Barcelona reinforces the security of its buildings against the threat of squatter organizations

Barcelona reinforces the security of its buildings against the threat of squatter organizations

The increase in illegal squatting organizations has led the Barcelona City Council to take drastic measures to protect its municipal buildings.

The growing concern for the security and preservation of these properties has led the council to hire the company Security Services Kuo for a contract of 2,158,833 euros to ensure their surveillance and security. It will be for a period of eight months, with the possibility of an additional six-month extension.

This move represents a considerable expenditure on the part of the City Council, with a total budget of almost 3.8 million euros for 14 months, including possible increases and contractual modifications.

The reason behind this action is clear: the City Council seeks to prevent illegal squatting and the deterioration of housing, premises and parking lots owned or managed by the Institut Municipal de l’Habitatge i Rehabilitació de Barcelona (IMHAB), as well as the common areas and facilities of these buildings.

Illegal squatter organizations in the city

The report commissioned last February points out that the significant increase of illegal squatters in the city has created a high risk of squatting in IMHAB properties, justifying the need to increase surveillance measures in these municipal properties.

According to data from the City Council itself, at that time between 8 and 10 illegal squats were taking place every month, a figure that set a historical record and required the intervention of legal services, inspectors and police forces to recover the properties in the first 72 hours.

This effort to ensure the security of public properties was accelerated due to the rapid increase in property acquisition by IMHAB in late 2022 and early 2023, which created an urgent need to implement security measures.

With this contract, the City Council will subject 43 municipal buildings to strict surveillance, with different levels of surveillance, from 24-hour surveillance to scheduled surveillance rounds.

Surveillance and security

The company Security Services Kuo, in charge of the surveillance, has extensive experience in the sector and is certified in the National Security Scheme (ENS), which allows it to operate throughout Spain with security guarantees.

It is also known for providing security for other government buildings, such as the Government Delegation in Catalonia and the office of the central services of Penitentiary Work and Employment Training, part of the Ministry of the Interior.

The contract also states that the guards have the responsibility to immediately inform the relevant authorities in case of illegal squatting or criminal activities in the protected properties, without carrying out interrogations themselves.

The Barcelona City Council is taking strong measures to protect its municipal properties and ensure security in the city.