During an interview on Tuesday morning, after several hundred thousand Catalan separatists congregated in central Barcelona on Monday, the First Minister, Carles Puigdemont, said the main role of police officers was to ensure citizens' safety.

"There will be 6,000 ballot boxes around [Catalonia], and between choosing to remove ballot boxes or looking after people's safety, I think the police, all of them, have priorities in life; removing a ballot box is not investigating crime, organising a referendum is not a crime."

"A ballot box is not criminal material", he continued: "a ballot p...