Neighborhood police: the Local Police of the small towns of the Baix Empordà

Of the 36 towns in Baix Empordà, only ten have their own Local Police.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
01 April 2024 Monday 17:06
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Neighborhood police: the Local Police of the small towns of the Baix Empordà

Of the 36 towns in Baix Empordà, only ten have their own Local Police. The rest depends on the Mossos d'Esquadra when they have an emergency. For a few years now, Corporal Jordi Gelmà has led the proximity group that is dedicated to serving these towns. His work goes beyond patrolling.

Communication with mayors, neighbors and entities is constant. They pass on information about 4 suspicious license plates, organize talks with neighbors, visit businesses and elderly people who live alone, hold regular meetings with mayors or police checks. In addition, this group establishes routes that vary constantly but allow them to periodically pass through each of the towns without Local Police, which increases the feeling of security. "

Every week Quim Sabrià, mayor of Parlavà and his counterpart from Jafre, Èlia Bantí, meet with Jordi Gelmà. He is the proximity chief of the Mossos d'Esquadra in the Bisbal d'Empordà police station. His work is "fundamental" for these mayors of small towns in the region that do not have Local Police.

Jordi's team is dedicated to patrolling defined routes that allow them to "be present" periodically in these locations, to "generate security" among the neighbors.

In addition, it also seeks to deter thieves who try to commit crimes in these towns that, due to their size and population, have fewer police forces.

These routes are constantly changed, so as not to give clues to thieves. And the number of crimes in these small towns is not common, but "they generate great social alarm" among citizens.

“We never spend the same day in the same town because it would be detrimental to us,” explains Gelmà, who points out that the work is not limited to carrying out patrols but goes much further. In this sense, the corporal explains that they also visit businesses, elderly people who are alone or carry out police checks at the entrances and exits of the municipalities.

These controls serve to detect thieves who move through these towns in the Baix Empordà, which are widely spread out and are located at a certain distance from the nearest police station. Gelmà explains that on many occasions they encounter people carrying scrap metal that “looks like” it has been stolen, but that on many occasions it is not reported.

The Mossos advise going to a police station to let them know in order to fight against these thefts that generate social alarm and that sometimes cause “major headaches” not so much because of the material that has been stolen but because of the immediate consequence. As an example, irrigation elements such as sprinklers or tubes do not have a high economic value, but the damage to the farmer is great4.

To make the work of the Mossos easier, the residents of these towns are often organized in such a way that when they suspect a car or the attitude of an individual they let us know immediately. What they do is share information, for example the vehicle's license plate, in WhatsApp groups where the Mossos are also usually present. In case the license plate appears in the police database, it allows faster action.

Both the mayors and the Mossos always recommend calling 112 in case of emergency. Furthermore, Gelmà explains that periodically and in coordination with the municipalities, community agents give talks to explain to residents how they should act and give them safety advice.

The mayors explain that these meetings that they hold periodically with the Mossos also serve to strengthen trust between the agents and the neighbors. In this sense, both Bantí and Sabrià point out that it is "very important for them" to have Corporal Jordi Gelmà as a police reference in the area, so that they always know who to contact. "You know that he will always answer you, you know that he is there," Banti concludes.