|Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
Policia de la Generalitat de Catalunya - Mossos d'Esquadra
|Common name||Mossos d'Esquadra|
Logo of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
Badge of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
|Formed||1721, as squads
1874-1939 / 1950-1983 as guards of the premises of the Delegation of Barcelona
1983 as autonomous police of Catalonia
|Preceding agency||Esquadres de Catalunya|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Spain|
|Map of Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra's jurisdiction.|
|Governing body||Generalitat de Catalunya|
|Constituting instrument||Act 19/1983|
|Overviewed by||Directorate-General of Police|
|Headquarters||Egara Central Complex, 08206 Sabadell|
|Minister (Conseller) responsible||Joaquim Forn, Minister of the Interior of Catalonia|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan pronunciation: ['mosuz ð?s'kwað??]; in English: Troopers, literally "Squad Lads", "Squaddies") are the police force of Catalonia, largely replacing the Guardia Civil of other regions of Spain.
The force was founded in 1951 but takes its name from the informal name of an earlier force, the Escuadras de Paisanos, formed in 1721.
On July 21 1950 the Deputation of Barcelona was authorised to create a small security force using the historical title Mossos d'Esquadra. These new Mossos were a militarized corps having little similarity to the earlier incarnations, with limited powers and small numbers.
With the return of democracy to Spain, the Mossos d'Esquadra grew in number and powers. Since October 25 1980 the force has been under the authority of the Generalitat de Catalunya (the regional Government of Catalonia).
The Escuadras de Paisanos, later known as the Esquadres de Catalunya, (and informally known as the Mossos d'Esquadra), were men-at-arms who had fought as irregulars in the War of the Spanish Succession, and were brought together by the mayor of the town of Valls near Tarragona between 1719-1721. The corps was constituted as a militia to provide security to trade routes and fairs. It was created as a complement to the regular troops of the Bourbon army, which opposed the Miquelets, who survived as rebel supporters of Archduke Charles.
It was manned by local people, who had to speak Catalan and be familiar with the paths, caves and hiding places in the area. It was eventually placed under military jurisdiction but was less centralised than the Spanish police force (then known as the 'Intendencia General de Policía') formed in 1817, or the yet-to-be-established 'Guardia Civil', both of which were systematically deployed away from their home regions, and thus strangers to the places where they served. Throughout the centuries it has passed back and forth from Catalan authority to Spanish military command several times. They were dissolved in 1868 by General Prim after the fall of Queen Isabella II of Spain, since the Mossos had always been royalists.
They were reinstated in 1876 under the reign of Isabella's son king Alfonso XII of Spain, but only in the province of Barcelona. Under his son Alfonso XIII of Spain, the Mossos were not well regarded in Catalonia, especially by the Commonwealth of Catalonia, who paid them but had no control over them. They flourished, though, under Primo de Rivera's dictatorship. When the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed, however, the Mossos sided with the Generalitat de Catalunya. After the Spanish Civil War, the last Mossos left Catalonia with the President of the Generalitat, and the corps was dissolved by the Francoist authorities.
The Mossos d'Esquadra have now replaced Spain's Guardia Civil within the territory of Catalonia. This process of substitution began in 1994 and was completed in 2008. In November 2005, the Mossos took full duties in the city of Barcelona.
The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia (Catalan: Estatut d'Autonomia de Catalunya) defines that the scope of action of the Generalitat Police Force - Mossos d'Esquadra is the whole of the Catalan territory, and states that it exercises all the functions of a police force in the following fields:
The Mossos d'Esquadra are a police force of the Spanish state placed under the authority of the Generalitat de Catalunya within the territory of the autonomous community of Catalonia. The Policia Nacional and the Guardia Civil, on the other hand, are commanded directly by the Spanish ministry of the interior. They keep some officers in Catalonia to support the fight against terrorism, to handle identity documents, immigration and other limited responsibilities of the central government. However, when there was a dispute between the governments of Catalonia and of Spain about Catalonia becoming independent, and the Catalonian government called a referendum for 1 October 2017, the Spanish government sent thousand of members of the national Guardia Civil to Barcelona with the intention of preventing voting.
The Mossos are trained in the Institut de Seguretat Pública de Catalunya (Public Safety Institute of Catalonia), which also trains local police officers.
A patrol car in Barcelona
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