The municipal police forces in Almuñécar and Motril have running disputes with their respective mayors, both of whom belong to the Partido Popular.
In the case of Motril, the Policía Local union, SIPLG, are considering suing the Town Hall for “usurpation of functions,” or in other words, using unqualified (for this specific task) volunteers to police the Easter processions as far as traffic and crowd control goes.
The police union points out that the municipal police are the only qualified body for the handling of traffic control, controlling street access and handling traffic accidents within the town.
The SIPLG considers it regrettable that an ambulance was cut off from attending to people in the crowds who had fainted. This was because the Mayor had decreed that certain streets should be closed to traffic.
Amongst the volunteers and hired help used to regulate street access are councillors, whom the SIPLG doubt have sufficient First-Aid treatment to attend to people until an ambulance can arrive.
The Councillor for Citizen Safety, Mara Escámez, together with the Policía Local, advised against the processions going ahead without adequate policing and draw up a report to this effect. The Semana Santa brotherhoods will go ahead with the Good Friday processions, regardless.
But as mentioned at the beginning, the Policía Local in Almuñécar has the same problem, despite months of negotiations between the Town Hall and the municipal police force. The Mayor has used a municipal decree to force officers to work over their days off, serving the decree in person to each one.
Almuñécar has also hired a private company to cover police duties, despite knowing that it is allegedly illegal to do so.
Motril Town Hall has issued a statement: they say that emergency-services access was taken into account in their signaling and information plan for Holy Week which was drawn up in coordination with the Civil Protection Servicewith the support of on-duty municipal police officers and Policía Nacional consultation. The Town Hall insists that volunteers are only their to provide information and not act in any other way.
(News: Motril/Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalusia)