Spain: If the policy affects the police work


Different Spanish police forces accuse each other, to have after the attack in Barcelona, the investigation is hampered. The dispute with Catalonia complicates the fight against international terrorism?

Different governments have different ideas of national security. But your ultimate goal should be the same: to ensure the safety of citizens, especially in the case of a threat to the whole country. This apparent matter-of-course launches in Spain, but in an unusual obstacles. After the stop in Barcelona, there was in the press and in social media alarming reports about alleged tensions between national and regional police forces. The accusation: Against the Backdrop of the political dispute to the Catalan quest for Independence, the exchange of information is deficient.

Spain’s complex police structure

In Spain there are, at national level, the military organized the Guardia Civil and the national police (Policía National). Both are for the interior in charge of security. In addition, the Spanish laws also permit the establishment of regional police forces, the regional competences can be assigned. This is the case for the Basque regional police force, “Ertzaintza” and the Catalan police “Mossos d’esquadra”.

“In principle, the regional police have taken over powers all the powers of the national police, with the exception of the issuing of identity cards and passports, as well as the tasks in the area of immigration law,” says Alfredo Perdiguero, press spokesman for the Spanish police SIPE Union. The division of competences is regulated within the complex police structure in theory – but in practice it seems to have problems: “in Principle, Information should be exchanged with the person working on the case. But this can – as with the attack in Barcelona – lead to problems,” says the Catalan security expert Jofre Montoto.

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Terror in Barcelona

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Terror in Barcelona

Disputes in the fight against terrorism

Overall, there have been, however, great achievements in police work, stressed Alfredo Perdiguero: Since the last Reform of the police work in 2015, 186 Islamist extremists had been arrested.

Between the individual police officers of the various units, there were no problems, according to the security expert Jofre Montoto. However, the managers are quite different. A more important reason: “The Catalan police does not feel equivalent to the non-treated, since you, for example, is part of the Central police Committee for combating terrorism CITCO.” The resistance of the speaker of the police vehemet Union: “The Integration of a Catalan representative is already decided since July. So far it has presented, but the Catalan side is not a candidate. This shows that some people make more thought to the Catalan quest for Independence than the security of the citizens.”

Information from the newspaper

Perdiguero: “We need to learn from each other”

Instead of withholding information, would have to resort to the Catalan police a lot stronger on the experience of the national police in the fight against terrorism, criticized Perdiguero. The national police have a need to know the identity of the in Cambrils, provided the offender from the press: “That makes no sense at all”, grumbles the police spokesman. “The units of the Catalan ‘Mossos’ have done a great job, but their leaders have shown that they are a politicised police.”

Both the police spokesman and the Catalan expert agree that the cooperation of the various police forces are improved – and must. “The Problem with the different police forces in Spain, is that they originated from a centralised structure,” says Jofre Montoto. “The time was ever knitted to the political situation of this structure around, until this flick was a carpet.” The Catalan expert is in favour of a dezentralisierteres System, but admits that the current face is tense Situation around the Catalan quest for Independence is no room for experiments.

Police spokesman Perdiguero stresses the need for a clear division of Competence, a national police unit and increased international cooperation: “We need to learn from each other and us, more to replace. The terrorists are learning with each stroke. To collect information and to exchange fundamental importance of the Fund in the fight against terrorism.”