• Spain edition
 
Spanish police tweet drug smuggling tips
"It's better if you've already rolled them and hide them somewhere where the sniffer dogs don't detect them," Spain's National Police Force tweeted. File Photo: Policia Nacional

Spanish police tweet drug smuggling tips

Published: 22 Jan 2014 11:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Jan 2014 11:33 GMT+01:00

Policia Nacional, as they are known in Spain, responded to a tweet by culture journal Jotdown Magazine in which they asked "If you're travelling abroad (to EU countries) and you’re carrying four joints, is it better to have them on you or in the bag you check in?"

"It's better if you've already rolled them and hide them somewhere where the sniffer dogs don't detect them," Spain's National Police Force tweeted back.

They even provided a suitable place to hide them: "cigarette packet maybe?"

Even though the Policia Nacional's social media team rounded off the tweet by saying "you still risk a penalty for public consumption", the message caused a Twitter storm and won them even more followers.

Police soon removed the humorous 'advisory' messages and sent out a new tweet saying: "To avoid any confusion: possession and consumption of drugs in public places does result in fines."

But it's precisely this down-to-earth and friendly attitude on social media that has won Spain's National Police Force many new fans and led the country's media to applaud their innovative tactics.

Their light-hearted language and regular replies on Facebook and Twitter have proven key to engaging Spaniards of all ages in citizen crime fighting campaigns.

Recently, a murderer was arrested just 12 hours after the National Police Corps sent out a tweet with a photo and description of the suspect.

Their feed warns the public of new scams and enlists the help of Spaniards, tweeting requests for information about drug dealers and other criminals, to be sent anonymously to a police e-mail address.

Police say they arrested 300 suspected drug traffickers from January 2012 to June 2013 thanks to information provided by Twitter users in response to these appeals for help.

"We try not to be very boring or too institutional or else people lose interest," Carlos Fernández Guerra, the force's social media manager, told news agency AFP in 2013.

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Immigration crisis
Picture of the day: Two worlds collide
Bunker mentality: At first glance, the image appears to capture an idyllic morning round of golf. Photo: José Palazón/Prodein

Picture of the day: Two worlds collide

A startling photograph taken on Wednesday shows the reality at the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa. The Local spoke to the man behind the image. READ  

Corruption focus
Finally: Spain's leaders face up to corruption fury
Cut it out: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's face on a banner at an anti-corruption protest in Madrid in 2013. File photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

Finally: Spain's leaders face up to corruption fury

Spanish authorities are taking a tougher line against dirty dealing by the country's long untouchable political elite as a lengthy economic downturn fuels public outrage. READ  

Game of Thrones gets Spanish tapas treatment
Game of Thrones extras leave the bullring in the Andalusian town of Osuna. Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Game of Thrones gets Spanish tapas treatment

Fans of the "Game of Thrones" fantasy TV series are flocking to the historic Spanish town of Osuna, where one canny restaurant owner has even starting naming the tapas after characters in the show. READ  

Going down: jobless rate dips below 24 percent

Going down: jobless rate dips below 24 percent

Updated: Over 150,000 Spaniards found work from July to September, Spain's best summer since the country's economic crisis began, official figures released on Thursday show, but youth unemployment remains chronically high. READ  

Don't hurt migrants: Spain to border police
A member of the Spain's Guardia Civil police with would-be immigrants on top of a border fence separating Morocco from the north African Spanish enclave of Melilla on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Don't hurt migrants: Spain to border police

Spain said on Wednesday it would order police guarding its borders with Morocco to take care to prevent injuries when tackling migrants who scramble over the fences into Spanish territory, after evidence of abuse by officers sparked outrage. READ  

Wild weather
Freak winter wave 'was Spain's biggest ever'
The wave which hit during wild winter storms nudged out the previous holder of Spain's biggest wave: a 26.13-metre giant near the city of Santander during 2009's dramatic Cyclone Klaus. File photo: Be

Freak winter wave 'was Spain's biggest ever'

A genuine 'freak' wave in January 2014 broke all existing Spanish records, officials said on Wednesday after the release of new data. READ  

The Local List
Top ten: things your Spanish 'mamá' says
You had better listen up. Photo of woman with wooden spoon: Shutterstock

Top ten: things your Spanish 'mamá' says

Spanish mothers are renowned for their close relationships with their children. But while they may come across as over-protective, they ultimately do it because they care. Here, The Local lists ten things she might say. READ  

Gay teens pelted with stones outside school
Participants at Madrid's Gay Pride event in June 2013. File photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

Gay teens pelted with stones outside school

Gay groups have called for tougher anti-homophobia laws in the wake of an incident which saw a gay teenage girl left unconscious after she was pelted with stones after leaving school in Spain's Murcia region on Monday. READ  

Spain's thalidomide victims lose damages bid
Opponents to a memorial dedicated to the victims of thalidomide in Germany. File photo: Henning Kaiser/DPA/AFP

Spain's thalidomide victims lose damages bid

A Madrid court has overturned a 2013 sentence which would have seen German pharmaceutical company handing Grünenthal paying millions of euros in damages to Spanish victims of the faulty drug. READ  

Summer love: Spain sees tourism record

Summer love: Spain sees tourism record

Spain welcomed a record 31 million international visitors this summer in what looks set to be another record-breaking year, the Spanish government said on Wednesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands
Health
Cured: Spanish nurse with Ebola beats virus
International
Mango apologizes for 'Nazi blouse'
National
Where's the best place to live in Spain?
Travel
Top ten: great autumn getaways in Spain
National
The great Spanish cities quiz: take it now
National
Revealed: the cost of expat food in Spain
Politics
Catalan leader calls independence vote 'lite'
What's On
Games of Thrones star 'barred' from Seville film set
Health
Spanish nurse contracts Ebola in Madrid
National
Madrid starts fining users of Uber 'taxi' app
Education
Only one Spanish university makes world's top 200
What's On
What's on in Spain: October 2014
Politics
Spanish court suspends Catalan independence vote
National
Catalonia defies Madrid and calls independence vote
National
Spanish village swaps bulls for giant balls
Society
Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law
National
Spain's royal 'bad boy' to be sent to UK school
National
'This is a great time for entrepreneurs in Spain'
National
Loud porn movie scares locals into calling cops
National
'We'll axe Catalan autonomy but won't send in tanks'
National
Spain's Thatcher square defaced by 'Brits'
National
Top 10: best Spanish movies of all time
National
Gravedigger suspended for corpse photo gaffe
Society
Named: the best city to live in Spain
National
Catalonia's 'Diada': 5 things you need to know
Travel
Top ten amazing activities in Tenerife
National
Spain opens door to ban on burqas
Travel
Top ten: best bike rides in Spain
Travel
Spain to reopen 'world's most dangerous walk': The Camino del Rey
National
'Catalonia could be the shock Spain needs'
National
Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions
Sport
Think you know Spanish football? Try these amazing facts
International
Australia set to welcome young Spanish workers
Opinion
Is tourism destroying Barcelona?
Society
Fashion fail: Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids
National
Man hurt as friend swaps ice bucket for plane
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Politics
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
International
Spanish police mistake Morocco's king for people smuggler
What's On
What's on in Spain: September
Society
Miss Spain comes out of closet on Instagram
Travel
Top ten: Spain's best natural swimming pools
Property
'Dying' town flogs off land for €200 to woo new blood
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,730
jobs available