THE street cleaners of three areas of Madrid have received protection from the Municipal Police after a spate of attacks from local thugs left authorities and service teams scared to pass through.
The neighbourhoods of Villaverde, Carabanchel and Latina are considered amongst locals to be the most dangerous in Madrid, with local gangs making residents´ lives a misery.
“I don’t recommend that you stay more than 20 minutes, here the gangs are dangerous,” explained one of the residents.
However local municipal services such as social service officials, firefighters, emergency doctors and cleaning staff of the City Council all come under attack when they attend to incidents or perform city duties in the area.
Street cleaners have complained of being shot at with pellets, had eggs thrown at them and received verbal and physical abuse.
In one incident a leaf blower was stolen and had to be retrieved by police officers.
Because of this constant abuse the services received, the municipal police of Madrid have started to accompany the street cleaners on their duties.
Attacks against street cleaning teams have generated concern in the Urban Cleaning and Maintenance Union. Its spokesman, Juan Carlos del Río, condemns the attacks on the sweepers. In addition, he asserts that it is necessary to continue with the “coordination” with the Police to prevent these events from happening.
Last year alone, the Alto de San Isidro and Pan Bendito areas of Carabanchel reported 1,170 incidents in which perpetrators were detained.