Catalan cop jailed for tow truck revenge

A Barcelona policeman has been locked up for 18 months prison and slapped with a €400 penalty after he fined four tow trucks in "retaliation" after his own parked car was towed away.

Catalan cop jailed for tow truck revenge
The avenging officer slapped four tow trucks with false fines after his own car was towed away. File photo: albir/Flickr

The court found the man guilty on Friday of issuing four tickets to municipal tow trucks for supposedly jumping red lights between October 2010 and February 2011.

According to Catalan daily El Periodico, the court statement declared that the fines were issued as "retaliation" after his own car was hit with a fine.

The policeman, an officer in the city's Guardia Urbana, issued the tickets "knowing" the red lights had never been run.

In one case, the tow truck had not yet left the depot at the time of the alleged infraction.

Other vehicles were fined while still in the garage or while they were elsewhere in streets across the city.

The man was found guilty of falsifying a official documents and of abusing his office as a policeman – for which he received the custodial sentence – despite a full confession and the mitigating circumstance of mental illness.

The court judged that the man acted in a "confused manner, with a greatly affected capacity to both reason and act" because of depression caused by relationship problems and for which he required medical help, according to statements by psychologists and psychiatrists.

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Spain’s Civil Guard police officers allowed to have visible tattoos

Spain on Monday relaxed its policy banning officers from the country's oldest police force, the Guardia Civil, from exhibiting tattoos.

civil guard spain gun
The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Officers will now be allowed to display tattoos anywhere on their bodies “as long as they do not contain expressions that violate constitutional values or harm the discipline or image of the force,” the interior minister said in a statement.

“For the first time visible tattoos will be allowed on uniformed officers,” it added.

On the other hand, the decree prohibits hoop earrings, spikes, plugs and other inserts when they are visible in uniform, “except regular earrings, for both male and female personnel”.

The Guardia Civil mainly patrols and investigates crimes in rural areas, while Spain’s National Police focuses on urban areas.

Last year Spain’s leftist government appointed a woman to head the force for the first time in its 177-year history.

The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use.

Los Angeles police are required to ensure that tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty, while France’s Gendarmes police force also requires that they be covered.