Last October 31, the national police and civil guards had a deficit of 20.800 agents, according to the Ministry of the Interior. Of the 163.491 members that should have been active, only 142.691 were, which is 13% less. The most affected regions are Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Navarra. The provinces of Girona and Lleida do not even cover more than 30% of the police positions.
In the province of Lleida, the staff of the national police is set at 211 agents. Currently, only 136 are covered. 75 police officers are missing, which are 35.5% of the total. With the Civil Guards, something similar is happening, with 20% fewer Guards working than supposed. Lleida is an extreme case of a phenomenon that is seen all over Spain: A lack of members of the State Security Forces and Corps.
Deputy Miguel Ángel Heredia criticises that since Mariano Rajoy’s arrival in Government, the troops have been “brutally” cut and believes that these figures represent a degradation of public safety. Additionally, Heredia stated that this demonstrates that “the PP is committed to private security to the detriment of the public.”
“It is necessary to establish a fixed replacement rate above the political and economic swings. Spain can not afford to cut back on security, “says Ramón Cosío, spokesman for the Unified Police Union (SUP). In the same sense, Juan Fernández of the Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC) said: “For years we have been far from covering the places of those who were retiring.” The vice president of the Union of Officers (UO), Javier Montes, speaks of “the urgent need to reorganize the entire deployment of troops to minimize the effects of this deficit.”