Sunday marked the first time that Norwegian police carried weapons during national day celebrations on the 17th of May, but only politicians who’d complained about the arming seemed disturbed. No negative reaction came from the public at large.
“We haven’t had any negative feedback, neither from the public nor police officers themselves,” Vidar Pedersen of the Oslo Police District told newspaper Aftenposten on Monday. Most police were wearing their dress uniforms, as is customary on the 17th of May holiday, and those carrying guns bore them in discreet holsters.
Victoria Marie Evensen, who led the committee that organized the day’s events including its huge children’s parade, said she thought it all went well. “The situation (which stems from an increased terror threat level) was well-handled by the police,” Evensen said. “I haven’t heard any complaints.”
NRK interviewed several members of the public, including children, and all said they felt safe with the police standing by. “And if they think it’s necessary to carry weapons, that’s fine with me,” one woman told NRK. Norwegian police traditionally are unarmed and opposition politicians have been pressuring the government to suspend the arming that was allowed last year after the terror threat was issued.