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Processes included within the QMS

    The quality management system seeks to improve the guarantee of the rights and safety of the arrested person, by checking and recording all the actions. Moreover, the system also guarantees the personal and legal protection of the professionals of the Ertzaintza who make the arrests.

    The system has been in effect in the police station of Bilbao since 2001 and in all the police stations since 2004. The first certification dates back to 2002 and has been renewed and adapted to the changes in the standard.

    It must be noted that the assistance process for arrested people of the Ertzaintza has been presented to numerous organizations, such as the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, and has been recognized as a good practice in various reports by all types of entities and freedom watch organizations.

    The internal regulations develop aspects relating to internal triggers,  arrests made by officers as a result of an offender being caught in the act, an investigation or a court order, the actual arrest, the system to transfer arrested people, actions related to admission into custody at the police station, the reading of rights as well as the entering of the record in the arrest record book, the way to conduct the body search so as to guarantee the safety of the police officers, of the arrestee and of any third parties, as well as the seizure of objects carried by the arrestee which may be used as evidence. It also specifies all the actions to be carried out while the arrestee is under custody in the police premises, including meeting their basic needs, those aspects related to the exercise of rights, establishing strict deadlines for compliance, the enquiry stage and, finally, the end of arrest and closure of the arrest record. These regulations are supplemented with internal regulations regarding the procedure in special cases established by the law and the video-surveillance of those under arrest during their stay in the police centre.

    All the actions to be carried out in a case of Domestic Violence and Gender Violence (hereinafter DV/GV) are provided for and developed in internal regulations, leaving few things to the discretion of the officers involved, thus guaranteeing that the victims of this type of crime are provided with comprehensive protection and support and no aspect which may affect the guarantee of their safety is left aside.

    Thus, this process covers from the very moment in which a DV/GV case is detected to the moment that all violence by the perpetrator to the victim stops completely. Several checkpoints have been implemented to verify the compliance with all the steps in the process. They verify the appropriate revision of the process, thus guaranteeing maximum safety for the victims of DV/GV.

    The internal regulations include, in this case, helpline for DV/GV incidents, emergency actions, DV/GV investigation and reporting, the DV/GV File in which all the information available is recorded, DV/GV risk assessment and DV/GV victim protection measures, support and assistance for the victim through the various stages and, finally, actions carried out with regard to the offender.

    All the activities of the Explosives Disposal Unit CBRN have been developed and certified, specifically:



    Preventive actions

    Actions with explosive devices and CBRN devices

    Ammunition dump

    X rays


    The quality management system for the activities of the Explosives Disposal Unit CBRN was started in 2004, implemented in 2006 and certified in April 2008 on the same bases as the system which had already been implemented in other processes and the specifications pertaining to its activity. Its smooth operation is checked annually by means of internal as well as external audits.

    The system provides the different persons in charge of the Unit with skills and training in tools, methodologies and quality standards and enables the development of a continuous improvement oriented culture.

    The Scientific Police was established in 1990 and has been a member of the ENFSI (European Network of Forensic Science) since 2006. Its incorporation into the quality system started in that same year, 2006, and at present it has the following processes certified or accredited:



    Evidence management process

    Physiognomic processing process




    Person Identification Section: comparative fingerprint identification

    Forensic genetics section: blood, semen, saliva, organic traces. DNA profile comparison

    Documentoscopy and Graphistics: detection of genuine  or counterfeit € banknotes

    Lophoscopy and Eye Inspection Section: development of latent prints  for them  to be studied and/or processed


    These procedures are related to the planning of test quality and control, DNA case processing, identification case processing, ten-print and palm print processing as well as physiognomic processing, the reception, validation and submission of reports and evidence, the management of equipment and facilities and good housekeeping as a means to guarantee the quality of the processing carried out, the good use of space, efficiency improvement and safety enhancement.

    Moreover, other processes are currently being developed with a view to their being certified and/or accredited in the near future.