- The local police office is closed for most of the day and all night due to a shortage of local police with only eight officers available to patrol
- Ciudadanos criticises that the number of police has not increased
A waitress directing traffic after an accident and residents mounting patrols within their urbanisations as they look out for thieves. This is the scenario to be found in San Miguel de Salinas due to the lack of local police officers.
The police station is closed for a good part of the day and throughout the entire night with the town having only eight officers available to man patrols over a 24 hour period.
When holidays are included, shift patterns, breaks and sickness, like any other worker, in reality, the number of policemen available on a day-to-day basis are far less.
The mayor himself, Juan de Dios Fresneda (PSOE), recognises the shortage in the police staff. “I know that the service is now at an all-time low and if we have a problem in the town there are no Local Police and the Civil Guard has to attend. This often takes time because they also serve many other areas”, admits the mayor, who says that he hopes to have the police service operating once again on a 24 hour basis “before the end of the year.”
The lack of police officers during the day is causing a great deal of uncertainty in the municipality, say residents and the opposition. “Last Monday, there were many phone calls to the police reporting several robberies and an accident involving a number of vehicles with injured personnel where, in the absence of policemen, a waitress from a nearby bar was forced to direct the traffic. There was no Local Police patrol available”, explained the Cs spokesperson, María José Costa, who was the councillor responsible for security during the last mandate.
Residents say the number of robberies is increasing, a fact acknowledged by the Council itself on social networks, which say that care must be taken, especially by the elderly, following robberies in private homes blamed on two individuals.
Ciudad de las Comunicaciones urbanisation has set up vigilante patrols to prevent theft and alert householders via WhatsApp about vehicles or people who may be suspicious.
At the present time there is normally only one Police shift, which is usually in the morning. The rest of the day and at night a telephone message tells callers to notify the Civil Guard.
While La Benemérita has a post in the municipality, it also serves other localities, so there is often a delay.
María José Costa pointed out that in the budgets approved for this year there are twenty Local Police positions “which this government has not filled, which shows that security of the public is not a priority.”