Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a message after seeing images taken from a helicopter of Anders Behring Breivik shooting people at Utøya island during the so-called 2011 Norway attacks. He couldn’t understand why there could be images of the murderer before the police had arrived into the island.
The explaination is simple: those images were taken by a news helicopter that was able to reach Utøya and shoot the footage well before the Police’s Special Forces could manage to reach the island (1 hour and 35 minutes after Breivik had begun massacring people).
People on Social Networks were astonished that a news chopper could intervene quicker than a police one, however, there are many media helicopters overflying the largest town of the world and, quite often, they are able to get exclusive images in the immediate aftermath of disasters and terrorist attacks.
In my opinion, the question is not why a news helicopter was able to get to the scene before special forces one but: in such events, does the news chopper stand in police chopper’s path? Can a news helicopter spur the wrong reaction from a murderer/terrorist who could feel under the spotlight?
The Police response was actually very quick! See the views of a former British Police National Tactical Firearms Advisor.
The real problem for the Norwegian police is that the helicopter they use is only used for surveilance, and is unable to transport the “SWAT” team. If the police need that, they have to contact the Royal Norwegian Air Force.