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How to Respond to Checkpoints

5 min read

The security services (Guardia Civil, Police etc) carry out regular checkpoints on the roads, sometimes these are part of routine operations such as combatting drink driving, or vehicle inspections. Sometimes these checks are part of an increase in security. Sometimes, although rarely, they are directly related to a specific threat.


Although it may seem daunting to approach and be stopped at one of these checkpoints, it is important to remember that they are being conducted for your safety. These checkpoints do catch criminals, those risking road safety, terrorists and others, but the vast majority of people are allowed to go about their business normally.

The key phrase to remember when you see one of these checkpoints is, “Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear”. It is only those who have done wrong, or considering it, who should in fact be concerned.

The first rule when approaching such a checkpoint is to stay calm. Respond and react to the instructions given to you by the officers conducting the check. They may usher your vehicle to a chosen place, they may ask you to exit the vehicle and they may wish you check the contents of your car, as well as your documentation. Simply let the officers get on with their duties and they will let you get on your way as soon as possible.

Secondly, although equally important, do not share this location information to others. Posting this information on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for example can alert those who have done wrong about the presence of the checkpoint, allowing them to get away.

The point of these checkpoints is to catch bad people, so please don´t share the information. You might think you are doing others a favour, but if a criminal is allowed to avoid being caught, they will be free to carry out even more of their chosen activities.

Finally, do not be overly alarmed. The presence of additional security teams on the streets is not a direct indication of an increase in the threat level. The Spanish Interior Ministry publish the details of the current threat level on their website, www.interior.gob.es. On the right hand side is a green box marked NAA, or Nivel de Alerta Antiterrorista. If you click that you will see the current status level. The level has been at stage 4, high, for some time, since June of 2015 to be exact, which is all listed on the page for your information and peace of mind.

You can also click the button below to see the current state for yourself.

Remember, stay calm and act on the instructions given. “Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear”.

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