Violence against separatists is not the only policing concern—the rivalry between different forces means gaps in intelligence sharing are not being closed, putting all Europe in dangerby Claire Spencer / October 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
On a visit I made to Barcelona just ahead of the controversial referendum on Catalan independence of 1st October, my local interlocutors were clear: the ongoing crisis is more political than constitutional, and dialogue is the only way forward. President Puigdemont, who heads the autonomous government of Catalonia, now seems to think so too.
Dialogue is particularly urgently needed over the policing of Catalonia. The violent treatment of would-be voters captured headlines at the start of the month—but there is even more at stake. Following the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and neighbouring town of Cambrils seven weeks ago, local media reports highlighted the lack of trust between the national and local police forces that play a security role in Catalonia. Crucial evidence and intelligence was apparently not shared between the different services in the lead up to the August attacks, which if pieced together could have heightened suspicions about the Moroccan terror group’s international trips to Paris and Brussels and its ringleader’s criminal past.