4 Apr, 2024 @ 11:30
2 mins read

Shootings and violence ‘are becoming normalised’ in Marbella, warn local police – as they demand more support from the central government

POLICE in Marbella are demanding help from the central Spanish government in the wake of a spate of shootings which have rocked the city.

In a desperate appeal to the Interior Ministry – the governmental department responsible for public security and the command of law enforcement agencies – police unions said they needed ‘more resources’ in order to combat organised crime in the region.

They also called for legislation around firearm licensing to be tightened, as well as sentences for violent crimes to be strengthened.

Marilo Valencia, spokesperson for the Unified Police Union (SUP), said: “What we have seen recently is not something isolated, rather that violence is shamefully becoming more normalised”.

READ MORE: WATCH: Moment British and Irish men are arrested over Puerto Banus shooting while armed police in balaclavas raid luxury…

Just two days ago, the Policia Nacional opened an investigation after a 21-year old man was left wounded after being hit by gunfire in a Puerto Banus urbanisation.

Shootings in the Marbella area have also occurred on February 10, February 12, March 11 and March 16, as vicious gang rivalries spill out onto the streets.

Marbella, and the wider Costa del Sol, has become a hotspot for international organised crime, with Valencia estimating that ‘80 or 90 groups from all over the world’ operate in the area.

Police in Marbella are desperate for more resources in the fight against organised crime. Credit: Policia Nacional

Valencia also stated that he believes the Special Security Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar, launched in 2018, caused many criminal organisations to move their operations to Marbella where they can ‘enjoy the weather and become invisible if they have money’.

He added that authorities need to start ‘investing in the safety of the police’, saying that regional agencies often lack basic kit, such as bullet-proof vests and electric tasers. 

READ MORE: British and Irish ‘gangsters’ are arrested over last month’s dramatic shooting at a restaurant in Puerto Banus: Police raid…

In addition, the union representative argued that the police needed ‘more officers and more resources’, ‘a new police station’, and modernised cars which would allow them to keep up with the high-speed vehicles used by criminals. 

David Pola, spokesperson for the Spanish Police Confederation (CEP), said: “The extremely violent acts that we have seen in recent weeks are worrying the public and worrying us”.

“Although specialised units of the police do a brilliant job against organised crime, these groups need more human resources and funds to tackle the wave of violent acts”, he added.

Oscar Camacho, representative for the Independent Union of Andalucian Police (SIP-AN), likewise described the spate of shootings as ‘worrying’, adding that crime is driven by a ‘new type of mafia’, often with ‘Moroccan members but based in Belgium or the Netherlands’. 

READ MORE: Timeline of shootings in Marbella: Shocking Puerto Banus attack is the fourth in a month as locals blast ‘gangster’s…

He added that ‘legislation is not keeping up’ and is ‘very lax’, saying: “What can we do when we arrest these people and then days later they are back on the streets?”.

In response to recent criticism, the central government were keen to highlight a 14.4% increase in the number of officers based in Malaga between 2018 and 2023. 

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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