A new local rural police service, tasked with patrolling country areas of the Mijas municipality, was launched by the town's mayor, Juan Carlos Maldonado, last week.
The department's objective is to "improve the services we offer to the people in these areas, especially with regard to forest fire prevention, cleanliness and the control of wild animals", said Maldonado.
According to information provided by the town hall, a 4x4 vehicle will patrol the Mijas countryside on the lookout for antisocial behaviour, as well as inspecting the landscape for any potential fire hazards, among other matters.
The new team, which is made up of Guardia Civil, Protección Civil, Guardia Rural, the hunting society and rural residents' associations, will be in operation all year round.
"This new unit will work 365 days a year, not just in the summer, because it's our intention to safeguard our environment constantly," said Maldonado. "Given the temperatures we get here all year round, a fire could take place at any time."
The mayor also highlighted the diversity of the Mijas municipality, which he said was "very large, spread-out and with a complicated landscape". As a result, many so-called 'urbanizaciones' are a long way from the coastline and therefore, until now, somewhat isolated.
At the first meeting of the new team at the Local Police headquarters last week, a number of issues were discussed, including measures to tackle wild animals on housing developments or golf courses, illegal dumping grounds and areas that needed more cleaning generally.
Also discussed was the potential need for other off-roading vehicles to make more secluded areas more easily accessible.