Balearic model “Antiokupas” triumphs

The National Police and Guardia Civil have had enough of the lack of a common protocol against squatting and the disparity of rules governing each body and each region. For this reason, commanders from both forces met this week to lay the foundations for a single regulation.

To do this, they have taken as a basis the instruction that the attorney general of the Balearic Islands signed in June 2019, which facilitates the intervention of the security forces to evict a home in a wide range of cases without requiring a court decision.

Just a year ago, a pioneering measure against squatting was approved in the Balearic Islands that went unnoticed in the rest of the country but has helped to control squatters on the islands. This is an instruction issued by the Balearic Islands’ top prosecutor, Bartolomé Barceló, which authorises the security forces to evict a home without the intervention of a judge. If the agents see the situation clearly, they are legally entitled to open the door and expel the squatters, no matter how long they have been there. They can even arrest them. According to police and lawyers, this instruction has been used frequently throughout the year to tackle a social problem that in recent years had gotten out of control on the islands, mainly in Mallorca.

The instruction differentiates between the use made by homeowners to determine how the security forces should act. To this end, the prosecutor takes up the opinion of the Provincial Court of the Balearic Islands, which defines the relationship that the owner has with any of his or her homes. This relationship is based on the concept of “possession”: if the owner exercises some kind of activity in that home – habitual residence, second residence, business or rental – then he practices the concept of “possession” over it.

In all these cases, the prosecutor urges the security forces to act “directly and immediately”, arresting the perpetrator of the squatting where necessary. He also urges the officers to draw up a report detailing any other activities constituting a crime in which the squatter may be involved in order to take the appropriate legal action.

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