Balearic crime rate rising fast and there is a lack of police.

THE new central government delegate to the Balearics yesterday took part in top level anti-crime talks in Madrid. Ramis, who was sworn in as the new delegate on Tuesday, held talks with deputy Prime Ministers Mariano Rajoy and Rodrigo Rato with regards to combating crime in the Balearics and increasing the number of Guardia Civil and National Police officers. Further Balearic crime figures were released in Madrid yesterday providing further evidence to the severity of the region's problem. The number of crimes committed per 1'000 inhabitants in the Balearics is well above the national average of 50 crimes per 1.000 inhabitants, according to the report published by the Home Office. Last year the crime rate in the Balearics nearly doubled, but central government sources claim that the figures are unrealistic because a new system was used to count crime combining Local Police and National police crimes. However, no one is denying that the region has a problem, that there is a growing sense of insecurity amongst the general public and that there is a serious lack of police. The Balearics was one of just six autonomous regions of Spain where the crime rate was above the national average, while in eight regions, the crime rate fell, including the Canaries. Yesterday's meeting in Madrid, which was also attended by various cabinet ministers, was not only to discuss the Balearics' crime problem but also how to combat crime in general in Spain. A new national crime plan is about to be drawn up on the back of the launch of the Focus Plan in the country's seven worst affected cities, one of which being Palma and now Calvia is calling for National Police protection. The police operation has proved controversial. Minority groups and immigrants have claimed to have been victimised, but the general public on the whole support the National Police plan which involves the support and co-operation of all local police forces and autonomous security agencies.