Extra police officers will be patrolling the historic city centre of Malaga on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer, to ensure that revellers comply with noise and other regulations, such as the ban on drinking alcohol in the street. Until now 15 officers from the Local Police force have been reinforcing the normal service, but that number is now to rise to 45. Announcing the measure, the Councillor for Security, Avelino Barrionuevo, said the problems are mainly due to the city centre being “fashionable” for stag and hen weekends nowadays.
The police will be patrolling on foot between 11pm and 6am in five particular areas: the Plaza de la Merced and Cervantes Theatre; the Beatas area and Plaza de Uncibay; the Plaza del Teatro, Plaza de Mitjana and streets near the Santos Mártires church; and the area between Calle Alcazabilla, San Agustín and Granada.
Extra officers will also be on duty in the Teatinos and Echevarría de Huelin areas, where residents regularly complain about noise from people outside bars. Barrionuevo said that people who sing, shout or play radios, TVs, musical instruments or loudspeakers at high volume can be fined, but not those who tend to be noisy when moving from one bar to another, which counts as “ambient noise”. The fines can be between 600 and 300,000 euros, depending on how serious the offence is.
He also explained that there “are no rules” to stop people dressing up, or insisting that men wear a shirt in the street, and the council wants bars to impose their own regulations in this respect.
With regard to noise from tourists who rent holiday apartments in the city centre, which are often used by those coming for stag or hen parties, Barrionuevo believes the new rule under which the apartments have to be fitted with sound monitors will help to overcome the problem as they provide an alert in real time. Nevertheless, he admitted that as the properties are privately-owned, the police can’t do much about it as they are not permitted to enter without a court order.