Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Information and questions about the Law in Spain and Andalucia.
john the baptist
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Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Postby john the baptist » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:30 pm

Hi all I dont want to bore anyone too much with a very distressing day I had today, but can anyone tell me are Guardia and policia obliged to identify themselves if they are in plan clothes or have not started their shift.

I was involved in an incident where a speeding car almost caused an accident when I was taking my children to school. I was forced to stop at a round about as i was not sure they were going to stop. i drove slowly incase the individual was drunk and he overtook me on fixed white lines in my village which has a 40 kph limit, Im sure he was doing 70kph. i knew where he was going as soon as he turn left. so I when to the guardia office and saw him walking into the building. I asked him if it was necessary to drive so fast and if he was guardia. He swore heavily at me and told me if i did not move my car id be arrested. so I parked down the street and got out of the car. I saw this individual, who was in such a rush have a quick word with a colleague and the headed for breakfast. That was what he was racing to get.

I was then questioned heavily by another plain clothes individual and was physically grabbed whilst asked which was my car. At this point all the local guardia uniform who i know for years tried to defused the situation as I am friends with them after 15 years in the town. however about 10 of the plain clothes ones followed them out and surrounded me and the "local" guardia suddenly backed off helping me.

I appreciate that these plain clothes officers are in the area due to anti drug operations and they are trying to control the latest drug cartel around algericas la linea and all the coast up to Marbella. We all welcome the elimination of criminal gangs but today I was man handled and humiliated by people who are abusing their position of authority. I was threatened with arrest, verbally abused physically intimated and laughed at due to my english accent and nationality. I was also told how can i assess what speed was fast and was asked do i have a radar in my car.

My question is this. I was told that no law enforcement office has the obligation to identify themselves, it is also illegal for me to film of take photos of any police officer of guadia civil. I am also in breach of the law if i photographed this individuals car or wrote down the number plate. and i will be jailed of i posted details photos images of the any incident online.

Please can anyone confirm if this is correct? i seen a lot of guardia videos over the years of them beating people up, or shooting people on the beach in swim wear so someone was filming them. Also how can we ever prosecute these people without video evidence on our part??

Ive taught my children to respect authority but never to be intimidated by them and that we have rights as much as anyone else. I was asked if i wanted to make a denouncio however as I was not being taken seriously plus its a very small village i did not want to as like complaints in the hospitals they always seems to be a waste of time.

I AM NOW HAVING THE PLEASURE OF SEEING THE GUARDIA CIVIL SEVERAL TIMES TODAYD RIVING DOWN MY STREET KEEPING AND EYE ON MY HOUSE. I sure that I soon will be pulled over for some reason so im preparing myself with passport NIE and all documentation. Im hoping that this post wont have them banging on my door for my arrest. I dont know why they think everyone (ie) me should be scared of them. as used to go to football in the 80's as young teenager so now im 6 foot 3 ,110kg and 53 years old there are very few time when i feel intimidated.

Please if anyone has any advice on the legalities i would really appreciate it.

thanks John

1bassleft
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Re: Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:11 am

You may have heard of the Citizen's Security(or Safety) Law, or so-called "gagging law" introduced by the previous Rajoy govt and apparently the Sanchez PSOE administration wished to remove or at least modify but will not find parliamentary time before the election. I'm not getting into "which party's better" stuff, nor claiming to be an expert - for one thing I am non-resident. The story that I read in an issue of Olive Press comes to mind; a Spanish woman who pictured a police car parked in a minusvalidos space and posted it onto Facebook was subsequently fined €800 for impugning the officer's reputation. Actually, it's very searchable and carried in many papers:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/ ... ing-police

My personal opinion (only that) is such a law could be misused by a minority of El Plod whose radio tells him there are only two donuts left in the canteen. I was startled when a chum (incorrectly) asserted that dashcams are illegal - I used one for the drive from England to Malaga - but it is illegal to use them to film police officers and identify them. This may be why some of the colleagues were curious/dismissive of any equipment in your car. As the act of using such a device would be illegal in this way, it's logical that it would be inadmissible as evidence to back your story.

I've also had the Guardia tailgating me and finally overtaking across a solid (for very good reason) line heading up to Mijas at the speed limit, and another who swept into my path when he should have given way, then gesticulated that I should drive more slowly+pay more attention. Given how the cards are stacked, I've let it ride. I would imagine any special attention you're getting will be short-lived but, if not, keeping surreptitious (and technically illegal) records is about all I can suggest.

Manchesteral
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Re: Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Postby Manchesteral » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:26 am

Sorry to hear that you feel your day was distressing due to this incident but if you followed a police officer into his place of work and demanded his credentials then it would appear to him that you were challenging his authority.

They have you marked now and the best course of action you can take is to back off and forget it.

However you feel about this altercation trust me this is a can of worms you don't want to open, just leave it !

john the baptist
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Re: Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Postby john the baptist » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:45 pm

Hi thanks for your thoughts its very therapeutic to share my experience other than to mu wife. It was a guardia civil not a police offer and as they had not started their shift i asked because i could not believe how he was speaking to me and of course because of this actions. i did not really follow him as it was on my way back to my home, but i did stop to speak to him.

In my opinion he is a public servant and is accountable for his actions as for his authority this was never established. Im used to issues with the guardia but only really at the gib border, where although i have always been fully legal and correct have received fines which i pay to get the 50% discount. I have to say on a few occasions some of the traffico GC have been extremely kind and helpful especially when ive broken down with my car and they put us in their car which was safer for my family and had working air conditioning when my engine blew up.

Personally it is distressing as I know what the GC was like in Francos time and as such people still keep things quiet and never question what they do. I find also the younger ones are extremely difficult and are the first to treat you like an idiot foreigner. the older ones with families and people skills are nicer.

On a similar note there is an operation to break up the Castana cartel down here and surprise surprise 4 guardian civil have been arrested. This is why they are importing GC for all of cadiz malaga and sevilla as the local ones can not be trusted and often tip off raids. as you can imagine they also personally know people who they grew up with and as such things get overlooked. the hills around my area are filled with un marked war graves and thats all I want to say about the subject.

Thanks for the info about that law i was unaware of it.

alpineSi
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Re: Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Postby alpineSi » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:22 pm

While looking in to some materials for class this morning, I came across this: https://www.liberties.eu/en/infographic ... fiable/165
Leads to: https://www.liberties.eu/en/news/police ... pain/14092

Perhaps of interest.

1bassleft
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Re: Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:10 pm

Organizations such as Liberties, certain PSOE or Podemos (although I'd check individuals rather than assume) elected officials, the ECHR could well be on the OP's side if harassment persisted but, libertarian though I am, chalking it down to a bad experience is the path of least comeback. I hate to say that, but then I'd also hate to say "fight them on the beaches" from my comfort-spot in a heavily populated area (less visible) where I could play the "I advise other Brit tourists to spend their holidays elsewhere" card.

A woman dragged into the street and beaten is unable to gain redress because "anti-riot gear obscures identification" (pathetically easy to deal with) so a plain-clothes in an unmarked car can even more so rely on the need to be unidentifiable clause (shades of Homer Simpson in his "Witness Protection Program" T-shirt). A tough-nosed Drugs Squad bloke "urgently responding to a promising lead [in the canteen]" is bad enough to take on; a possible (they exist) pocket-lined cartel employee with a grudge is somewhat more unpleasant.

And that's not "Spanish Police for you" talk; the same goes for the UK where transparency may be more advanced but officers-gathering-in-the-broom-cupboard-to-compare-notes is atavistic. Wasn't too long ago that the probable urban myth of the traffic plods truncheoning the lights of a car they'd pulled over, not realising the uncooperative driver was the Chief Constable of another county, was all too believable.

markwilding
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Re: Identification of Guardia Civil and Policia

Postby markwilding » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:53 pm

I’m with Al on this. I know it’s frustrating but there is a real cultural difference regarding certain police so they will never see it from your point of view.
Better let it go.


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