Police Presence

You might have seen a pretty impressive turn out of the Guardia Civil where the motorway ends a slip road leads off to join the N-340 at Taramay. These policemen belong to a special group under the command of Capitán Antonio Puentedura Bautista and whose task is to reinforce the Guardia Civil posts in Motril, Salobreña and La Herradura, as well as the towns the other side of Motril (Carchuna, etc.) However, rather than covering all the normal police duties, they concentrate of delinquency, such as drugs and arms.
Armed with traffic cones, a rack of spikes to draw across the road and a lot of patience, they flag drivers down and ask them a question, which unsurprisingly has never received an affirmative response: “We’re carrying out a spot check to intercept drugs and arms – are you carrying any?” It’s a formality of course, but the real questions are asked by the sniffer dog, Falko, using his infallible nose. For instance, one of the vehicles that they stopped was a workers’ van and Falko did a double somersault inside, even though no drugs were found. In the end, the workmen admitted that during the morning break they had smoked a joint inside the back, away from the rain.
The police claim that they do not use profile selection, but they do admit that they have a ‘nose’ for the suspicious. In fact, quite a few of those stopped are people that have been arrested on previous occasions and the first thing that they do is check in with the Central to see if the car has been reported stolen.
After an hour or so, pulling cars over, the unit packed up and moved down to the Taramay roundabout to intercept vehicles coming in from the Almería direction.
But these policemen are the first to tell you that they don’t like doing road checks, because you never know whom you are going to stop, whether they are armed and how they are going to react – ETA is very much in the mind of these men, for obvious reasons.
Finally, during the same day as the road check, but during the afternoon, they move off to cordon off Las Palomas and Peña Parda, checking everybody who is coming in or going out. The operation has two objectives, to make things difficult for criminals and also to provide a spot of visible reassurance to the residents. From the friendly waves that they receive from elderly foreign residents, it is appreciated.

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