Unrest on the Costa del Sol due to a new generation of criminals

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criminals in Marbella

A recent increase in violent incidents caused by a new generation of international mafia criminals is worrying authorities in the Costa del Sol. This region, known for its holiday resorts, is now plagued by violence. Police forces complain of a lack of manpower and resources.

Nine shootings have been recorded since February, six of which in Marbella and three in Mijas. These violent outbursts resulted in four injuries. The incidents mark a worrying shift towards more reckless and violent behaviour by criminals new to the region’s crime scene. These newcomers, often without clear rules or professionalism, are causing significant disruption to the previously relatively orderly crime world.

The new criminal generation

Local authorities describe these new criminals in the ABC newspaper as ‘morralla’, or scum, who acquire their criminal skills through popular culture such as the TV series ‘Narcos’ and video games such as GTA San Andreas. These young gangsters, who often act impulsively, are a lot less calculating than their predecessors. “They think they will go unpunished and use violence for the slightest thing,” experts explain.

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Police response: ‘Plan Marbella’

To tackle the increase in violence, the National Police has implemented ‘Plan Marbella’. This initiative includes the strengthening of police units, including the Intervention Police Unit and the Prevention and Response Unit, and the deployment of support services such as dog handlers and air support. Drone pilots have also been deployed to monitor hotspots and monitor high-traffic areas such as commercial centres and recreational zones.

Need for more resources

The local police and the Guardia Civil are under pressure due to the geographical spread and the large number of residents they have to protect. Police unions emphasise that there is an urgent need for more resources and personnel. Only then can they respond effectively to the new wave of crime. “We need a police officer at every roundabout,” says a local officer. He points out the need for a ubiquitous police presence to maintain order.

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