Tag: Guardia Civil

Should the Guardia Civil have tattoos?

This is the debate currently being voiced between the Ministry of the Interior and the Guardia Civil themselves. The intention was announced a few months ago by the government to regulate more closely the appearance of the Guardia Civil officers, including their tattoos.
Currently the rules state that tattoos are acceptable but must not contravene constitutional values. They must not express discriminatory views or images and should not reflect a specific political opinion. However, a few months ago it was proposed that tattoos shouldn’t be allowed at all.
Since then a new draft decree amends this original prohibitive proposal and would allow those who are already Guardia Civil officers to retain their tattoos and would not require them to cover them up. However, the application of the new ruling would also be down to the head of the individual unit and this could cause internal difficulties within the force.
Traditionally, the prohibition of tattoos only applied to those joining the police force. Once they were accepted, trained and on duty then they were allowed to have them done. In some cases it could be that the head of the unit would require the officers to cover them up but now many officers on the beat are in opposition to the idea that this is no longer down to individual judgement but would be a ruling.
It is also quite difficult to cover up some tattoos, depending on their location. Those on the neck or hands are particularly difficult to disguise by using makeup and the use of bandages to cover them would look worse than the tattoos themselves.
The new draft is also causing concern because of the suggestion that those officers who already have a tattoo should have them photographed and registered in order to check that they do not have any more. However, many officers feel that this is an unacceptable intrusion and treats them like cattle. It is planned that officers would have three months in which to declare their tattoo and that following this, if they have another one then they could be investigated and charged.
It is not only tattoos that are included in the draft regulations. There are plans to include regulations about hair styles, beards and moustaches. For many members of the Guardia civil it isn’t their appearance that should be in the spotlight but the shortage of police officers and the difficulties with recruitment.

Hundreds search for missing boy

Some 1,000 police officers, firefighters and volunteers searched on Saturday for an eight-
year-old boy whose disappearance four days previously in Almeria has gripped the country.
Gabriel Cruz was at his grandmother's home in the small village of Las Hortichuelas when he
left to go play at a friend's house nearby last Tuesday afternoon. He has not been seen
His relatives alerted police who published a missing person's alert with a photo of the
smiling boy, which went viral in Spain via mobile messaging services and social media.
Since then, police and volunteers have been combing the countryside in the area on foot
and on horseback, using helicopters and drones to try and locate him. Interior Minister Juan
Ignacio Zoido said police were also searching waters off the coast nearby.
Cruz's parents have given several tearful interviews to Spanish media, saying he knew the
area well and could not have got lost.
“We hope we will get Gabriel back soon and that he will return home with his family, which
is where a boy who is only eight should be," his father Angel Cruz told reporters at a press
conference, before breaking down in tears.
In a twist on Friday, it emerged that a man had been detained this week for stalking
Gabriel's mother Patricia Ramirez, though authorities stressed he was not held in
connection with the disappearance of her son.
The man, named as Diego Miguel, had become "obsessed" with Ramirez and in 2016 was
ordered by a judge to stay away from her and given a three-month suspended jail sentence.
However, he broke this order several times, including in the hours when Gabriel
disappeared, and was detained for this reason authorities said. Police said they are
investigating the circumstances, but Angel Cruz stressed Saturday he believed the man had
nothing to do with his son's disappearance.
Latest development
A child’s vest was found in the rural area near Níjar where Gabriel disappeared. His father
identified the item of clothing as being his son's, and on Monday the Guardia Civil carried
out DNA tests which confirmed that the garment was indeed Gabriel’s.
They say the report of the clothing Gabriel was wearing when he vanished – a red jacket
and black Adidas tracksuit bottoms – did not mention a vest, although as it is an
undergarment, it may have been forgotten.
The search has now become more 'selective', say inspectors, who have cordoned off the
area around the reservoir pools and water treatment plant in the Las Negras sewage
works close to the footpath which leads to the San Pedro bay.
This time, the search continued in the dark, and detectives were out all night trying to find
the little boy.
They are accompanied by the now-famous 12-year- old Belgian Shepherd Elton, one of the
Guardia Civil's 550 sniffer dogs, who was key in helping to find the body of Madrid sixth-
former Diana Quer on New Year's Eve in a disused warehouse in Galicia, where she had
been dumped after being raped and murdered 16 months earlier.

Body found at Cala Mosca

The Maritime Service of the Guardia Civil has this evening recovered the lifeless body of a man found floating in the rocky area of Cala La Mosca, on the north coast of Orihuela Costa. The body was discovered shortly after two o’clock in the afternoon today (Monday). Local Police and Guardia Civil were deployed to the area immediately, once they received the call.
Initially, the fire service was also mobilized. The cliff terrain where the body was found is very steep, and the body appeared to have become trapped between the rocks. The difficulty prompted the Guardia Civil call on the Special Subaquatic Unit (GEAS).
With the various emergency services working in tandem, it was a patrol boat from the Maritime Service of the Guardia Civil that finally managed to recover the corpse just after 6pm local time.
The body, that of a middle-aged man, was brought to the marina of Cabo Roig.
The Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil have very little information yet and are investigating matters to identify the corpse and clarify the cause of death.

New Radars For Motorbikes Coming Soon

The DGT has announced that they have just spent 860,130 euro on portable speed detecting
equipment which can be transported on the motorbikes of the Guardia Civil.
The plan to buy the equipment had already been announced some time ago, but the budget has now
been allocated which has allowed the purchase of about 60 devices which will allow more speed
control check points to be set up and with greater ease for the officers.
Although the information has often been misreported as the motorbikes having radar equipment
installed, these devices are used by the roadside, standing on a tripod, in much the same way as
some of the existing equipment, although these are small enough to be carried in the panniers of the
The investment was first proposed last year, based on the fact that during 2016, 300 people were
killed in incidents where inappropriate speed was a factor. Budget restrictions prevented the
purchase previously but now the money has been set aside and the order made, and so delivery,
training and implementation of these new devices is expected to happen as soon as possible.
This is part of the overall road safety plan that will see an increase in drug controls by 50% before
2018, and for all motorbikes to carry these new speed detectors as part of their safety arsenal.

New head of Guardia Civil

The new Commander-in- Chief of the Guardia Civil in Torrevieja, Antonio José
Leal Bernabéu met the mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, in the town
hall on the 13 th September. The Commander leads around 200 officers and in
his new capacity the mayor discussed security issues for the town.
The meeting lasted for more than an hour and centred around the threat of
terrorism and what can be done to protect citizens. They also discussed the
relationship between the local police and the Guardia Civil and other
organisations such as the Civil Protection. Other topics under discussion
included environmental issues, animal protection and housing occupancy.
The mayor and the Commander agreed that they would maintain effective
communication and have regular meetings to ensure the smooth running of
the service. The mayor presented the Commander with a traditional salt boat.

Summer Begins to Come to a Close

We might be on the downward slope towards the end of summer, but the roads are still particularly
busy at the moment, and will remain so for a few more weeks yet.
In order to keep the roads safer during this period, a number of special campaigns and operations
have been set up, where the DGT, Guardia Civil and local and regional police, will give special focus
to certain situations.
The next campaign takes place during the week of the 21 st of August, where speed checks will
increase. Inappropriate speed is one of the #Fatal4, the biggest groups of contributing factors to
road traffic incidents. Officers will increase ground and air patrols during this week to try to reduce
the number of incidents by reducing the number of speeding vehicles on the roads.
Then, the next major operation, Operation Return, takes place from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3
September, which sees the majority of domestic tourists returning to their inland homes, ready to
start work and school.
Throughout summer, teams of people will be on the roads to help you. If you get into difficulty, you
can call the Guardia Civil (in Spanish), on 062, or the emergency coordination centre, 112, who speak
a variety of languages. Stay safe and enjoy your holiday.

The Most Popular Summer Questions Answered – Part 3

Continuing with our interview taken from N332 RoadWatch magazine, we explain more of the
questions raised through erroneous posts on some websites, social media and, occasionally, in print.
8º. Washing your vehicle on public roads. 30 – 3,000€ fine.
We covered this topic quite recently. Many people are astonished about this rule, but each Town
Hall has its own legislation, and most of them don't let citizens clean their vehicle on public roads.
Think that when you clean your vehicle on the road you use water and soap, and bikers, riders,
elderly people can slip as a result of your actions, even if a vehicle has to brake suddenly, to avoid an
accident on a slippery street, it will travel more distance so it will be more difficult to stop in time.
Apart from that, when you clean a car on a public street, you are dirtying a public road. So it is not
fair to ask owners of the dog to clean up after the animals do their businesses and we clean our
vehicles on the road.
Ask your Town Hall if you want to know if it is allowed or not and about how much the fine is
because all is legislated differently in each town.
9º Passenger with feet on the dashboard. 100€ fine.
The fine is 80€ not 100€ and it is the driver who is the person responsible for all passengers in the
vehicle, and ensuring they keep a proper position in the vehicle, so the driver will be fined in these
In the event of an accident, the passenger has a significantly increased risk of suffering fatal injuries
on the spot, if they have their feet on the dashboard.
10º.Throwing a cigarette out the window. 200€ fine and 4 points.
This fine could be much higher if your action causes a fire. In this case, you will be prosecuted,
paying all the costs of the extinction, even going to prison if the costs are high or if anyone is unjured
or killed.
11º. Not carrying your driving license. 10€ fine.
The law states you must take your licence with you, but nowadays, the traffic police take computers
in their vehicles and they can check on the spot if you have a licence or not, as long as you can
properly identify yourself.
In the future, it will be compulsory to take an official document with photo to prove your identity
and this fine will be removed.
Remember that if you have a European Licence and you don´t show it to the officers, they can only
check Spanish licences. In Spain, it is a criminal offence to not have a licence, so you can be arrested
and spend the night in the cells if you cannot prove to the officers that you have a licence.
Remember, the 10€ fine is when you hold a licence but don´t take it with you, and it is only applied
to Spanish licences.
12º. Carrying 6 or 7 people in the car. 80€ fine.
The fine will be 200€ or 80€, depending on the excess of occupants. The vehicle will be immobilised
until another vehicle or taxi can take the rest of the passengers. The fine is for the driver.
Remember, only trust information from reputable or official sources, if you have any doubts about
traffic law you can speak to the Guardia Civil officers behind the Facebook page by sending them a
message, visit n332.es, or dgt.es, or consult with a solicitor or other official body.

The Most Popular Summer Questions Answered

– Part 2
Continuing with our interview taken from N332 RoadWatch magazine, we explain more of the
questions raised through erroneous posts on some websites, social media and, occasionally, in print.
3º. Drinking water whilst driving. 100€ fine.
The first thing you have to think is; how are you going to open the bottle? You usually need both
hands, right? If you have a passenger and they open the bottle for you or you have any type of bottle
where you don´t need to use both hands, providing that you do it carefully, you can use it, using just
one hand for a short period of time. Remember you need both hands to hold the steering wheel and
use the indicators.
When someone has been fined for this, it is because they were caught driving and trying to open the
bottle whilst driving, or driving with the bottle/can in one hand which it is strictly forbidden. No
police will fine you for taking a sip for a few seconds. Imagine on a long journey in the summer if you
would have to stop every time that the driver wanted to drink water… Please use common sense!
4º. Putting your hand, elbow or arm out of the window. 80€ fine.
If you put your arm or hand out of the car window whilst driving, how are you going to use the
indicators? If you have your elbow on the window whilst still handling the steering wheel, although
this is not best practice, it is not a problem as long as you can drive properly, indicating all
manoeuvres. This fine is applied for those drivers who have had their hands or arms out of the
window for several minutes of driving in that position, not for doing it for a few seconds. Remember,
drivers can also use hand signals, so this can also be confusing to other drivers.
5º. Driving with a hat / cap that covers the ears. 80€ fine.
As I said, we haven´t written the original post. Someone decided to play a joke, including many fines
which don´t exist among other legal ones. Using a cap/hat doesn´t affect the way you drive, this is
one of the weirdest questions I have answered during all my years as a traffic officer. How can
people believe that you can be fined for this?
6º. Eating ice cream whilst driving. 100€ fine.
Traffic Law states that you need both hands to drive so the difference with the water is that you
need to occupy your hands during a long period of time, so this is true.
7º. Driving with objects on the rear tray without them being secured. 200€ fine.
We have talked a lot, about how you must secure the load inside your car, so if you want to take
heavy load in the tray, unless you have separation from the occupants of the car, it is strictly
forbidden. In the event of a collision, or even harsh braking, lose objects become projectiles and can
be lethal.
Remember, only trust information from reputable or official sources, if you have any doubts about
traffic law you can speak to the Guardia Civil officers behind the Facebook page by sending them a
message, visit n332.es, or dgt.es, or consult with a solicitor or other official body.

Almoradi bank employee stole 1m from client

She was an ordinary bank employee in the small municipality of Almoradí, population just
20,000. Yet for 25 years she lived far beyond her means: she owned a big house, drove a
luxury car, and took expensive trips to exotic destinations with her partner, then openly
boasted about it on social media.
Now the mystery has been solved as the Guardia Civil has just discovered the origin of this
lady’s wealth: for a quarter century, she has allegedly been stealing from a Russian client
who had an account at her bank. The name of the bank has not been released either.
Investigators believe that the suspect, a 51-year- old woman whose identity has not been
disclosed, diverted around €1.28 million in funds from an account held by a Russian national
now aged 80. She is being charged with bank fraud and forging documents.
The investigation began a month ago, when the account holder filed a complaint with the
local Civil Guard in Almoradí. According to police sources, the Russian national arrived in
Rojales, near to Almoradí, in 1992. He then opened a bank account in the latter municipality,
and developed a relationship of trust with the suspect.
The account holder rarely checked his balance, but in June of this year he requested a detailed
statement because he was considering switching banks. That is when he realized that over
$1.5 million was missing. Investigators analysed all the transactions linked to that account,
and realized that most money transfers had taken place while the account holder was in
Russia, meaning that he did not authorise them.
Every time the man returned to Russia, his bank balance would be depleted a little more. But
every time he requested information about the balance, the employee would provide
unofficial documents forged by herself, to make it look like his balance had not changed.
The suspect was arrested and released pending trial following her arraignment.

Two children saved from the sea

It could easily have been another fatal case on Wednesday 19 th July when two
children of 11 and 14 years old found themselves in trouble in the sea. After
20 minutes in the water, the two were exhausted and thought they were going
to die. However, they were rescued by two Guardia Civil police officers.
Their rescue wasn’t without complications because of the strong current and
waves. The waves were preventing the children from getting out of the water
because of the risk of them being bashed against the rocks in the Cala de los
Jorge, a police officer in the Guardia Civil, went into the sea whilst his
companion, Justo, went to get help from the Policía Local. ‘There were
anxious moments which lasted an eternity for them,’ explained Jorge. ‘They
had wanted to get out of the water a lot earlier but because of the rocks and
the stormy water they couldn’t. They were at serious risk of being badly
It was a race against time and the lifeguards advised that the best solution
was to get access by a jet ski. The area where the children were swimming
was not covered by a lifeguard.
‘I jumped into the water because there wasn’t time to wait for help as the
current was strong,’ explained Jorge. This is the second time recently that this
officer has been prepared to risk his own life to save another. He was involved
in a rescue from the sea a month ago when two people were saved from
Swimming in the unsupervised coves continues to be a dangerous summer
pursuit as was seen recently with the sad deaths of a couple in Guardamar.
There is no lifeguard service in the smaller coves up the coast and those
bathing there take a risk.
In this case the two young people were lucky but we are already seeing
deaths as a result. There have already been seven drownings in this
particularly cove over a period of years. They are particularly popular places
for diving amongst young people, but the sea isn’t always as easy to leave as
it is to enter.
When the local police arrived with a boat they noted that the two young
people and their rescuer were all exhausted from the effort by the time they
were removed from the water.

Blackmailing burglar arrested

A burglar who forced his victims to be photographed naked has been arrested in Alicante.  The thief used social media to befriend his victims, most of whom live in the Alicante region.  The man’s modus operandi was to initiate contact with women on social networking sites and after a period of contact they would arrange to meet.  After he had gained the trust of the victim, he would be invited to their home where he would threaten the women with a large knife, forcing them to strip naked to be photographed by him.  He would then proceed to rob their belongings, threatening meanwhile that if they reported the crime to the police, he would publicise the naked photographs.
The National Police made the arrest of the 41 year old Spanish man after learning of at least three such burglaries in the Alicante zone.  The arrest was backed by two existing judicial notices for false imprisonment, robbery with violence and intimidation and fraud, said police.
Officers began to look in to the man’s movements in mid April after receiving several separate reports of robberies in the area, each of which had significant similarities in how the robbery was carried out.
The perpetrator is thought to have used a number of different names on various social networks in order to gain his victims’ trust online and establish personal contact with the women.  Once he had their trust, he would push to meet them at their own homes.   As soon as the man gained access to the victim’s home, he would draw a large knife and the threats would begin – forcing each to strip and be photographed.  He stole personal valuables by ransacking the house and also took bank cards, forcing the victims to reveal the pin number. Once he had taken all that he could find, the man would threaten that he would put the photographs online if they went to the police to report the crime and that if they had given him a false pin number, he would come back to kill them.   He then took the keys of the house and all mobile phones, leaving the victims locked inside their own homes while he went to the bank to withdraw cash with the stolen cards.
Following extensive investigation and surveillance, officers from the Organised Crime Group of the Provincial Commission of Alicante were able to make the arrest earlier this month and this week, it was ruled that the man be sent to prison for his crimes.  In court, it emerged that he has numerous police records for violent robberies, threatening behaviour and fraud from all over Spain.

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