Border controls to remain high

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Norway’s state police began cutting back Tuesday on the unusually high levels of armed patrols they’ve had on the streets in recent days, after last week’s threat of a terrorist attack in Norway was lowered. Police and military preparedness was to remain high, however, along with border controls.

Security at border crossing and major events will remain high, but visible armed police presence will now be cut back, PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Security at border crossings and major events will remain high, but visible armed police presence on the streets will now be cut back, PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

“We think that’s more effective now than to continue with such a strengthened police presence,” Odd Reidar Humlegård, director of police, told reporters.

The status of the threat level against Norway remained unchanged from the reduction announced on Sunday. Norwegian police, who otherwise are generally unarmed, will continue to carry weapons but their visible presence will be reduced as well.

“The threat picture that we have commented on earlier, in which the threat is described as unspecific, hasn’t changed,” Humlegård said. That’s why the authorities intend to maintain higher security at border crossings, airports and other international transit terminals to better control foreigners entering the country.

Police have been checking all travelers on trains entering the country from Sweden and Norway, controlling bus traffic and arriving passengers on ferries and other forms of maritime traffic. That will also continue, according to Humlegård.

Police presence was also expected to continue at major events including the Norway Cup football tournament now playing out in Oslo, which has attracted around 32,000 young players and others from more than 50 countries. Only a handful of teams withdrew from the tournament because of the terror threat and players seemed more afraid of losing matches and falling out of the Cup competition than of any terror attack.

“I’m really glad that our team didn’t pull out,” 11-year-old Josefine Falsen of the Lyn youth club in Oslo told newspaper Aftenposten. She and her teammates were having a ball, literally, at Norway Cup and, like most of the other players, weren’t letting any terror fears put a damper on the annual event that runs through next weekend.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund