|Guardia Civil Trafico|
Here is a really brief outline of the main responsibilities of each category ;
Guardia Civil - wear green uniform and are feared by all - especially "Trafico". They are often seen setting up road blocks, with machine guns and stingers at the ready! These are the ones that will pull you over when driving and usually find something to fine you for - and remember they issue on the spot fines. Be afraid, very afraid.... They answer to the Ministry of Defence and are considered to be part of the army therefore are not permitted to be in any unions or allowed to strike.
National Police - wear navy uniforms and their main responsibilities include terrorism,crime, immigration and drug enforcement. They are the ones that issue all identity documentation such as NIE numbers to foreigners. They answer to the Ministry of Interior.
|Local Police outside a school directing traffic|
|Policia Local station in Benidorm|
In these economically strained times everyone is having to make cutbacks to salaries, and the Local Police force are no exception. But what of the "allowances" I hear you ask - what do they get ..... well this may shock you. They receive a bonus if they turn up for work every day and are "upset" that this is being withdrawn! In many areas of Spain, the Policia Local (as they are called) are often on higher salaries than the Guardia - but have know where near any of the same responsibilities. Im afraid that the gravy train has run out of bisto granules - they tend to keep office hours unless there is a local fiesta, when they can rake up abit more overtime and appear to have a rather cushy number. It will be interesting to see if visible policing in the town is reduced whilst this ongoing fracas is resolved!
The 24 hr emergency telephone number for any of the police services in Spain is 112.
A tour of La Nucia Police station
Driving in Spain
Driving between Spain and UK