Staff Reporter
THE National Police and Guardia Civil received 305'201 complaints of crimes and misdemeanours nationwide in the months of January and February, a slight drop of 0.1 per cent over the same period last year, although the figure for the Balearics was slightly higher than the average.

The figures were announced yesterday by Antonio Camacho, the secretary of state for the interior, who was reporting to Congresss on the strategic plans designed to cut crime.

Despite what he described as “the very slight drop,” Camacho said that his department was waiting for the quarterly evaluation due out later this month, with more detailed information on the evolution of crime in each region and the steps to be taken.

Last year's results, he said, were “satisfactory,” showing a “slight drop of 0.20 per cent.” He added that the crime rate was below 50 penal infractions (48.9) per 1'000 inhabitants.
More than half the regions of Spain are below this average and at “much lower levels than the European Union.” But the Balearics, was one of five regions which was slightly higher than the European average. The others were Melilla, Ceuta, Madrid and Valencia.
Camacho said that there were major strategic innovations in the fight against crime and they were being included in the plans designed by his department for the National Police and the Guardia Civil.

However, some of these plans, which included more involvement by the Local Police in handling serious crimes, have met with opposition from the Balearic government, which is in charge of the Local or Municipal Police Forces.

And in a separate report in Palma, Antonio José Terrasa, the president of the Balearic Supreme High Court, said that three new judges and six courts were needed to tackle the backlog of work.

At the end of last year, he said, there were 56'527 cases pending resolution, 0.83 per cent more than 2003.
Central government justice minister Juan Fernando López had announced the creation of ten new courts in the Balearics last November, but, Terrassa said, this did not take into consideration the need for two new judges for the Balearic Supreme court.

He added that the litigation court, which has three judges, needs another judge, as it ended last year with 3'164 cases pending.
The social affairs court ended the year with 148 cases pending, 15 per cent more than 2003.
He said that the Palma provincial court needs two new judges (at present it has six) as there were 1'145 cases pending at the end of last year, 87 per cent more than the previous year. He said that last year the provincial court resolved 2'081 cases and 2'594 new cases were registered.

Two new courts for minors were also needed, as the existing two had a backlog of 913 cases at the end of the year, although they resolved 1'588 cases.

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