Norway’s police did a poor job of responding to the bomb attack and shooting rampage carried out by far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik last summer, an independent and government-mandated commission said Monday.
“The first police patrol that arrived at Utoya did not seem prepared to stop the massacre at Utoya themselves,” the commission said, according to The Norway Post.
It also concluded that the bomb attack on Oslo’s government ward that killed eight people could have also been prevented.
The commission said that if the operation leader’s original plans were followed, police could have arrived on Utoya, an island that was being used as a summer camp, around 20 minutes earlier.
But instead, according to the BBC, police took an “unacceptable” 35 minutes to arrive on Utoya.
The report said the first police to arrive on the island should have tried to stop the massacre instead of being ordered to observe and wait for reinforcements.
“It is expected that two policemen, approved for carrying out armed missions, should have been able to take action against such an opponent,” the report said, according to the Post.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg expressed deep regret over mistakes that were made by police and took responsibility for the weak response.Breivik, who has admitted to the killings, will face a verdict on August 24, the final date of his trial.