Valencia Agency of Security and Response to Emergencies: a move towards a transversal management of security

The Parliament of Valencia has just passed the law of creation of the Valencia Agency of Security and Response to Emergencies. Although the Agency was already working in practice, the new law formally creates this as an autonomous organism affiliated to the department of the Council with competences in the fields of security and management of emergencies (currently corresponding to Justice) and establishes the complete judicial framework.

The new agency aims to provide an integrated efficient and effective response to security challenges. It aims at a bigger participation and assumption of responsibilities by all actors and also the participation of the public.

On the one hand, the Agency will take on the competences of the Generalitat in areas concerning the police:

  1. Regarding local police forces, coordination of all functions including:[1] basic organisational, training,[2] provision and performance criteria.
  2. Regarding the Unit Affiliated to the National Police Force: direction, management, personnel and performance. This includes the obligation to study the design of an autonomous Council-dependent police force (which the preamble of the law insinuates, starting with the existing local police forces).

Furthermore, all competences in the field of civil protection, emergencies, fires and rescue, which must include:

  1. Direction of Generalitat policies in the areas mentioned
  2. Selection, training and management of its members (volunteers included)
  3. Competences in the field of nuclear security
  4. Drawing up maps of risks (analysis of vulnerability) and the planning of civil protection
  5. Administering the 112 service
  6. Fomenting self-protection on the part of the public

In order to facilitate the application of such a wide range of competences, in the exercise of which a number of actors must participate, the law established two basic organs of direction:

  1. The Management Council, as an organ to deliberate and decide, presided by the councillor and with the participation of Generalitat departments (Presidency, Tax Inspectorate, Healthcare, Territory, Technology and Information, Energy, Prevention of Risks at Work, Education and, obviously, Security and Justice). Also taking part are the delegate of the Spanish government, the head of the Affiliated Unit of the National Police force, the heads of the local police of the three provincial capitals and representatives of the Valencia Federation of Municipalities and Provinces.
  2. The Direction, as an executive organ, is run by the head of general direction with competences in the areas of security and emergencies.

Moreover, a range of affiliated participative organs are envisaged, among which the Observatori de la Seguretat de la Comunitat Valencianais to be noted. This organ was created years ago as a consultative and deliberating organ, of analysis, study, consulting and foresight in matters related to security. Local, autonomy administrations, local entities, police agencies, private security, public universities of Valencia and the judiciary are all represented. Other affiliated participating organs are the Commission of Coordination of Local Police Forces, Civil Protection and Emergencies, and Coordination of Services of Prevention, Extinction of Fires and Rescue.

[1]For this reason the Technical Cabinet of Coordination of Local Police services of the Community is affiliated.

[2] For this reason the Valencia Institute of Public Security and Emergency (IVASPE), which is the institution responsible for providing training in the fields of policing, civil protection and fire prevention, is affiliated.

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