Torrevieja police issue a fine

Traffic in Torrevieja is once again under scrutiny, this time though it is a judge who is investigating a complaint filed by three police officers, after a motorist was issued a fine by the local police for an offence, but the money paid was not processed by the official channels, and simply disappeared, nor is there any record of the sanction.

In this case, which occurred in November, 2011, three officers were said to be patrolling an area of avenida de Rosa Mazón and calle María Humildad Jiménez, and were surprised by a passenger car which failed to observe a signal, almost colliding with their marked police vehicle. The officers stopped the offending vehicle and spoke to the driver, who was said to be uncooperative, threatening them with the knowledge that has was friends with a senior police officer. A fine was issued to the driver.

Weeks after the incident, a police officer made contact with the Suma office in Torrevieja to inquire if the fine had reached the collection agency. But that office confirmed that they had no record of its existence.

The matter now under investigation is the fact that the Chief of Police has no records or means of tracking complaints and fines, as, according to reports, the money is deposited in a small box in the basement of the custody office, where it could be easily accessed by anybody.

The court has called the councillor for security, Agustina Esteve, as a witness to testify as to how the system operates. Although Esteve was not in charge of the police at the time of the incident in question, at that time it would have been Eduardo Gil Rebollo, questions still need to be answered as to the processing of fines, as well as the court seeking clarification as to whether or not there is a method of tracing fines through the traffic or local Suma offices.

The police officers who have indicated that when they filed the complaint, they did so not to “harm” or “attack the honour and dignity” of the police leadership, but because they are “officials responsible for enforcing the law and therefore have brought to the attention of the judicial authorities events in the exercise of their functions”.

They also state that they tried to highlight the problem to the councillors in charge, but their arguments went unheard, so they were forced to pursue the matter that could have broken the chain of custody of documents which, by law, must be stored in the local police office.

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