Parking metre enforcement officers will be considered authorities for legal defence purposes

Barcelona is the first city in Spain to approve recognition of the authority of parking enforcement officers

Parking metre enforcement officers will be considered authorities for legal defence purposes. This status will be applied in criminal jurisdiction when the process is due to them performing their functions. The City Council modified the Traffic Ordinance for Pedestrians and Vehicles, due to recognising this status, with the aim of clearly contributing to improving the social consideration of this group and guaranteeing them greater protection while doing their daily tasks

This is a response to the claim this work group has demanded for years. Specifically, the modification of article 31.3 of the ordinance, reads that ‘under the terms of current legislation in force, control of the suitable use of stopped and parked vehicles on the public roadway and traffic tickets for conduct that violates the rules that regulate their use can be provided by auxiliary personnel, who shall hold the status of officers of the authority, for the purposes of their legal defence before the law’. 

Deputy mayor Jaume Collboni congratulated these workers for the tasks they have done over the years, remarking that ‘everybody in the city should know that these people are officers working for the authority, with full legal recognition, and that in the event of incidents and if lawsuits occur, their opinion will always take priority over that of another person and they will have special protection from a criminal viewpoint. We are the first city in Spain to approve this recognition; we believe that it was justice to do so. Part of the City Council’s nature is to provide maximum coverage and protection to its employees’.

The president of the B:SM Works Committee, Juan Antonio Sánchez, has stressed that ‘this is the day we have been waiting for, for many years’ and remarked that ‘it is a pioneering step for the entire state and our work as unions is to keep fighting so that this protection is extended to the rest of our colleagues in other cities’. 

Barcelona is the first city in Spain that has recognised parking enforcement officers as agents with authority. The measure will enter into force on 1 July.

Over 18 million uses of parking areas

In Barcelona, there are 290 parking enforcement officers working in public spaces (blue, green and loading and unloading areas), assuring compliance with parking regulations, citizen care and the control of public spaces, thus contributing in a notable way to mobility and management of public spaces. 

The city has 700 kilometres of parking areas with surveillance, of which 100 km are blue spaces, 500 km are green spaces, and 100 km are loading and unloading spaces. These figures translate into 9000 blue spaces, 40,500 green spaces, 3500 resident only spaces, 8500 DUM loading and unloading, and 50,000 motorbike and scooter spaces. Overall, throughout 2016, there were 18,215,257 uses of the different types of parking areas. 

During 2016, parking enforcement officers provided 495.000 hours of service, during which 116 incidents occurred, of which 20 led to police reports. This represents a rate of 0.2 incidents per 1000 hours of service. The City Council wants to see continued decreases in the number of incidents that occur and, in this respect, changing the regulation should contribute to this goal.


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