The City Police, committed to the elimination of violence against women

Safety and prevention. Today, 25 November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The City Police works to prevent, detect and address male violence towards women in different spheres. Internal procedures and training have been updated in recent years, and participation in different cross-cutting work groups has been stepped up.

The City Police intervene in situations of male violence towards women every day. The corps intervened where required in 1,533 cases last year (there were 2,345 formal reports of this nature), and in the period up to 30 September 2020 they have intervened in over 1,800 incidents.

In this respect, work done at a local level by the City Police is very important as it helps detect situations where the indicators for these types of situations apply.

The expertise acquired and its role in these situations puts the corps in a key position for combating violence towards women. Because of this, the City Police takes part in various City Council initiatives to improve prevention and care for women who suffer sexist violence.

To do this, a new service and management model has been established with strategic areas that include (1) innovation, anticipating a review of the generation of information and its flow in all areas of the organisation; (2) coordination of the safety and security system with all stakeholders, and (3) the promotion of an organisational culture aimed at the ongoing improvement of the service and work by projects.

What action has been implemented?

Internal procedures and training have been brought up to date and the corps now plays a greater role in different cross-cutting work groups. Action implemented includes:

Operational procedure for intervention in situations of male violence towards women (2019). This procedure built on the existing one, adding more types of action and regulating care for victims, intervention with protected victims, those in irregular situations and those with protection orders or minors in their care.

Training for members of the corps. All members of the City Police have received the necessary training to bring them up to date with the previous operational procedure. At the same time, neighbourhood police teams have had the necessary training from the Directorate for Feminism and LGBTI at Barcelona City Council, for instance on the function of the Care, Recovery and Shelter Service and the shelter operation for situations of male violence towards women.

Participation in circuits against male violence. The City Police is part of the Barcelona Circuit against Sexist Violence, through a commander at a city level and a reference figure from each neighbourhood police team who take part in the territorial circuits for each district. This capitalises on the proximity of the neighbourhood police to improve detection and the referral of women who suffer gender violence.

Prevention at local festivals and coordination with anti-sexism stands and operations (purple points). The City Police takes part in safety operations for city festivals and local festivals in neighbourhoods and districts. In many cases this involves coordinating with anti-sexism stands and operations. At the festivities for La Mercè, a specific operation was set up for sexist violence, with safe routes and specific dissemination in coordination with the Directorate for Feminism and LGBTI.

Human Trafficking Unit. This unit of the City Police started working in 2006 and helps detect and monitor cases of violence towards women

Gender and Security Working Group. The Area for Safety and Prevent set this working group up in 2019. It is made up of staff from the City Police, the Prevention, Extinction, Fire and Rescue Service, and the Manager’s Office and Deputy Mayor’s Office for the same area. One of the main goals is to improve the response to citizens by including the gender perspective in action on prevention, safety and emergencies.

Security in nightlife with the gender perspective. Work has gone into a coordination protocol between police corps and private surveillance companies at nightlife venues to act in cases of sexual violence.

Prevention and detection of sexist violence during the state of emergency for Covid-19. With the state of emergency decreed for the Covid-19 health crisis, a work group was set up to proactively monitor situations of sexist violence in the city and improve coordination and care for women who suffer it. The group is made up of different municipal areas and the Mossos d’Esquadra police corps.