Safety, mobility and a community spirit

  • A Guàrdia Urbana police officer patrolling a street in Barcelona, which is decorated for Christmas.
  • Two Guàrdia Urbana police officers patrolling a street in Barcelona, which is decorated for Christmas.

Health measures

This year, special efforts will be made to ensure compliance with the health measures. Officers will be prioritising the surveillance and control of public spaces, reinforcing their night-time service and deploying special units to control illegal parties.

In addition, officers will be assigned to regulating pedestrian flows along the Avinguda del Portal de l’Àngel area to prevent crowding.

Due to the Christmas festivities, Barcelona City Council will be running Operation Christmas up to 10 January, a special measure for ensuring safety, mobility, positive community life and civic behaviour remain at acceptable levels during the time of year when use of public space is at its most intense and for guaranteeing compliance with the health and safety measures established by Procicat.

The area of action of this operation will include all the city's districts, although special attention will be paid to the more crowded areas, the city centre and Barcelona's various shopping hubs. As part of this operation, both the Guàrdia Urbana [city police] and the Mossos d’Esquadra [Catalan regional police] will be stepping up their presence in public spaces and shopping hubs, carrying out local patrol and preventive duties.

The Guàrdia Urbana will continue paying special attention to compliance with the healthcare measures. Officers will prioritise surveillance and control of public spaces, extra night-time services will be maintained, there will be specific deployments to control illegal parties and/or shared consumption of alcoholic drinks, and social networks will continue to be monitored to detect any illegal parties.

Police forces will intensify their surveillance to ensure compliance with the following measures:

  • Mandatory wearing of face masks in public streets and squares and in outdoor spaces
  • Consumption of tobacco and similar products
  • Shared consumption of alcoholic drinks
  • Restricted numbers of people at public-area gatherings
  • Social distancing
  • Opening times of premises to the public

Regulating pedestrian flows and mobility measures

The Guàrdia Urbana will be ensuring traffic congestion is avoided by establishing measures to keep traffic flowing and enable both pedestrian and vehicle mobility.

Barcelona’s police force has established a  set of measures regulating pedestrian flows in the Avinguda del Portal de l’Àngel area and its surroundings, to prevent the build up of crowds as much as possible, where necessary.

These measures involve the establishment of a one-way route for pedestrians along this street in the direction from mountain to sea. Pedestrians who access the street via any of the cross streets will have no choice but to walk in the direction towards the sea. It will not be permitted to access Av. Portal de l’Àngel from Plaça de Cucurulla or Plaça Nova. Likewise, a one-way route for pedestrians will be established along Carrer de la Portaferrissa in the Besòs-to-Llobregat direction.

The mandatory routes will also affect customers leaving establishments on public streets; hence the collaboration the measure is receiving from retailer organisations and associations, commercial premises, public car parks and other affected organisations. If these measures are activated, the security staff of each establishment will be asked to collaborate.

In the specific case of the Santa Llúcia Fair, its protocol already establishes the organiser's responsibility in controlling access points, visitor numbers, one-way lanes, social distancing, wearing of masks and so on.

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The Guàrdia Urbana will be putting special emphasis on controlling offences that may affect the safety of pedestrians, such as failure to respect the right of way at pedestrian crossings and traffic lights, and riding on pavements. Action will also be taken against vehicles that are double parked or that obstruct public transport.

In the event of road closures, diversions and/or other traffic-restriction measures, citizens will be informed via information panels. Drivers will likewise receive messages on the state of traffic and the availability of parking spaces.

At the same time, Barcelona's police force will be stepping up its preventive breathalyser and drug-testing controls, to reduce accident rates during this highly festive period, and boosting its response to traffic violations. Particular attention will be paid to accident black spots to reduce the number of traffic-accident victims.

Local policing

To ensure positive community life and prevent criminal offences in these highly crowded areas, there will be extra uniformed and mixed patrols on foot, deployed in areas with large numbers of people out shopping. These patrols will adapt their service to the needs that arise in each area and the service will be implemented alongside all the other police initiatives provided for under this plan.

The main actions of these patrols will be to ensure the safety of city residents and prevent criminal activities, and deal with any breaches of regulations that may disturb positive community life or local residents’ peace and tranquillity. They will also be responsible for local policing, helping and assisting the general public and for the general surveillance of public areas.

The Guàrdia Urbana’s Neighbourhood Police teams will be establishing the appropriate contacts with neighbourhood representatives and local retailers.

The Guàrdia Urbana police will also be carrying out inspections of crowded premises and responding to offences relating to noise nuisance, overcrowding and consumption of alcohol by minors, whether inside premises or out on the street. They will ensure that closing times are respected by these establishments, especially in outdoor terraces.

Public transport

As regards travel during this period, Barcelona City Council is advising people to use public transport for getting round the city’s more central areas.

Further information

 

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Health measures

This year, special efforts will be made to ensure compliance with the health measures. Officers will be prioritising the surveillance and control of public spaces, reinforcing their night-time service and deploying special units to control illegal parties.

In addition, officers will be assigned to regulating pedestrian flows along the Avinguda del Portal de l’Àngel area to prevent crowding.

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