Members of the Guardia Civil elite GRS team have been on the island since the beginning of June to assist local forces. Their main tasks are crime fighting and crowd avoidance for the prevention of Covid-19 outbreaks.

The Reserve and Security Group (GRS) 1 moved from Madrid in early June at the request of the Balearic Guardia Civil Headquarters. They are distinguishable by their black berets, bullet proof vests and travel in a black ‘special intervention’ van.

It would seem their main role at present is assisting in vehicle check points, they travel with a stinger, a spike strip used by the police to stop vehicles and one member carries a rifle. Vehicle inspections are carried out quickly and it is usual at present that no-one is detained. GRS agents search for narcotic substances, weapons and even explosives. “We must not forget that we are still at anti-terror alert level 4,” recalled Lt. Juan Carlos Fernández, head of the deployed unit to the Diario de Ibiza recently.

Their presence at check points can appear intimidating, “On several occasions, a neighbour has asked us if something had happened because he had been concerned when he saw our deployment,” said the head of the GRS. 

The GRS team are not only a riot unit, but they also monitor nuclear power plants, intervene in natural disasters and are sometimes charged with the security of high profile people.

“We are conceived, prepared and organised to temporarily support other units and on the island we will provide support to guarantee citizen security and public order,” explained Lt.  Fernández.