Spain to fight crime with police outside schools

20th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 October 2005, MADRID — Spain may crack down on teenage gangs pushing drugs to school pupils by putting police or security guards outside.

20 October 2005

MADRID — Spain may crack down on teenage gangs pushing drugs to school pupils by putting police or security guards outside.

Interior minister José Antonio Alonso told reporters a group of experts were studying how to combat "teenage delinquency".

Putting more police or security guards outside schools were part of the plans being considered.

They may be put in closer contact than ever before with the parents and teachers.

Though this would involve police in mayor cities, Alonso said Guardia Civil in rural areas may also take part.

The minister said pupils and teachers would be able to make immediate accusations against drug pushers, bullies or other criminals and receive "specific protection".

Alonso referred to the rise in the influence of Latin gangs, particularly in Madrid and Barcelona.

He said his department had increased resources to combat this "complex problem".

Last month, Madrid's new police chief announced a crackdown on the Latin American gangs behind a rising tide of violent crime.

Enrique Baron said doing away with Latin American gangs is one of his priorities, because the "maras," as they are called, have become a serious public safety problem.

Crimes linked to the "maras" have multiplied in Spain in recent years, especially in the larger cities.

The phenomenon is difficult to control because minors are usually involved.

Brawls and revenge attacks among such gangs as the "Latin Kings" and the "Ñetas" are increasingly observed in the suburbs of such cities as Barcelona and Madrid, where police have identified at least 400 gang members.

Most gang members are male, and 80 percent of them Ecuadorian, but there are also Dominicans, Colombians, Peruvians and even some Spaniards, all engaged in vying for turf.

Even though they commit minor thefts and hold-ups to buy food or for the thrill of intimidating people, gang members seldom live off crime and, according to police, pose no serious threat to the population at large, "because their rivalries are among themselves," a police investigator told

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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