• Police unit used to dislodge 15-M protesters cut to 80 officers
• Police reassigned to other duties in line with city budget limitations
Madrid’s new municipal government has moved to reduce by 50 percent the number of police in the city’s anti-riot police unit and will no longer be used to police protest demonstrations or to enforce tenant evictions from buildings in the city.
The administration of the city’s new activist mayor Manuela Carmena has directed the police to cut the number of officers assigned to the 11-year-ld police unit to just 80, who will now be used solely to police illegal street sales of merchandise, music concerts and similar events.
The Madrid anti-disturbance police were used repeatedly in police actions against the indignados movement of grassroots activists against mortgage foreclosures and evictions in 2011 and were highly visible in the violent and controversial removal of protesters of 15-M movement from Madrid’s Puerta del Sol in 2011.
Among reasons cited by the Carmena administration for the reduction in the anti-riot force is the need to reassign officers of the 6,800-member police force to other duties within the budget limitations faced by the municipal government.