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Capital Police Chief Harassed Officer

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Capital Police Chief Harassed Officer

Police

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A workplace psychologist, appointed by the Ministry for the Interior to investigate a policeman’s complaint against capital region police chief Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, has concluded “beyond all doubt” that her behavior constituted abuse. It was not workplace bullying, however, but rather harassment.

The policeman sent a detailed letter to the Ministry last August, complaining about his boss’s behavior. In the complaint, the officer said he and others in his family needed psychological support due to the chief of police’s treatment of them—a therapeutic service the police force paid for.

The Ministry appointed the workplace psychologist in September, who discussed the complaints with the officer involved, with the chief of police and with 16 others. He reported back to the Ministry in February with details of 12 incidents. The psychologist felt that nine of these could not be classified as bullying and dismissed them, but confirmed that Sigríður Björk was guilty of a violation against her officer in the remaining three incidents.

In one case, the chief of police told the officer off and rebuked him loudly and aggressively and did not listen to his responses. The second case centered on Sigríður telling the officer he was not fit to carry on as an officer in the central investigation department. The third case was about a time the officer was supposed to go on a training course to Budapest, but the chief of police prevented him from going.

The psychologist’s report classifies the three incidents as harassment rather than bullying, RÚV reports.

The Ministry decided that no further action is required in the case, but warned the chief of police to take greater care in the future.

The three incidents all related in one way or another to the case of a police representative who was being investigated by the Special Prosecutor, accused of professional misconduct, who was later cleared of all charges after a four-month investigation.

The police officer in the harassment dispute with his boss had repeatedly stood up for the accused and refused to give up his support—going further to say that other officers were stabbing their colleague in the back.

Whether or not this case was a form of revenge against Sigríður Björk, it is the second serious allegation against her in a short time period.

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