Norwegian police were subject to a lengthy computer crash on Monday that left them with no data access for around 11 hours. Police had to resort to pen and paper to keep track of reports coming in via telephone.
The technical error, the cause of which had not been determined Tuesday morning, meant that central operations could not see where partrol cars were, or search police records regarding new suspects brought in.
“In a worst-case scenario, suspects could be set free because we weren’t able to run any checks on people we met on the streets or at crime scenes,” Sigve Bolstad, leader of the police officers’ union Politiets Fellesforbund, told state broadcaster NRK.
At operations central in Florø, police said they simply kept their fingers crossed that there would be no serious incidents in the districts they cover. “It proved to be a calm Monday night, so we were lucky,” Inge Værøy of the Vest Police District told NRK.
Bolstad claimed the situation was “embarrassing” while police officials scrambling to get the sytem functioning again conceded “this is not good, absolutely not.” It was unclear whether the system was hacked or whether the trouble was the result of a system error. “The reserve system isn’t good enough either,” said Asbjørn Rønnestad of the state police directorate . “We have to find out how this happened and get it corrected.”