A new data analysis shows that Norwegian police on average use 23 minutes to respond to calls for help, twice as long as what police earlier thought themselves. When they need to take time to arm themselves, the response time is even longer.
It can take up to 40 minutes for armed police to respond to calls for help, according to the analysis of response times accumulated at the request of state director of police Odd Reidar Humlegård. He told newspaper Aftenposten that “20 to 30 minutes can be a long time when it’s a matter of life and death.”
The data was compiled from GPS positions for 235,000 police assignments between January 12 and May 12 of this year. Fully 22,300 of the assignments involved calls for urgent help from people who had rung the police emergency number 112 (similar to 911 in the US).
Response time in the cities can be much quicker, and the quickest responses actually occurred late on Friday nights, when police are especially busy. That’s because many were already on patrol and can, for example, be close to where trouble breaks out. Long distances in outlying areas made average response times longer, but Humlegård thinks the differences are too great. He wants to make it a priority to cut response times, and thinks consolidation of police districts can help.