MILLIONS of euros worth of fines have been dished out to rulebreakers during the coronavirus state of alarm in Malaga, it has been revealed.
According to Policia Local, in Malaga city alone, the force dealt with an average of 114 complaints per day throughout the 99-day lockdown.
This resulted in 11,303 sanctions for non-compliance with the state of alarm rules.
With the lowest possible sanctions ranging from €101 to €601, it means Malaga city hall could rake in up to €6.7 million, although that figure could be more given reports of higher fines.
One British expat was allegedly fined €1,000 for ‘walking home too slowly’.
However each sanction has to be approved by the courts, and it is not clear how many have been declared legit.
Certain fines linked to dog walking, for example, may be declared ‘null and void’ after the Interior Ministry said local councils did not have the power to interpret the state of alarm rules. It came after residents complained there was no direct decree on dog walking.
Meanwhile, local cops stopped and asked for the ID of 90,948 people, more than 700 each day, while arresting a total of 15.
“The data shows Malaga’s Policia Local has been proactive, but also that the city is the second in Spain in terms of obeying the norms,” a councillor told Diario Sur.
The local force deployed 490 agents 24 hours a day to enforce the rules, which included travel bans and the wearing of masks.
When it comes to businesses, police carried out a total 10,293 inspections in the provincial capital, including on terraces of bars and restaurants.
With an average of 303 interventions over a 34-day period, some 101 establishments have been fined.
Some 20% of these sanctions were related to offering shisha pipes to customers.
These sanctions would have been more serious given the risk they carry to the wider public.
In the state of alarm rules, it cites a 2011 public health law which carries fines of between €3,001 – €60,000 for ‘conduct which can produce a grave risk to the public.’
It means it is likely that Malaga city will have handed out anywhere between €300,000 and €6 million in fines to businesses.
Meanwhile, Operation Cage, involving Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil, stopped a total of 14,284 vehicles during the state of alarm.
A total of 882 drivers were given fines, with violations including driving from another province or with too many people in the car.