Madrid Police’s Diversity Unit is operating 24 hours a day as the city hosts World LGBT Pride 2017, so as to respond quickly to any complaints of hate crime.
The specialist ‘diversity’ unit, which was created last year by Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena — a former Communist activist — has officers deployed at the sites of Pride events and is responding to “any reports of incidents, any complaints or any queries that are related to LGBT matters”.
Asserting that Madrid “is an open city, tolerant of all people, faiths and beliefs”, the head of the city’s Diversity Unit, Angel Rabadán, said officers are on call 24 hours a day for the duration of Pride so as to take reports of hate crime.
“We are prepared to respond to any complaint,” he said, explaining that Diversity Unit officers are also handing out information leaflets to Pride attendees, in both Spanish and in English.
According to conservative digital newspaper Actuall, Madrid’s General Directorate of Public Health released a report which called for healthcare services in the Spanish capital to prioritise medical cases related to WorldPride over regular patients throughout the duration of the LGBT event, which is running between June 23 and July 2.
The report instructs healthcare facilities to postpone regularly scheduled appointments of patients with chronic conditions, where possible, so as to focus resources on “possible health alerts and emergencies which are linked to Pride 2017.”
According to El Mundo, the “main objectives” of Madrid Police’s Diversity Unit are “fighting to ensure equality, and to prosecute hate crimes.
“Officers investigate any cases of intolerance and discrimination that occur in the city of Madrid, whether a criminal offense or not,” the Spanish broadsheet adds.
Local media reports that Carmena was slammed by Christian associations this week after ordering the Diversity Unit to allocate resources to protect Madrid’s mosques from hate crimes.
Christian faith groups questioned why the city is prioritising the protection of mosques yet doing nothing for churches, despite a recent spate of attacks on Christian places of worship, including an assault with Molotov cocktails just days ago.
“We believe it is unfair that mosques and not churches are protected. We understand that we must avoid hatred against Muslims, but Christians have also been attacked and nobody is doing anything.,” Caso Aislado reported Christians as saying.