This article presents the development of recruitment and education of police trainees in Sweden during the 20th century. The aim is to analyse the efforts to promote a role for the police and a police force that would be more social, representative and intellectual. While this has been the goal during the last ten to fifteen years, this investigation shows that the roots of these efforts go back to the 1930s. The ideas underlying recruitment originally sought the ideal police among soldiers, a foundation that metamorphosed into the desire to attract men from different social and occupational groups, and finally developed into attempts at including more women and immigrants. Gradually, police education has been prolonged with an orientation and introduction, plus increased instruction in theoretical subjects such as the social sciences, psychology and Swedish. The conclusion is that more research is needed in other countries as well, because knowledge about changes in recruitment and education can make a valuable contribution to the general field of police history.
Summary: Police officers duty to act in dangerous police operations – Legal framework
The terrorist attack in Norway on 22. July 2011 actualizes many questions. One is to what extent the State to uphold the fundamental right to life in ECHR art. 2, can expect police officers to put their own lives at risk in order to protect the citizens. If it can be done without special danger or sacrifice, every citizen has a duty according to his ability to help any person whose life is in imminent danger. Can more be expected from the police? The more instantaneous and effective actions expected from the police, less protection will be given to the life of the police officers. It follows that protecting the life of the police officer may be detrimental to the protection of the public. Handling «shooting in progress»-incidents does not exceed what follows from being an employee in the police force. However, the duty to act is not a static commodity in the eyes of the ECHR art. 2. For the question of how directly and effectively and thus hazardous it will be prudent to apprehend the perpetrator, key factors will be the quality of the information in real time and the level of the training and experience of the available officers. More must be expected from the specialist police team than from a sole inexperienced officer. But the key standard will always be: The risk must be justifiable, meaning that the action taken by the police must have a reasonable possibility to succeed.
SUMMARY: The use of potentially deadly force
May life be taken in order to defend other values than life and health? Until the new provision on the right to life in the Norwegian constitution, Norwegian law would seem to have allowed for this, whereas our obligations under international law, especially under the European Convention on Human Rights, would seem to prohibit it. This text argues among others for a revision of the penal law provision on self-defense in order to better reflect current domestic law.