. To achieve these objectives, this study explores three research questions: 1. How prevalent is Norwegian police use of force, and what are its characteristics? 2. Which factors affect police decisions on the use of firearms? 3. How are experiences utilized in police basic firearms training in New Zealand and Norway? In order to answer these questions, all of which have elucidated different aspects of the main research problem, this study uses mixed research methods. To put the understanding of police use of force into perspective, this study has used concepts, definitions and models from the current legal framework. To shed light on and discuss the collected empirical data, pre-existing theoretical perspectives on crises, decision-making and learning are utilized. These theoretical frameworks are also considered to be especially relevant for the Norwegian police’s operational service and training. The thesis encompasses four articles, which intersect and complement each other, in order to provide a fuller answer to the main research problem. The first article draws upon publicly available data on Norwegian police use of force and theoretical frameworks, and provides a baseline for the following articles, which all build upon separate data collections. The second article examines the prevalence and characteristics of all use of physical force by Norwegian police emergency response officers, and a discussion of the current legal framework and policies. This article provides a framing of use of firearms within the force continuum, thus providing a baseline for the third article, which narrows the scope and focus to police decision-making on use of firearms and contextual vii factors underlying these decisions. This article forms an information basis for the fourth article, which compares the basic live firearms training implemented by the Royal New Zealand Police College and the Norwegian Police University College, and how this training reflects experiences from real-life armed confrontations. [...]
PhD thesis in Risk management and societal safety
Has partsPaper 1: Norwegian police training in the use of force: A preparation for facing the realities of street challenges?. Not yet published, not available in Brage.
Paper 2: The force continuum: Prevalence and characteristics of police use of coercive force. Not yet published, not in Brage.
Paper 3: Police use of firearms: Critical decision-making in dynamic and stressful situations. Not yet published, not in Brage.
Paper 4: Police basic firearms training: A decontextualized preparation for real life armed confrontations. Not yet published, not in Brage.
PublisherUniversity of Stavanger, Norway
SeriesPhD thesis UiS;