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Spanish Police

Police The three main branches of policing in Spain, are the Civil Guard and the National Police controlled nationally by the Ministry of the Interior, and the Municipal Police, organised by the Councils.
Because of these arrangements the names of the police in different areas can vary. Larger cities and towns generally have all three policing authorities.

 The emergency number for police, fire or ambulance is 112. 

You will be answered in Spanish but will be put through to someone who speaks your language. It is most likely that you need to make a statement a 'denuncia'. This will need to be done at a Policia National police station within 48 hours. If you are arrested you will be entitled to make one phone call. You may also get free services of a duty solicitor (abogado de oficio). If your case is taken to court, the authorities will provide a translator.

The Guardia Civil

(Civil Guard)

The Guardia is country wide and organised along para-military lines. They wear green uniforms and are widely respected and trusted, their responsibilities include providing customs, ports and airports services, anti drug trafficking, counter-terrorism, coast guard, crowd control, security and policing in rural areas. They are also responsible for highway law-enforcement.

The National Police

(La Policia Nacional)

The National Police Corps (El Cuerpo Nacional de Policía) is the Spanish urban police. Stationed in large towns, in a conventional police station, many of the stations will have an extranjeros (foreigners) department which deals with 'residencia' resident cards. The uniformed branch wear a blue military style uniform, they also have a large plain-clothes contingent. Responsibilities include criminal, judicial, terrorism and immigration as well as guarding public buildings, Royal and Government figures.
If you are unfortunate enough to become a victim of street crime or burglary these are the police that you will deal with.

La Policia Local

(Local Police)

Also known as the Policía Municipal, are recruited and controlled by the local council. They wear blue-and-white uniforms with white checked bands on their hats and sleeves. The Policía Municipal, patrol in white or blue cars or blue motorcycles. Municipal police handle minor matters such as parking, local traffic control and bye-law issues. They can be backed up in larger towns by a force of uniformed security patrolmen, 'Protecion Civil' or 'Seguridad Ciudano'. Like British Special Constables they have no police powers.

Fire Department

Fire Brigade The Fire Department in Spain 'Bomberos' is fast and efficient, however with the exception of Barcelona and Madrid which have their own brigades, brigades in Spain are different in each autonomous region.


Ambulance 'Ambulancia' are both private and state run in Spain. A 24-hour service is operated by Private ambulance services in most towns. Private hospitals and Clinics also operate their own ambulances. All ambulances are equipped with oxygen and life-support systems, drivers and staff are trained to provide first-aid. The Costa del Sol also has an emergency helicopter service 'Helicópteros Sanitarios'.
Social security patients don't pay for ambulance services, Private patients are reimbursed by their private health or travel insurance. By law, taxis are obligated to transport medical emergencies to hospital when requested to do so.

Emergency                                                                                                       Number

If you require urgent police attention, ambulance, fire brigade etc.         112(no area code)
If you want to report assault, robbery or accident to the police                902 102 112
Road accidents or information about weather and traffic congestion       900 123 505
British Consular Emergency Service for any emergency queries at
any time of any day. Leave a message and someone will normally
get back to you within one hour of your call.                                            91 524 97 00
General enquiries to the British Embassy                                                  91 700 82 00
                                                                                                                    91 319 0200

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