Madrid starts project to tackle youth gang violence

by Lorraine Williamson
Madrid gang violence

MADRID – After last Saturday’s violence between Latin American youth gangs in Madrid, the regional government has launched an “action plan against youth gangs”. Two young people aged 15 and 25 were stabbed to death in the violence. 

The first phase of the plan started on Thursday and will continue until February 28. It will be implemented in 11 districts of Madrid and 10 municipalities in the periphery of the Spanish capital. Over 500 police officers from the National Police Corps are deployed to patrol, among other things, metros and parks. 

This should deter youth gangs in possession of prohibited stabbing weapons such as machetes. In Spain, it is prohibited to possess and carry a knife with a blade larger than 11 centimetres. 

Police Surveillance 

The regional council hopes the increased surveillance will enable gang members to be tracked down and identified.  Therefore, preventing violent escalations such as those that have occurred more and more since the end of last year. The plan also includes the deployment of Madrid’s municipal police to scale up surveillance in other areas of the city. 

The National Police will patrol the Carabanchel, Latina, Puente de Vallecas, Usera, Villaverde, Fuencarral, Centrum, Arganzuela, Ciudad Lineal, San Blas and Hortaleza, districts of the Spanish capital. So far, this is where most youth gangs have been found and most violent incidents take place. In the first instance, it is an initial phase that will continue until the gang violence has ended. The plan is evaluated weekly and adjusted if necessary. 

New regulations for knives 

 After the recent violent incidents in Madrid, the Ministry of the Interior is going to review the regulation of the sale and use of knives. Last Saturday, not only two young people were killed, but several young people were also seriously injured. According to the police, possessing and carrying prohibited knives is becoming increasingly common, especially among the infamous youth gangs Dominican Don’t Play and los Trinitarios, who regularly come into conflict with each other. 

The National Police of Spain had already launched the so-called Operación Hispana last December to gain more control over the youth gangs in Spain. This operation has so far resulted in 118 arrests and dozens of weapons seized. 

Related post: Youth unemployment in Spain

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