POLICE at a Spanish port have resorted to using Whatsapp on their smartphones to keep in touch.
Huelva port’s antiquated walkie talkie system does not cover the five docks, so police have to use their own private phones with the popular messaging application to keep updated.
According to officers “this affects the facilities safety” since it reduces reaction time for any incident, whether it be a chemical emergency, fire, burglary, industrial accident, or car crash.
And that, they say, breaks the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
More than 80 docks police have already complained several times about the communication problems to the Port Authority, but so far nothing has been done. The agents add that communications is just one problem caused by a lack of investment.
The Ingeniero Juan Conzalo dock has no security barrier at the entrance and there is just one car for the entire docks police, as well as four motorbikes. The Muelle Sur wharf, assigned for ferry passengers travelling to Canarias, also lacks metal and explosive detectors, supposedly compulsory in Spanish ports.