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Francisco Martínez, the Secretary of State or Security

Francisco Martínez, the Secretary of State or Security, says that the decline in organised crime in Spain is closely linked to the growing efficiency of the law enforcement agencies

At a seminar on the application of the National Security Strategy organised by Grupo Atenea, which took place two years on from the approval of the National Security Strategy, the minister focused his speech on the two "major challenges" for the security and freedom of all citizens: organised crime and energy security in the area of critical infrastructures.

He pointed out that with the latest data of 662 criminal groups registered in 2011 and 456 in 2014 "there is a clearly falling trend in the activity of organised crime in Spain, which is closely linked to the growing efficiency of the law enforcement agencies and intelligence work, and a testimony to the civic values of Spanish society."

As he explained: "Spain is today the third safest country in the European Union, or to put it another way: one of the safest countries in the world." This statement is based on the fact that the current crime rate has fallen from 48.4 crimes per 1,000 residents recorded at the close of 2011 to 44.4 in April 2015.

In this respect, the State Secretary for Security has highlighted the "excellent work" of the Intelligence Centre for Terrorism and Organised Crime (Spanish acronym: CITCO), which in 2014 investigated more than 17,000 individuals and arrested over 6,000 related to this type of crime.

In addition, he said that in the fight against various forms of organised crime CITCO also detected 456 groups, of which 431 – in other words 94% – were totally or partially dismantled.

At the same time, Francisco Martínez highlighted the work carried out by the law enforcement agencies to combat human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

He pointed out that on the preventive front, 14,000 people, mainly women, were identified in 2014 as being in a situation of risk and, with respect to policing, 270 police reports were issued, 561 people arrested and 63 criminal groups dismantled.

On energy security, Francisco Martínez stated that Spain is a country that depends excessively on foreign sources when it comes to energy resources such as natural gas and oil, making it a vulnerable country from the energy point of view.

That is why he explained that currently the State Secretariat for Security is participating actively in the preparation of a new National Energy Security Strategy, which is due to be approved in the coming weeks.

The State Secretary then referred to the system of protection for critical infrastructures against terrorist attacks or other threats.

Here he explained that the National Centre for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures (CNPIC), which is part of the State Secretariat for Security, is responsible for developing strategic energy plans in the electricity, gas, oil and nuclear industry sectors.

Among the actions included is identification of the main critical infrastructures in the energy sector and design of the strategic measures necessary for their protection.

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