Regional police officers have been on patrol around the natural lakes of
Torrevieja and La Mata reminding people that they are not allowed to bathe
there. Many people who enjoy a dip in Torrevieja’s salt lake do not realise that
they are actually prohibited from doing so.
Over the past week, the regional police force has been on patrol. The area is,
in fact, designated to the salt works who mine the salt from there. The police
had been patrolling around calle Sol. This is the area most used for access to
the lakeon the edge of the Torretas urbanisations.
The reason given for clamping down on the bathers is that the machinery for
collecting the salt does in fact operate close to this point and it is not a safe
area for bathing. However, people have been enjoying this area for decades
without incident, although it was claimed that last summer a swimmer almost
collided with the machinery.
It was at the end of August that the salt works requested the intervention of
the police in dissuading people from entering the lake and surrounding area.
The Local Police did in fact make an appearance and spoke to more than 250
people around the 400 metres bordering the edge of the lake. However, they
do not have the capacity to include this area as part of their regular patrol.
Many of the people who stop by the lake are holiday makersoften from central
and northern Europe and Russia. The lake is particularly attractive due to its
spectacular scenery as well as the belief that its water and mud can have a
therapeutic effect.
The regional police force (policía autonómica) are separate from the Guardia
Civil or the National Police. They are responsible for enforcing laws that have
been delegated to the regional community, in this case Valencia. Their brief
includes that of security, public order, shows and performances and, in some
cases, traffic.