The Icelandic National Police
() is the main police
force of Iceland
. It is responsible for law enforcement
on all Icelandic territories except at sea where the Icelandic Coast Guard
enforces the law. The two services assist each other as needed.
The Icelandic Police can trace its origins to 1778, when the first traces of industry started to appear. In the times before that law had been enforced by individuals as allowed by Althing
and later by sýslumenn
(sheriffs) and other Royal proxies.
The first Icelandic policemen are considered to be the morningstar
armed nightwatchmen of Reykjavík
who were commissioned primarily to deter prisoners, housed in the Reykjavik prison, from breaking into the Innréttingarnar
In 1803 the first proper policemen were commissioned in Reykjavík as it became a free town or kaupstaður
. The first police chief was Rasmus Frydensberg
, the town mayor, who hired two former soldiers, Ole Biørn
and Vilhelm Nolte
, as the first policemen.It was not until shortly after 1891 that policemen were hired in most of the other areas of Iceland
In 1933 Alþingi passed the Police Act which provided state participation in financing of police forces. This was done mostly in response to the threat of a communist
revolution, whose capabilities had become apparent in violent attempt to force the decisions of the Reykjavik city council, where a large part of the police forces went out of action as a result of physical injury. The act also authorized the......