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The Icelandic Police

There are no Icelandic military forces, and never have been, neither army, navy nor air force. There is, on the other hand, a police force on land and on sea, the State Police, the Coast Guard and the Customs.

Since 1 January 1972, all policemen in Iceland are members of the State Police. Until that time, there had been both municipal and state police services. The total number of policemen in Iceland (2006) was about 710. In the Capital, police duties are divided between the Chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Reykjavik Police Commissioner. The NBI is responsible for the investigation of all major criminal offences in the Reykjavik area and assist other police districts in the country in technical matters and in serious and difficult cases.

The NBI is in charge of the Icelandic National Central Bureau (NCB) of INTERPOL. There is no national police commissioner. The country is divided into 27 police districts. Each police commissioner is independently in charge of the execution of police tasks in his district. Government responsibility for the police rests with the Ministry of Justice.

Police commissioners in Iceland must have a law degree. Outside Reykjavik, police commissioners are also directors of customs and they carry out other functions for the state, such as tax collection. These officials are called district commissioners. Policemen in Iceland are not armed except with a small baton or nightstick. However, the Reykjavik police force has a special squadron trained in the use of firearms and in operations against armed individuals or other violent people.
The Reykjavik Police Commissioner is the head of the Immigration Office.

The address of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police is following

Ríkislögreglustjórinn
Skúlagata 21
101 Reykjavík
Iceland
Telephone: +354 444 2500
Fax: 354 444 2501
Email: rls@rls.is

Reykjavík police, for information only
Telephone: +354 444 1000
Emergency phonenumber in Iceland is 112 (24 hours).