National Police chiefs in Palma reported yesterday that over the past few days nine people, of various nationalities, have been arrested in connection with at least ten muggings carried out along the Playa de Palma. The gang, which included three teenagers, two of whom are minors, have been terrorising parts of the Playa de Palma, striking between the hours of 1am and 6am. The gang's activities have caused a great deal of social concern and the police came under fire from all fronts to stamp out the summer crime wave rocking the holiday resort. Police chiefs explained yesterday that the gang would strike in poorly lit areas off the beaten track. Many of the victims were foreigners on holiday in the area and the gang would always operate as a pack in order to terrify the victim. Furthermore, the gang would not strike unprepared, members would have cased their victims beforehand, making sure that they were carrying a worthwhile amount of cash. Most of the muggings were carried out as the victims made their way back to their hotels from the bars and clubs. This summer the police presence along the Playa de Palma was stepped up in answer to pleas from local residents and hoteliers, however the gang of Spaniards, Arabs and Romanians has raised the issue of policing along the stretch yet again and the general problem, primarily due to a shortfall of around 300 policemen and women which the government is dealing with, of rising crime in Majorca.

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