Barcelona launches the civic officers service at the Montjuïc Fountains and at Turó de la Rovira
A squad of 14 civic officers has been activated from June to September, which will regulate the flow of visitors when there are shows at the Montjuïc Fountains, assisting with access at pedestrian crossings, escalators and on footbridges, in parallel with notifying and preventing uncivil behaviour around this city icon that received 2.5 million visitors last year
Two agents are also assigned to the Anti-aircraft Battery on Rovira Hill and entries from the streets Labernia, Maria Labernia and Mühlberg, especially to oversee and ensure responsible use of the space
These 14 officers complement the 73 civic officers that the city already has, in the districts of Sagrada Família, Barceloneta, Park Güell (Carrer Olot), Montjuïc, Trinitat Vella and—starting this month—also at the Boqueria Market, with tasks to improve mobility and civic behaviour surrounding the areas of high tourist flows
Since June, Barcelona has allocated 14 new civic officers to watch over mobility and civic behaviour around the Magic Fountains and the Montjuïc Fountains. The service has been started up now in order to improve the mobility of people visiting the site, especially during the times where the light, sound and colour shows are running.
From June to September, a total of 14 officers will be assigned to this site from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 to 11 pm, show times at the Magic Fountains. Their task will primarily be to provide support for people’s mobility in the area and, therefore, to regulate the flows of visitors, assisting at crosswalks, on escalators and footbridges, as well as notifying and preventing uncivil behaviour at these entry points and surrounding this city icon. They will also notify tourist coaches of the available nearby parking areas.
These officers wear black uniforms with an orange identifying armband bearing the official logo of the Civic Officers.
According to City Council figures, the Montjuïc Fountains received 2.5 million visitors last year. During the summer, over 200 moving coaches have been counted, especially concentrated during the times of the shows.
During the rest of the year, also coinciding with the times of the shows at the Magic Fountains, the service will be adapted, with 10 civic officers in April, May and October from 8.30 to 10.30 pm, and with 5 officers from November to March, working from 7.30 to 9.30 pm.
Two civic officers at Turó de la Rovira will ensure that the space is used responsibly
This June there will also be new civic officer service at the Anti-aircraft Battery on Turó de la Rovira, with a purpose more centred on fostering civic-minded behaviour and raising visitors awareness on the responsible and respectful use of the space.
From June to September, there will be one team allocated there from 5 pm to midnight Friday and Saturday and eves of public holidays, and from 5 to 10 pm on Sunday, to patrol the general area of the Anti-aircraft Battery on Rovira Hill and the access points on the streets Labernia, Maria Labernia and Mühlberg. In the winter, except for January and February, they will work from 3 to 10 pm.
These new officers complement the 73 civic officers that the city already has, in the districts of Sagrada Família, Barceloneta, Park Güell (Carrer Olot), Trinitat Vella and Montjuïc, with tasks to improve mobility and civic-minded behaviour surrounding the areas of high tourist flows.
At present, there are also civic officers that patrol new spaces such as the Citizen Information and Service Offices (OACs per the Catalan acronym) to manage queues, and at Boqueria Market to advise visitors, prevent them from touching the products, prevent obstructions in the main corridors and ensure that people follow the passageways in the market.
A body of 89 civic officers deployed throughout the city
During this mandate, a new bolster has been given to the figure of the civic officer, strengthening their presence in the majority of tourist attractions in the city, endowing them with a new profile beyond just mobility, and adding them to new areas. The work of the civic officers has gradually been increased, increasing from 25 officers when the service was started in 2015, to 89 now throughout the city.
Thus, the original concept for this figure has been exceeded, which was initially created more as support personnel for mobility primarily, to now having staff trained for the different tasks related to civic-mindedness, preserving harmonious coexistence in public spaces, supporting the city police force (Guàrdia Urbana) in issues of mobility, regulating tourist flows, support and mediation at the OACs, always with a mission of citizen services, on the street.
This year there will be another step forward with increased resources, funded largely by the tourist tax. Being able to allocate resources from this tax to these officers is an effective way of also ensuring a positive return in benefits to citizens, especially in the neighbourhoods with the most pressure, and that will be used to increase resources to improve management of public spaces.
The 89 civic officers will also inform on bad practices on Bicing, such as vandalism offences to the bicycles (painting, abandoning them on the street, returning them to stands without checking in with the card...) or when a minor is riding one or there are two people on a single bike. They also work with the Municipal Tow Service, reporting on vehicles that are parked wrong and are a disturbance to the city, and performing control and support tasks for the Bus Zone, such as the service to pre-book coaches and support for loading and unloading passengers. They will also provide information to drivers when information campaigns are done.
A unit created in 2015
The Civic Officer Unit was formed in 2015, and is managed by B:SM. In 2016, the staff was expanded and new functions were assigned to it, such as information and promoting civic-minded behaviour.
Last year, the city’s 73 civic officers (47 men and 26 women) conducted a total of 297.769 actions throughout the city, during over 66,000 hours of annual service, of which the majority was in Sagrada Família (156,902 actions) and Barceloneta (89,271 actions).