SPANISH POLICE - WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
It can be a little confusing to most newcomers to Spain, that there are three separate Police Forces that operate, with varying responsibilities, all of whom are armed.
The Guardia Civil - Wear green uniforms and were generally feared during Franco's era due to their far reaching influence and control. These days they are responsible for national security, customs and for crowd control at large events. Their traffic department vehicles patrol the main highways with green and white coloured cars and motorbikes and organise radar speeding checks. They are very pro-active in setting up roadside checkpoints to check various documentation, so don't be alarmed if you are stopped at any time of the day or night - But remember that this is all the more reason to have your paperwork in order and kept in your glove compartment.
The National Police - Wear a black uniform and blue or white shirts, some officers may wear a blue military uniform and some are armed as their duties include guarding public building and personnel.
They are responsible for most day to day crime investigation and it is to them that you should go to make a denuncia for any crime that you may be a victim ie stolen credit cards, passport etc. They will provide you with the necessary documentation to supply to your bank/insurance company etc. The SATE office can help you with this process.
The Local Municipal Police - Wear blue and white uniforms and are basically Town Hall Officials. Their main responsibilities include Parking violations, guarding
the street crossings at School times and upholding the local Bye Laws (Like Building & Safety regulations) in the Municipal area. Although they too are armed, they are very approachable by residents and Tourists alike as they are essentially working in the Interests of the local community.
GEO - Spain also has an elite special operations group ( Grupo Especial de Operaciones/GEO) responsible for combating terrorism and dealing with other extreme situations, in addition to guarding Spanish ambassadors and embassies abroad. Other ’police’ forces include the port police ( policia de puerto) in sea ports, whose jurisdiction is limited to the property of the local junta del puerto, and armed guards (vigilantes jurados) employed by banks and security companies.
091 for the national
092 for the civil guard.
You must usually dial a local number for the municipal police, although dialing 092 will get you connected to the local police station or get your message relayed.
For a full list of ALL Emergency telephone numbers click HERE