Empty beer cans and vodka bottles on the beach wall. | Pilar Pellicer

Arenal straddles the boundary between two local authorities - Palma and Llucmajor town halls. Both with their ordinances for coexistence, Palma's is more specific in respect of tourist antisocial behaviour. Arenal is a zone for special tourist intervention, a classification for heightened police presence to tackle a range of behaviours and practices. As with Calvia town hall and its efforts for control in Magalluf, the Palma bylaws predated the Balearic government's tourism of excesses law. Whereas this law principally targets businesses rather than tourists per se, the ordinance - and Llucmajor is similar - focuses on the individual. Experience in Arenal this summer (and not just this summer) points to a failure of control.

In his party's election manifesto, the new mayor of Palma, Jaime Martínez, referred to Palma being a pilot project for the rehabilitation of mature tourist resorts in Spain. During his campaign, he spoke of the need for investment to modernise the resort. "A project is required that really cares about making the change that the resort needs."

Previous mayors have made similar remarks, a difference with Martínez being that he is a former Balearic tourism minister. He was minister at the time of the notorious 'mamading' video in Magalluf. Investment in modernisation is one thing. Behaviour is another. From his time as minister, he knows only too well what this can mean. Perhaps he is the mayor to get to grips with the issues. But he needs to by working with the neighbouring town hall, as Arenal is a problem common to both authorities.

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Alain Carbonell is the vice-president of the Arenal residents association. He knows first hand what goes on. "Tourists are drunk twenty-four hours a day. They start drinking in the morning. They continue at noon and all afternoon. At night they continue and at dawn, when bars have closed, they drink on the beach. They sleep on the street or on a bench for a couple of hours and then continue with the partying."

German tourists in Arenal, Mallorca

Young German tourists and Spanish students. These are the tourist profiles currently dominating Arenal. The students, thousands of them at a time, are a comparatively short-lived issue - three to four weeks. The German tourists are a different matter. Residents refer to how the season has been extended. "The drunken tourists now begin to come in March. The season has been extended, and for the worse." It's like there is a 24-hour party, seven days a week from March to September.

Miguel Pascual is a member of the residents association. He says that drunk foreigners enter his garden in seeking to take a shortcut to their hotels. There was one the other day. "I yelled at him to get out of the garden and when he turned round, I saw that his pants were full of faeces."

Flying visits - 24 or 48 hours - have become common, young Germans arriving with the sole intention of getting drunk. At night, hundreds of people are by the walls of the beach. Empty beer cans and vodka bottles are lined up on the walls, despite the fact that bins are nearby. Street cleaners start as early as 4am, but within a matter of hours all the rubbish returns, and this includes the remains of fast food scattered over the pavements. Seagulls feast on it.