THE national Home Secretary, Jose Antonio Alonso, announced yesterday a change to the law which will allow the local police more powers, including investigations in matters of domestic violence. The change will widen the powers of the Local Police Corps which has a total of 55'000 officers.
The decision for them to take up these new duties will, in each case, be approved by the respective Local Security Department.
The Ministry made this announcement yesterday after signing an agreement with the President of the Spanish Federation of Towns and Provinces (FEMP), to reinforce police coordination in the fight against the rise of domestic violence. In accordance with the legislative change announced by the Ministry, the local police will take on duties in three areas: local citizen security, especially in the form of patrols or district police; general prevention of crime, in accordance with specific security plans approved by the Local Security Department; and the prevention, investigation and follow up of less serious crimes. These new functions of the local police will mean that they act within the province of the local court, either within the district or near to it, and officers will have to send the complaints and statements taken to the judicial authority. These new powers will be added to the powers which the Local Police already have: administration, traffic, and keeping watch on public places.
In addition to this, the Local Police Corps will have access to the State Police Database System, into which they will have to enter all the action taken under their new and old duties. The legislative change will make the Local Security Department the organism which will establish the formulas and procedures for policies and security plans for the towns, as well as to prepare the mechanisms and methods of coordination between the Local Police units and members of the State Security Forces.