By Humphrey Carter
PALMA Local Police will next week be launching their biggest ever summer security operation.
This season, the Local Police will have the extra support of the new Tourist Police force. Apart from using the very latest security technology and installing more close-circuit television cameras in the area of the Playa de Palma, for example, the summer police force is to be doubled.

The summer policing operation will start in Palma on May 16 with over 100 on the Playa de Palma beat and the rest of the force on patrol in and around the capital.

In Palma, however, the Local Police will stick to the traditional tourist trap beats because come the peak of the season, the National Police, Guardia Civil and Royal Protection squad put their annual ring of steel up around Palma to protect the Spanish royal family.

This year, as the security measures have already shown over Easter, protection round the royals will be tighter than usual. Marivent Palace is being guarded by Mistral ground to air missiles.

Yesterday, the city councillor in charge of citizen security, Maite Jiménez and Local Police chief Ricardo Mínguez, detailed the summer policing plan. They also released the report on the winter security plan in the Playa de Palma.

This year a special operation was launched to ensure the protection of the thousands of pensioners on subsidised holidays who come to the resort every winter.Special personal security briefings were given by officers in participating hotels and nearly 20'000 pensioners took part in the programme.

For the coming season, a rapid reaction unit has been formed and the usual mobile units will be operating using special caddies to patrol the sea front.

The mounted police will be out in force in the city and other key tourist areas while the bicycle force will also be patrolling the narrow streets in the old part of Palma.

Eight of the 12 new tourist police given the Palma beat, have been assigned to the Local Police force and will be operating as extra local police officers around the main attractions.

Mínguez explained that both the Local and National Police forces will be continually monitoring images captured by the network of close circuit television cameras in the area and will therefor be able to respond almost immediately to any incident. The police chief said that the force is discussing, with the hotel federations, the pros and cons of holding weekly security briefings in hotels for tourist over the summer on the back of their success and positive results this winter.

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