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POLICE

Spanish criminal sentenced to take part in identity parades

Forget prison or a hefty fine, one Spaniard has been ordered by a judge “to take part in police line-ups” after being found guilty of traffic offences.

Spanish criminal sentenced to take part in identity parades
Archive photo of police ID parade. Photo: Oslo police / Wikimedia commons

In what many may see as a light punishment, a man caught driving without a licence was told he could avoid a six-month prison sentence and €775 fine if he agreed to undertake line-up duty.

He will have to be available between 9am and 3pm Monday to Thursday over a period of nine months starting in March and will only be called if he shares similar characteristics to the suspect.

The court in A Coruña in the northwestern region of Galicia made the deal under new guidelines issued by Spain’s Judicary and Mnistry of Interior to allow offenders undertaking community service to be used in identity parades.

Police have long struggled to find volunteers to take part in identity parades which involve a witness or victim attempting to pick out a suspect from a line-up of similar individuals.

The sentence, the first of its kind, serves “an important pilot test in a process that needs better coordination so as to be available to all courts quickly and simply,” said Judge Antonio Perez Loma.

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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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