Eight out of ten calls to the police are about lockdown breaches

A National Police checkpoint in Malaga.
A National Police checkpoint in Malaga. / ÑITO SALAS
  • The majority of the police's work during the state of alarm has been in response to reports of non-compliance with the terms of the quarantine

During the state of alarm, the general public has become the eyes and ears of the police in the enforcement of the lockdown. According to SUR sources, 80 per cent of the calls received at the 091 (National Police) and the 092 (Local Police) call centres during this period have been to report others breaking the conditions of the lockdown.

This is not only occurring in Malaga, though. The National Police in Madrid have received nearly 100,000 calls since the state of alarm came into effect, double the amount of calls from the same period last year.

The reasons for the calls are varied, from those reporting that their neighbour has taken their dog out six or seven times in one day, to those who report that the house next door is ordinarily a holiday home and that the owners have just moved in.

"The vast majority of call-outs stem from a complaint from someone who has seen the lockdown rules being breached," said one local officer in Malaga.

The second in command of the National Police, Chief Commissioner José Ángel González, said that "the fight against coronavirus is everybody's business". "Each one of us has a share of the responsibility, some duties to fulfil if we want to turn this situation around."

If anyone sees someone not complying with the confinement measures, González insists "the best thing they can do is to call 091" and not intervene personally.

He discourages the type of vigilantism that has been increasingly present and refers to a case in Mislata (Valencia), where a man was stabbed in the neck after arguing with his roommate. He was attacked because he had tried to prevent him from going out with his partner given the state of alarm and because she also had a cough.