More than 1,000 agents from Spain’s Civil Guard have been deployed into the olive groves of Jaén to help monitor the harvest.
The federal police force is Spain’s oldest law enforcement agency and investigates crimes in rural areas. The agents will be posted at local olive mills and olive receiving posts.See Also:2021 Harvest Updates
Catalina Madueño, the federal government’s sub-delegate in Jaén, announced last week that the 1,150 agents would “improve security levels in rural areas and improve the subjective sense of security.”
“To achieve this, the work of the Civil Guard and also of the National Police will focus on the effectiveness of the fight against a very specific type of crime, promoting the presence of agents in rural areas and continuing to consolidate the level of collaboration and participation achieved with all the actors involved in the agricultural campaign,” she added.
The decision to deploy federal agents into the olive groves comes on the back of a report published in May, which said that 121,000 kilograms of olives were stolen during the 2020 olive harvest.
This figure, which represented a 35-percent increase in olive thefts compared to the 2019 harvest, surprised some in the region since olive thefts had been trending downward.
In 2019, Madueño also deployed more than 1,000 federal police in Jaén to patrol the region’s olive groves on foot, on horseback and in helicopters.
At the time, she said about 25 percent of olive thefts involved stealing harvested olives that were left in the groves waiting to be transported to the mills.
Fortunately for some growers last year, 31,000 kilograms of olives were recovered and 50 people were arrested in connection with the thefts.