By Humphrey Carter THE Balearic government will only be able to provide 110 of the 275 tourist police officers the region's councils have asked for on patrol next summer. Balearic Interior Minister, José María Rodríguez, said yesterday that, in total, the various local councils have asked for 240 of the new tourist police, but his department will only be able to guarantee 110 officers, 40 percent. This week the 110 new vacancies in the Local Tourist Police force are expected to be made public and José María Rodríguez said that the first of the 110 special tourist officers could be on the streets by May next year. Explaining the role of the new force, he said that their primary concern will be for the safety and well being of residents and visitors, like any other member of the Local Police. However they will have received extra specialist training, such as basic English in order to help tourists with a variety of problems and provide information about the local area, services and facilities. The tourist police will be used as seasonal reinforcements in the busy holiday resorts for nine months of the year and Rodríguez said yesterday that the aim is to recruit 100 per year over the next four years. The final target is to have a 400-strong tourist police force, but what the local government is unable to do, is recruit and train 240, as required by local councils, in one go this winter. The new tourist police, which will have a distinct marking in the uniform to distinguish them from regular Local Policemen and women, will represent a five percent increase in the Local Police force and 20 percent once the force is complete in four years time. The tourist police force will be spread out across the island. Of this first wave, 78 will be stationed in Majorca, 20 in Ibiza and Formentera and 12 in Minorca. In order to pass as a recruit, the applicants much be able to pass four basis tests in languages, Catalan, culture and fitness. Those who pass will then undergo 300 hours of training with courses being held in Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza. Those interested in joining the Tourist Police Force will have until December 4 to apply. José María Rodríguez also used yesterday's official presentation of the new force to quash rumours that it is the start of a new Balearic police force. The Minister said that the Balearic government has no plans at all of creating a regionally controlled police force and that security and safety in the Balearics is a matter of State, as in most other regions of Spain. An autonomous force was part of the previous coalition government's “break away from Madrid” plans, but does not feature in the new government's agenda.