Several Norwegian royal properties will be secured against terror for £55 million in the next years, and the building of the security-facilities will soon begin.
The project has met criticism, as it has taken too long to put in place. But now it happens seven years after the worst terrorist attack on Norwegian soil in peacetime; the royal properties will finally be secured.
The Norwegian government has granted 140 million Norwegian crowns over the state budget for this year to implement safeguard measures in the royal properties, and now the work on the first properties starts, this was first reported by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. The project has a total budget of NOK 592 million, approximately £55 million, over the next four years.
Such the situation is today, the palace in Oslo is poorly secured. The building is guarded by armed soldiers all day from His Majesty the King’s guard, but there are no obstacles for cars to arrive at the palace. Parts of the castle park are fenced, but about 2/3 of the park is easily accessible by car. The man was mentally ill and was quickly arrested by the king’s soldiers. There were no explosives in the car, but this meant that the area around the palace was blocked for several hours.
During major events such as royal birthdays and national parades, there have therefore had to be installed temporary terror-fences around the castle and the central places you can enter the castle park by car. There has never been a threatening situation during such significant events where members of the royal family have been present.
It is the Royal Palace in Oslo that costs the most to protect. Around the entire royal palace, a short iron fence will be placed. In some places, walls and larger fences will also be built. The low iron fence will be permanent, but in some places, it will be possible to raise and lower them. The purpose is to ensure better control of who enters the property by car.
“It is important to point out that the Castle Park will still be open and accessible for everybody. We definitely do not want to shut people out, on the contrary. We want to invite people, “says Lars Ivar Frøystad, Security Manager at the Royal Palace to Aftenposten. The goal is to complete the security measures in 2021.