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#86467 - 01/30/10 05:11 AM Random police searches ( Madrid )
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Guys . A British friend of mine was recently stopped in Madrid and "interrogated " as she put it by the police .
By law here you must carry ID of some sort so please bear that in mind if you´re travelling here . For the Brits , a photocopy of your passport should be sufficient since we don´t have ID cards ( I certainly never carry my passport with me ) .
I´m wondering whether this is connected to the upgrade of a terrorist threat in the UK to " severe " ( highly likely ) . Spain , of course has been the target of one of the worst European terrorist attacks ever. Maybe there´s a crackdown ordered by the authorities here in Spain .
I don´t know yet why they singled her out accept that she´s black and I REALLY hope that wasn´t the reason . When I get more info I´ll pass it on . She is not a happy lady right now .
The reason . I´m posting this is that in 5 years of living here I´ve never heard of this sort of thing happening . I´ve been asked for my "papers" many times in Moscow but never in Spain .

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#86469 - 01/30/10 08:09 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: steve robinson]
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
That IS surprising!! Was the friend SURE it was the real police and not these swindlers whom claim to be police to get you to pull out your passport?

Except for the swindlers, I've never heard of such a thing either. Maybe the police have too much time on their hands these days.

Sometimes, citizens/tourists feel that the slightest question by the police is an interrogation and get all bent out of shape. Hope she's not that type to say, "How dare you question me! Don't you know I'm English/American/Australian/Whatever!" to a police-person doing his/her job. I only mention it because there are a lot of these "Ugly Travelers" around.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#86472 - 01/30/10 11:02 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: MadridMan]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Yeah I understand where you´re coming from on this MM . MY friend is a very intelligent ( and beautiful .. not that that´s relevant ) young lady .. but she is young and maybe she reacted badly ... I´ll find out soon .
I have to say that having had contact with various aspects of the police , I´ve always found them polite and friendly .
If a policeman stopped me in the street and demanded my papers etc.. It wouldn´t be a problem . I can only assume that my friend had a bad experience . Watch this space !
When I get asked for my papers in Moscow , I certainly don´t go crazy and start waving my British passport in their faces ... I´d be in jail before you knew it !
The police and all the emergency services are there to protect ... yes there are some bad apples .. but it´s worth keeping calm with them .

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#86475 - 01/30/10 12:30 PM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: steve robinson]
PADM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 46
Loc: Madrid
You must carry your ID card always. Our DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad) was created in 1944 to control the people ( we were under a dictatorship). Nowdays, it is supposed to be a good tool against crime.

I'm afraid your friend was chosen because she's black. They were looking for illegal inmigrants. A lot of my latin pupils have had that kind of "meetings" with the police. Why they pursue inmigrants as criminals is an interesting question that I don't know how to answer.

I'm so sorry.

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#86478 - 01/31/10 05:16 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: PADM]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
The problem is PADM that in Reino Unido we do not have ID cards !! Only passports . And i would feel very uncomfortable carrying my passport in the city . So now I have a photocopy of my passport to show the police if they ask .

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#86491 - 02/02/10 06:19 PM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: steve robinson]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
photocopy is ok, Spanish carry DNI as in most of the UE, I carry my CDI but in Spain I use my old DNI when those days of yesterday, still has my old address on it,and since nieces live there so...

however, they have been some stories in travel forum about Police fakers on tourist/visitors, so a real police will agree to take you to a station if indeed there is an infraction and you are not sure of the validity of the person.

Spain has a problem with immigrants because it is an open port by air, sea,and land then they get into other parts of the UE so the govts have ask for more security there.
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#86496 - 02/03/10 04:02 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: pedmar]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Thanks Pedmar ... good information indeed !
I have read about the fake policemen .. And even when I had police arrive at my apartment from the C17 unit they always will show ID if you ask . Also , in España , police will not normally cross the threshold of you house unless you invite them in ! That´s a rule unless they have good information that you are doing something bad .
I´ve said this many times , but it´s worth repeating .. La policía municipal ( Madrid ) , El Cuerpo nacional de Policía , and the Guardia Civil are fantastic here in the City ... They do an amazing job ! Always polite , always helpful and always efficient . Madrid´s finest !

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#86500 - 02/03/10 05:36 PM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: steve robinson]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
Yes Madrid finest, but do not want to meet them hehehe! There was a time when they were not,and I threw rocks at them and swang baseball bats, but those were the old govt days if you know the history ::)
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#86513 - 02/05/10 05:46 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: pedmar]
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
I was walking through my neighborhood on the way to the metro on Wednesday and noticed the following; A couple of policemen crossed the street and asked a man standing on the corner if he was waiting for someone, he said no, he wasn't waiting for anyone. The policemen then asked him to show some I.D. which he did - as I was walking away. That's when I remembered this thread. The man on the corner was just standing there, arms crossed over his chest, tallish and thin, maybe in his mid-40s and near shoulder-length hair, may have been gypsy. Just standing there. Not sure if he matched a description of someone for whom they were searching or if they were carrying out an order to question (not interrogate) anyone whom didn't seem to belong. Who knows.
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#86518 - 02/05/10 10:10 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: MadridMan]
Val Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 42
Loc: Madrid
I have read and heard on the news that the police, as mentioned earlier, is "cracking down" on immigration. If an illegal immigrant is encountered, he/she is given a warning. After a few warnings (I'm not sure how many), the person can actually be deported. Questioning tends to be at places where there are a lot of immigrants, such as near metro stops, and those who "look like" immigrants or do not look Spanish are normally the people questioned. It's getting harder to be an immigrant here, especially for illegal ones.

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#86558 - 02/10/10 11:49 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: Val]
Yankaluz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/05
Posts: 112
Loc: SoCal, USA
Sounds like racial profiling. A very tough issue to deal with. I mean, let's face it, if you are an illegal resident who happens to look Anglo or more politically correctly said, light skinned/eyes caucasian then your chances for being profiled are lessen... by a large margin, meanwhile, anyone resembling a gitano, moro, etc... u catch my drift...
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#86569 - 02/10/10 03:25 PM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: Yankaluz]
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
JUST TODAY I saw a policeman questioning a couple guys whom, to me, seemed to be Eastern European. They were showing papers and all that and the cop was on the radio for what seemed like 15 minutes, presumably awaiting confirmation of their status. They were let go as I saw them in the street a couple hours later.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#86579 - 02/12/10 06:58 AM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: MadridMan]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
NO&DO Yankaluz . It is racial profiling and whilst I an FAR from being racist , the police have to check on those that fit profiles in this crazy world of terrorism and crime .
Madrid , of course , suffered terribly from the train bomb that killed nearly 200 people ( I am referring specifically to Spain and in no way ignoring what happened in NYC or , for that matter in London and other countries ) .. Spain does not want to see that happen again , and yet intelligence suggests there will be another major terrorist attack in Europe .
If the police did not make these checks then they would be criticised .
The fact is , that Spain faces terrorism from muslim extremists ( not all muslims ! ) , and from ETA .
Less serious , they face crime instigated by a minority ( I really mean "a minority" of gypsies ( gitanos ) and East European immigrants .
The police cannot ignore the statistics and have to act . I don´t think that´s racism , I think it´s common sense , and it´s for the communities being targeted to get their "houses" in order and drive out the people that are staining their reputations .

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#86584 - 02/12/10 02:41 PM Re: Random police searches ( Madrid ) [Re: steve robinson]
Yankaluz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/05
Posts: 112
Loc: SoCal, USA
There's no way to tackle this subject without getting argumentative, one side will get the short straw in the name of a cause, the other gets a sweeter end, it all depends on what side you fall in so your believes and emotions will differ.

As an example, I have seen reports over the different statistics on US population of what group and where represent what,,, I shall clarify without naming anyone.

We have a percentage of an US group that represents X% of the US population falling under a minority, yet Y% of incarcerated and convicted members of this same group representing a majority in jail... What do you make of it !?!?!?

You can not apply simple mathematical solutions to a far more complex human factors, despite the clear numbers, it does not quiet correlate. You can claim "common sense".

After all the attacks and intelligence gathered leading to a potential danger soon to come, we will fail miserably as people when we isolate and flag ourselves based on what appears to be a simple mathematical deduction. It is not simple at all and yet it may at times be necessary,,, thus contradicting my own belief against racial/ethnic profiling.

I don't have a solution and I was once told that if you don't have a solution then you are part of the problem, it may be the case, however, if the suspect of a heinous crime hides in a building, you don't floor the whole building killing everybody inside just because you know the criminal will perish too... you have to use tactic and explore other methods. I know that this analogy does not quiet fit the topic, I am not eloquent enough and this topic is clearly very complex as it is.

The bottom line is that there is no easy solution and that it may be a necessary evil, unfortunately for those fitting the profiles, they will have a much worse social experience and I'm not talking about being pulled over every once in while and asked about identification, no, I'm talking about the whole social degradation that this leads to, from educational options, employment opportunities, residential choices, social status, etc, etc, etc,,, it's a vicious circle where as long as we don't fully accept equality and continue to scrutinize a group, we as people will continue to fail every time...

I told you this was complicated! wink

See if the aliens (Outer of space types) can come back and sort this mess we made out !!!







Edited by NO&DO Yankaluz (02/12/10 02:44 PM)
_________________________
AKA "NO&DO Yankaluz"
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