Monday, December 6

“Good evening, gentleman, where are you going?”: First police controls to comply with restrictions in Madrid

Two patrol cars and two vans of the National Police arrived after 22.00 this Friday at the point where Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana converges with the Manoteras junction to set up the first vehicle exit surveillance control from Madrid, just as it entered The ban on leaving the city to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is in force. The officers got out, set up the cones, and began to stop traffic. “Good evening, sir, where are you going?” The officials received the first drivers, in a performance that lasted barely an hour. Another control, on the M30 at Entrevías, did the same in the south of the city.

It is already October and at night it begins to cool in the capital, so the agents’ blue masks, matching the uniforms, also served to protect from the cold. Officials divided control into two successive zones. Ahead, an initial contact where it was ordered to stop or was instructed to follow the arriving car; Behind, next to one of the vans, another group of agents waited in case they had to do a more exhaustive examination, through which at the end of the operation half a dozen vehicles ended up passing.

The National Police came to support the work of the Local, in line with what was announced by the Government after the meeting between the president of the central Executive, Pedro Sánchez, and that of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The powers are municipal and the National Police is there to give support, something that the Civil Guard can also do depending on the demarcation, according to a spokesman for the Government Delegation. However, the regional government believes that this aid is late, according to what the Minister of Justice, Enrique López, alleged in an interview on Telemadrid collected by Europa Press. “They told us to determine our needs to transfer them to the Government and until today there were no personnel to control the basic health areas. It was clear that they did not want or believe in the Madrid system or in other measures that had been implemented. the Community “, criticized López, who insisted that the controls will only be informative, as long as the judges do not ratify the imposed measures.

The counselor’s words were in contrast to one of the officers’ explanations of the device to a driver. “Do you have proof of work? Tomorrow this comes into effect,” they warned one of the first cars that stopped, flanked by a colleague with a submachine gun, the only one who carried it, in line with the will to convey that the current situation is it is as serious as during the state of alarm. Although most drivers were given free access to continue without stopping, when someone was ordered to brake, a small queue was generated on the road, except for buses, which were allowed to pass through the right lane. The points chosen, in Manoteras and Entrevías, allow traffic control between the municipalities affected by the closure (Fuenlabrada, Parla, Alcobendas, Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Getafe, Leganés, Móstoles and Alcalá de Henares), all in the Madrid community. One of the agents pointed out in the middle of the operation that all the drivers questioned were aware of the perimeter closure.

Devices like yesterday’s will work at least until the National Court decides on the appeal filed by the Government of the Community of Madrid against the closure, a circumstance that may take several days. In this sense, this first night recalled the initial day of restrictions on movement in the health areas of the community with the highest incidence of coronavirus, when the police action was also informative. The limitations of then were canceled with the entry into force of the perimeter closure last night, so that residents of those areas, especially in the south of the capital and neighboring municipalities, will now have fewer impediments to move within the city, despite to the general closure. Yesterday, in any case, the police action ended at five minutes after 11:00 pm, when a command exclaimed “Let’s get up!” and the agents ran to collect the cones. “Yes, yes, everything has gone well,” confirmed another official before getting into the vehicle and leaving.