A total of 124 officers from the National Police Force were allocated posts in the Balearic Islands yesterday, meaning that the region is now only 20 percent short of a full complement of staff.

The central government delegate in the Islands, Ramon Socias, quoted the current manning levels at 1'130 officers. Speaking on the occasion of welcoming 60 new officers who will form part of the National Police force unit in Palma, highlighted the fact that the increase in officers is the largest since the Police corps was set up in the region.

Socias went on to report that a third of the officers seconded to Palma are natives of the Balearics which will have a stabilising effect on the cohesiveness of the unit.

As well as the 60 officers who took up their posts yesterday in Palma, 30 have been included in the staffing levels on Ibiza, 23 went into action in Minorca (shared between Ciudadela and Mahon) and another 11 were assigned to Manacor.

In his speech given to the new members of the Police staff, Socias was confident that these reinforcements will be appreciated by citizens of the Islands who will recognise the high value placed by the government on personal security. He added that the officers recently introduced to the Islands are mindful of the fact that the region has its own language and culture.

In respect of the increase in pay to reflect the special needs of officers working in Island communities, the government delegate declared that central government and Unions have entered into negotiation and he ventured that the budgets for 2005 will take such needs into account.

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