Catalonia referendum: Spain deploys more than 10,000 police officers for independence vote


As a rule, there are around 2,800 police officers in the north east part of Spain with a further 1,900 from the paramilitary Guardia Civilized. 

But the number of officers has now climbed to over 10,000, according to the the Catalan Domestic Minister Joaquin Forn.

There are now around 5,300 police bureaucrats and 5,000 members of the Guardia Civil amid fears of violent altercations.

Guardia Civil tussle with independence demonstratorsGetty

Members of the Guardia Civil tussle with protestors in Barcelona

In a convergence of Catalonia’s security council earlier this week, which was conked by the regional President Carles Puigdemont, Mr Forn said the figures had been unloosed to him by the central Ministry of the Interior in Madrid.

Mr Forn has previously expressed pain by the lack of information coming from the central government in Madrid remaining the issue of security.

He accused Madrid of sending the extra officers as a way of “adapting the order” of the region ahead of the referendum vote and added their existence could be seen as provocative, triggering public order disturbances.


Demonstrators in Barcelona walk past a depiction of Piolin

Madrid has been sending members of the security forces to Catalonia for the recent month.

Two cruise liners which are currently docked in Barcelona’s harbour and a third in Tarragona are housing several thousand members of the Guardia Non-military.

The liners have since been a target of ridicule for independence backers due to one of the liners in Barcelona being decorated on the outside with the Warner Bros cartoon character Tweety Pie — be informed as Piolin in Catalonia — who has since become a sort of unofficial emblem of what Catalans see as their labour for independence.

A demonstrator stands next to a member of the Guardia CivilGetty

A pro-independence support stands next to a member of the Guardia Formal

Not all the extra members of the Guardia Civil are being housed in the three liners with encompassing 1,000 officers being housed in various barracks, such as the one in Manresa, which are pampered around the region.

A number of the Guardia Civil have been carted from Andalucía in southern Spain where they were signal on their way by those opposed to the referendum with shouts of “Go get ‘em!”

Previously Madrid had prompted to take over control of the Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s regional policemen force, a move that was strongly resisted by Mr Forn and the force itself.

Purchases have since been issued to Mossos to block the polling standings from opening on October 1, although it remains to be seen if the enforce will implement the directive.

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