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Catalan Police Chief accuses Spanish Government of not sharing information affecting Catalonia's security

The highest-ranked officer of the Catalan Government's Police Force Mossos d'Esquadra, Chief Josep Lluís Trapero, has accused the Spanish Police Force of not sharing important information that affects Catalonia's security. Despite the Mossos d'Esquadra force being in charge of the main police tasks for Catalonia, it does not have access to relevant intelligence that the Spanish Police receives from international organisations and foreign police corps. Trapero emphasised that the Catalan Police has international level powers since 2006 and therefore is legally entitled to receive such information. However, the Spanish Police always keeps it for itself, which "makes our work more difficult", complained Trapero, and thus diminishes Catalonia's overall security.

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16 April 2015 10:03 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The highest-ranked officer of the Catalan Government's Police Force Mossos d'Esquadra, Chief Josep Lluís Trapero, has publicly accused the Spanish Police Force of not sharing important information that affects Catalonia's security. Despite the Mossos d'Esquadra force being in charge of the main police tasks for Catalonia and being the main actor in ensuring its daily security, the Catalan Police does not have access to relevant intelligence that the Spanish Police receives from international organisations and foreign police corps, disclosed Trapero. The police chief emphasised that the Catalan Police has  international level powers since 2006 and therefore is legally entitled to receive such pieces of information. However, the Spanish Police always keeps them for itself, which "makes our work more difficult", complained Trapero, and thus diminishes Catalonia's overall security. "It does not only affect operations against terrorism", he added, it also affects organised crime and money laundering activities.


In fact, despite the Catalan Police gradually taking over the main police activities and ensuring public order and daily security throughout Catalonia, the Spanish Police never fully vacated the area and in fact, far from reducing its presence, in the last few years has increased it. The current controversy has to be framed within the Spanish Government's overall recentralisation strategy that has been deployed for the last 4 years, which adds to the long story of the past three decades of decentralisation agreements that are never fully implemented due to constant obstacles slowing down or totally stopping the devolution of powers. This overall framework is one of the deep causes of the current political crisis between Spain and Catalonia, and is another reason behind the wide support for independence.

Indeed, Trapero's accusations come after the Mossos d'Esquadra arrested 11 alleged jihadist terrorists in Catalonia, and then the Spanish Home Affairs Minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz, linked the Islamic terrorist threat to immigration in general as well as to the Catalan independence movement. In addition, members of the Spanish Government have backed these statements over the last few days. Such words have been strongly rejected by Catalan representatives, including members of the Catalan Government.

The Catalan Police arrested a jihadist cell last week

In an interview at Catalunya Ràdio, which is the main radio channel of Catalonia's Public Radio and Television Broadcaster (CCRTV), Josep Lluís Trapero, who is the Mossos d'Esquadra Chief, complained about how the Spanish Police is hiding from them relevant pieces of information received from international or foreign bodies that affect Catalonia's global security. Trapero was being interviewed because of last week’s massive Mossos d'Esquadra anti-jihadist operation involving 360 officers and the arrest of 11 people that were allegedly working for Islamic State. This terrorist cell was planning attacks and even to kidnap somebody and behead them on video.

Catalan Police does not have evidence of any other operational Islamic terrorist cell

The top police Chief emphasised that they do not have evidence of the existence of any other such terrorist cell in Catalonia. Nevertheless, the Mossos d'Esquadra is keeping a high terrorist alert, which was raised just after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, in line with the Spanish Police and that of many Western European countries. On top of this, an additional security protocol has been activated for all Catalan Police officers, which includes orders and recommendations, at professional and personal level. Police stations and sensitive facilities and locations throughout Catalonia are highly protected, and officers have also to increase their personal protection and alert level.

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  • Josep Lluís Trapero (right), next to the Catalan Minister for Home Affairs (middle) and the Director of the Catalan Police (left) (by ACN)

  • Josep Lluís Trapero (right), next to the Catalan Minister for Home Affairs (middle) and the Director of the Catalan Police (left) (by ACN)