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article imageCost cutting: Spain's national police buy own bullet-proof vests

By Anne Sewell     Jun 4, 2013 in World
Madrid - Due to lack of government funding, many members of the Spanish national police are being forced to cough up around €1,000 each for bullet-proof vests and slash-resistant clothing.
There are several branches of the police force in Spain, and the National Police Corps are those responsible for dealing with high-risk situations, such as armed robberies. However, with the current austerity measures and budget cuts in the country, they are digging deep in their own pockets for their protection in such dangerous incidents.
José María Benito Celador, a spokesperson for the Unified Police Union (SUP) told the Local:
“On average each national policeman has to pay €1,000 for bullet-proof vests, slash resistant gloves and other equipment that can be the difference between life and death.”
“A lot of this kit is only guaranteed to be effective for ten years, so the investment has to be made again.”
According to police sources, a lot of the equipment given to officers is in disrepair, and this can only worsen with the current economic crisis.
SUP has warned that only half of Spain’s national police force have their own slash-resistant gloves and even fewer are equipped with bullet-proof vests. Each individual officer is also expected to buy other routine equipment, including boots, holsters, new uniforms and torches.
“The government has to invest in the safety of the people who are fighting to protect Spanish citizens,” Celador said.
“Other police forces like the local police, who don’t have to deal with such dangerous situations, get their funding from regional governments and are far better equipped, and paid, than Spain’s national police."
More about Spain, national police, Force, Bullet proof vests, Austerity measures
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