NEARLY 200 National Police and Guardia Civil officers have been lost from Alicante Province in only 18 months.
The government confirmed that by May this year there were 2,489 Guardia Civil and 2,193 Policia Nacional officers posted to Alicante Province. These figures were released in response to a question in the national parliament in Madrid from Rufino Selva, an MP for Alicante.
Although no details were given of the headquarters and police stations involved, these figures showed reductions of 101 Guardia Civil officers and 88 National Police officers, compared to December 2013.
The province’s population has fallen by 90,000 over the last two years and the government uses this decrease to justify the reduction in security forces, Selva argued.
He queried Madrid’s reasoning, as most of the residents who had left the province were from European Union countries. Their departure made little difference to situation inside the province’s cities and towns, Selva said.
The drop in population could also be more apparent than real, now that municipal registers have been purged by the National Statistics Institute (INEM), he maintained.
A reduction like this in a tourist area made little sense, Selva declared. The government’s strategy of temporarily assigning more police and Guardia Civil members to the coast during the high season was little more than “papering over the cracks” as he highlighted potential labour problems with agents suffering from increased workload and hours.