Head of the prosecution service, Bartolomé Barceló. | Alejandro Sepúlveda


The head of the prosecution service in the Balearics, Bartolomé Barceló, has explained that questions raised by the Guardia Civil and National Police led to his decision to clarify when the security forces can act in squatting cases.

Barceló says that the forces were unclear as to the application of law, and so he has now stated that they can remove squatters without the need to apply for court measures if the squatting has characteristics of a crime. The decision, he adds, is not an instruction to the police but will allow them to act in specific instances and evict squatters. He has sought to protect the rights that affect everyone, the right to the "inviolability" of a home and private property and also the right to decent housing.

Where there are doubts regarding the criminal nature of squatting, the police should then request court measures.

The decision follows highly publicised cases of squatting which had all the appearances of crimes in that they were deliberate attempts (and successful ones) at extortion from owners and other residents.