Superintendent Cap Guàrdia Urbana of Badalona. President of ACCPOLC. Doctor in Sociology, with a degree in Anthropology, a Master’s qualification in Police Studies, a Higher Diploma in Criminology and Pedagogic Aptitude awarded by the University of Barcelona, and a Diploma in Managerial Functions of Public Administrations awarded by ESADE.
What is your appraisal regarding the current security situation in Badalona?Badalona is a very complex city, with neighbourhoods with a very diverse idiosyncrasy, situated in a far-reaching metropolitan environment. The statistics demonstrate that it coincides with the rest of the metropolitan area with small fluctuations that vary from year to year. We can say that both road safety and public security are excellent or very reasonable.
And regarding the collaborative work of the Local Police with the Mossos d’Esquadra?
Badalona was the first city in the metropolitan area where the Mossos d’Esquadra were deployed. As the installations had not been built, they were accommodated in some units built in the interior of the Guardia Urbana premises. From the very beginning many premises were shared, which encouraged officers of both forces to get to know each other and enabled them to think about collaborative services. When the Mossos had their own station a joint communication area was created where officers from the two forces administered service demands. The room no longer exists now, but we have a Tandem patrol system (integrated by a patrol of each force) which gives us very good results. We are very satisfied with the collaborative work and we continue to explore new ways to provide more efficient security.
What, in your opinion, might be the most worrying problems for a police officer in Badalona at the moment?
From a security viewpoint, there is a great deal of sensitivity to Jihadist terrorism and the increasing violence involved in its operations. From a corporative viewpoint there is a worry about improving the image of the police, about a feeling that the service is excessively politicised, and also that there is too much bureaucracy and particularly about staff renewal. The average age of the Guardia Urbana is constantly increasing and officers are expectant about the possibility of retiring at 60. This would provide more options of a professional career to officers who aspire to positions of command.
How do you feel the Catalan policing system should be articulated?
I am in favour of something similar to the Belgian model; adapting it to our reality. In 2003 I had the opportunity to visit the Dutch and Belgian police. The Dutch model had been articulated within the context of autonomous police regions and with an assigned support region for others. In Belgium a new model called “integration” had just been put into practice. A Belgian police force and two levels of service, federal and local and completely integrated, with a sole police statute to regulate it, common institutions, flexibility and connections between forces. From the beginning I thought that this could be a benchmark for Catalonia.