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Riot cops to shoot ‘thugs’ with helmet cameras

Troublemakers at Spanish football grounds will find it harder to hide now that Spanish anti-riot cops are set to wear high-tech cameras in their helmets.

Riot cops to shoot 'thugs' with helmet cameras
Spain's anti-riot police have been under scrutiny in recent months for what a sector of Spanish society claims are excessively violent methods. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

The move has been backed by Spain's Football Association RFEF, which has already given 18 prototypes to Spain's Police Intervention Unit UIP.

Their aim is to more easily identify aggressors whenever fights break out at Spanish stadiums as well as to assess the behaviour of police officers during altercations.

"It'll be an improvement in safety for everybody," a spokesperson for the UIP told Spanish news agency Europa Press.

Up to now, anti-riot cops at sporting events in Spain have had to carry handheld camcorders to monitor brawls, a method which left a lot of questions unanswered about who the main perpetrators were and if police had used the correct modus operandi.

Spain's anti-riot police have been under scrutiny in recent months for what a sector of Spanish society claims are excessively violent methods during the countless street protests the country is seeing.

Last Tuesday, a Barcelona judge ordered two Catalan anti-riot officers to testify before him after a woman claimed she lost an eye when a rubber bullet hit her during a November 14 demonstration.

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POLICE

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.

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