AN officer of the Local Police of La Linea de la Conception, Cadiz, died on Wednesday afternoon during a tobacco smuggling intervention.
The 46-year-old was involved in the operation near the Gibraltar border, where he was fatally wounded and local reports suggest that he may have been run over by another police vehicle.
The La Linea council later announced in a statement that officers were in pursuit of a motorcycle carrying smuggled tobacco which led them onto one of the inner roads of Princesa Sofia Park.
Francisco Mena, a spokesman for local police groups and unions, declared that incidents like this are a direct consequence of dwindling police numbers in the area. Mena explained that he had previously communicated his concerns to the local government, and has criticised the insufficient police funding that has led to a rise in smuggling and crime within the area.
Mena continued to express his concern that “social values have been turned upside down. These criminals have unthinkable social support within a democratic society, similar to that which drug lords once enjoyed in Galicia”.
The La Linea council has declared three days of official mourning and sources indicate that a full investigation in now underway.