22 Dec, 2020 @ 13:30
1 min read

New task force set up to stop illegal holiday parties in Spain’s Valencian Community

BORDER REOPENS as Portugal lifts January closure at 18 land crossings with Spain
A Spanish Civil Guard stops a car at the Spanish-Portuguese border between Tui and Valenca, on March 16, 2020. - Portugal will close its border with Spain to tourists for at least a month to curb the spread of coronavirus, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said yesterday. Goods and people travelling for work will still be allowed to cross the border but not those on leisure trips, he told a news conference after speaking by videoconference with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

A new Guardia Civil task force has been formed to stop illegal house parties in rural areas over the festive period in the Valencian Community.

The unit will carry out surveillance operations to spot any suspicious behaviour that could be part of organising a clandestine celebration aimed at guests from cities and towns.

The measure is part of a package to enforce rules aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus in what is currently one of the most infectious regions in Spain.

Ten thousand Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional officers are being deployed to ensure that measures are being observed, as rule enforcement gets stepped up, according to the government delegate for the region.

The delegation, through Gloria Calero, represents the national government and has power over security forces in Valencia.

The Guardia are in charge in maintaining the Valencian border closure and are doing so in three shifts over a 24-hour period.

Extra officers and new checkpoints on roads into the Community from Murcia, Catalunya, Aragon, and Castilla- La Mancha have been deployed.

Law enforcement unions have been critical in recent weeks that they have not had enough staff to make sure the restrictions are being observed, with checkpoints seemingly non-existent on many occasions.

The delegation says that 6,000 Guardia officers have been used on border patrols since the closure at the end of October, with 9,173 people sanctioned for rule-breaking.

It also claims that Guardia officer presence will be increased by 50% in shopping centres and around hospitality businesses to make sure that capacity limits are not broken.

No mention has been made as to where the extra officers are coming from or what is being done to make sure that other crimes will be dealt with as normal.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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