A night patrolling the streets of Logroño

When the city has already entered the darkness of the night and only the streetlights illuminate the streets, the agents of the Logroño Local Police proceed to organize themselves into groups to go out distributed in different vehicles. It’s 12:40 a.m. the rainy early morning of Sunday and, although there has not yet been any notable incident, the van, along with the overcrowded car and the unmarked one, cross the gate that delimits the police station parking lot to head to their first destinations.

Already on Bretón Street, two night shift patrols – one of them dressed in civilian clothes – try to avoid as much as possible the uncivil behavior that greatly affects the rest of the neighbors. To do this, the agents, during their journey on foot, inspect the terraces of the different hospitality establishments – to ensure that they comply with the ordinance and do not exceed the authorized space – and pay special attention to ensuring that glasses of water are not provided. plastic – it is prohibited to take the drink outside – nor are there any disturbances caused by music in those that have a terrace. Soon, however, a colleague warns through the walkie-talkie that a young man is “a little dizzy” in La Laurel. His friends, at that precise moment, recognized the police officers who came to the notice that he had consumed ketamine, so they proceeded to call an ambulance and sit him near a bar on Bretón Street so that he would be calm while the paramedics arrived. . Almost to the minute, a man decides to take advantage of the presence of the agents to resolve his great concern of the night: where is a hostel to sleep in the capital of Rioja?

Different interventions. Up raid on a bar. To the right, control on Chile Street. Left, Local Police officers search the customers of a bar in a joint operation with the National Police.

Sonia Third

After 1:15 a.m., they receive a call from a neighbor on Bretón Street who warns that “there is a lot of commotion,” but there are only three groups sitting on the terrace. It rains, and the weather does not encourage us to stay there. Already around 1:30 a.m., the patrol with which this reporter goes goes to the alcohol, drugs and citizen security control (in which, according to the profile, vehicles and their occupants are also searched) enabled on María Zambrano street . It does not go unnoticed: 16 vehicles parade through it, of which one driver tests positive, and two bags with narcotic substances are seized.

The agents monitor the control of the hospitality ordinance and try to discourage urinating on public roads. In a first control, a driver tests positive and two reports are drawn up for illicit possession of narcotic substances. As the night goes by, complaints of uncivil behavior and a driver tests positive in another check

The night continues and, around 1:40 a.m., more than twenty agents from the Local and National Police prepare to abandon their vehicles and participate in a raid. The objective of this joint action is a bar on Vitoria Street where they suspect that drugs are being consumed. The intervention soon bears fruit, as narcotic substances are found. In total, twenty-four people were identified and four charges were filed for illicit possession of these substances. The search, however, requires a colleague from the Local Police to search two women who hide the substances in their bras.

“Are you secret or not?”

Around 03:00, on the way to the Market Square, several patrols try to dissuade those who are partying from urinating on public roads. “To the bar, go to the bar because in the end I’m going to report you,” says an agent dressed in civilian clothes to a man who, although at first it seems like he’s going to pee in Marqués de San Nicolás, decides not to do so after being surprised with the policeman’s flashlight – which shines on him when he notices his behavior -.

Near them, however, the first sanctions are beginning to be imposed. In fact, in just a quarter of an hour, seven people are surprised by the three agents who are with the reporter. All of them care little about the place: in the middle of the Market Square, between the containers, on a fence on Caballería Street, on the façade of La Redonda, in the Rioja Culture Center (in Mercaderes) or in Herrerías, where a Local Police car is parked. “We have warned a lot of people,” one of them acknowledges.

There are those, however, who avoid a fine – which amounts to 300 euros – because they are wary of police intervention. In fact, a young man, around three thirty, prefers to walk around the agents because he suspects that he may be punished. “Are you secret or not?” He asks them before being advised to urinate inside a bar because “there is a patrol that is fining them.” “That’s why I’m careful, yes,” he replies before leaving. At almost 4:00 a.m., on Villamediana Street, a driver tests positive for several substances, so the agents proceed to notify the tow truck to move his vehicle to the warehouse.

Later, on Marqués de San Nicolás Street, a young man is caught urinating in the middle of the street. “It won’t happen again, I’m sorry,” he promises the agent before trying to convince him not to report him. “I’m going home. “I’m really sorry,” he reiterates before the policeman reproaches him that he cannot urinate in the street. “I know, I’m sorry,” he says, already with the fine in his hand. As the night goes by, the complaints of uncivil behavior increase and, already after 5:00 a.m., a driver who has tested positive is detained at a breathalyzer test on Chile Street.

The day – which according to the night shift sub-inspector of the Logroño Local Police, José Luis Molina, has been “more or less quiet at night” – ends with 110 calls, 10 medical assistance (for cuts, for example), some alcohol poisoning, 6 complaints of nuisance between neighbors, 25 for urinating in public and another 10 for graffiti or shouting. There are no arrests, but three traffic accidents have also been recorded.

Exhaustive work to “ensure citizen security”

During the weekends, the night service of the Logroño Local Police always tries to respond to three main areas of intervention. These, explains the chief commissioner, Héctor Ruiz, include compliance with municipal ordinances “to try to avoid as much as possible the uncivil behavior that most affects rest”; traffic and security, through “controls at different points and times in the city, which are chosen strategically.” And a group dedicated to the control of citizen security, in which they carry out “special impact when bars and nightclubs close, because that is when the most sensitive interventions for security occur, with fights with possible dangerous instruments.” Hence, the police presence on the street tries to “guarantee greater objective and subjective security through uniformed patrols and those working in plain clothes, who ensure that security and tranquility.”

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