Breivik report prompts Norwegian police chief resignation

The highly critical report on police response last year’s terrorist attacks in Norway has prompted the country’s top officer to step down.

Norwegian justice minister Grete Faremo confirmed rumours on Thursday that police chief Oeystein Maeland had chosen to resign after the report said that the Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre of 77 people could have been prevented and that authorities reacted to slowly.

The news came just days after the release of the document, which said that police had waited “unthinkable” amounts of time to respond to the events on 22 July 2012. Right-wing extremist Breivik admits having unleashed a bomb in Olso’s central square before going on a shooting rampage at a summer camp on Utoeya Island.

Chief Maeland said that it was impossible to stay on as the head of police without the confidence of ministers. He said in a statement on Friday, “If the ministry and other political authorities do not clarify this matter unequivocally, it will become impossible for me to continue,” the BBC reports.

Last week’s report was very different than earlier enquires, which said that the police had responsed quickly. In contrast, the newer probe reported that two local officers that had reached the lakeshore first had waited for reinforcement officers before crossing to the island on which dozens of young people were being gunned down.

Breivik verdict should be passed tomorrow in Oslo.