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Street cleaners get police protection

Street cleaners in Madrid to receive police escorts

Street cleaners in three areas of Madrid, Spain, are receiving Municipal Police protection, following a spate of vicious attacks by local thugs leaving service teams scared to enter the locations.

The neighbourhoods of Latina, Carabanchel and Villaverde are considered to be the most dangerous in Madrid, according to locals who claim that local gangs are making residents’ lives a misery.

Cleaning staff, along with social service officials, firefighters and emergency doctors have all come under attack when performing city duties or attending to incidents in these areas. Cleaners say they have been subjected to verbal and physical abuse, been pelted with eggs, and even shot at by pellet guns. A leaf blower was stolen in one incident, and had to be retrieved by police.

The attacks raised concerns by the Urban Cleaning and Maintenance Union, with spokesman Juan Carlos del Rio condemning the attacks. In 2018, the Alto de San Isidro and Pan Bendito areas of Carabanchel reported 1170 incidents in which perpetrators were detained. Municipal police are now accompanying street cleaners on their duties.

Last year there were calls for street cleaners in Glasgow to be equipped with body cameras following verbal and physical attacks in the city.

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