Castro Urdiales has launched a service that he has called “citizen patrols” that has aroused criticism from the Local Police union. “It will lead to more work for the diminished staff”, has denounced the Union Section in the municipality of the Association of Local Police and Firefighters (APLB) of Cantabria.
However, the City Council has wanted to make clear in a press release that this project, financed by the Local Corporations program, has an “essentially informative” task and that its members “are not substitutes for agents of the authority.”
Despite this, the police union has criticized that for the government team (PSOE-Cs), these ‘citizen patrols’ are their “absolute priority to fill security vacancies.” In the wake of these criticisms, the mayor of Contracting, Nereida Díez (PSOE), has come out, explaining the function of this initiative promoted by the Mayor’s Office and with the collaboration of the Local Development Agency.
The ‘citizen patrols’, as detailed, consist of two phases: from October to February and from February to June. In this first phase, eight people have been hired, after training for a week “in order to provide the best service to Castro Urdiales and its citizens.”
“This week they will begin to carry out their services, carrying out patrols through the different streets of the municipality,” he said. The functions that are contemplated, as explained by the socialist councilor, “are varied although the main one is to inform the neighbors about the prevention measures against COVID-19, as well as the surveillance of the state of infrastructures and urban furniture” .
In this sense, as he has said, they will be able to report incidents in real time through a mobile application, thus collaborating with the City Council’s Police Department and Works Service.
In addition, “they will be able to help citizens in the location of the different municipal areas and in the procedures to be carried out in them; and report on compliance with municipal ordinances, on the street, Oca service, on-call pharmacies, location of different events to be held, etc. “.
The City Council has insisted that “these people are not agents of the authority but they will be in permanent contact with both the Local Police and the Civil Guard.”
And the Town Hall has asked citizens to “respect and collaborate with the work that these people will do, who will try to do their job as well as possible”, and thanked the Local Police for their involvement and contributions to this project.