The Norwegian government has decided that police on patrol all over the country can now be equipped with electric shock weapons. A pilot program involving special forces and four police districts was such a success that the justice ministry is extending it nationwide on a permanent basis.
A ministry evaluation determined that electric shock weapons, called ESVs in Norway, can replace the use of standard pistols in many cases but not always. Norway’s police are generally unarmed but carry automatic weapons and gun holsters when security requirements are high.
The state Police Directorate concluded that ESVs can lower the risk of serious injury and the use of deadly force by the police. Police officials were glad the justice ministry accepted their professional advice and approved use of them nationwide.
Justice Minister Monica Mæland stressed that the ESVs “won’t replace preferred use of batons or pepper spray” when police need to exert control, “but they’ll fill an empty space between them and firearms.”