Palma.—The Balearics is the autonomous region of Spain with the highest crime rate, according to figures made public in congress yesterday.
Spain's Home Secretary, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, said yesterday that the national average crime rate is 48.4 percent but the Balearics, Madrid, Catalonia and the Community of Valencia have posted much higher rates of crime over the past year.

These figures, however, do not include Local Police statistics, they reflect the crime rate reported by the Guardia Civil and the National Police.
That said, the average crime rate in Spain is below the European average.
For example, in Sweden, there are an average of 151.9 crimes committed per 1'000 inhabitants and in Belgium 97 while in Spain, the national average is 84.4.

Palma farm robbed
Only three countries in the EU have lower crime rates and they are Greece, Italy and Portugal.
And, here in Majorca, it appears that criminals are targeting farms again. Yesterday, the National Police were called out to launch an investigation into the theft of 80 sprinklers and all the irrigation pipes from a farm in s'Indioteria on the outskirts of Palma.

According to 66-year-old farmer Maties Joan, who has now suffered two robberies in less than a week, the gang of thieves struck over night on Tuesday. Apparently, last Friday, 27 sprinklers were stolen and Joan claims that they returned on Tuesday night to complete the job and take what was left plus all the copper piping, some 80 to 100 kilos in weight, which he claims is all worth at least 6'000 euros.

But, it is not so much the cost of replacing the parts he is worried about. The biggest problem is that until he can raise the money to do so, he will be unable to water his crops which need to be irrigated every seven to eight days.

Joan has been round all the local scrap merchants in an attempt to try and recover his stolen goods and also warn the owners of what is going on the nearby farms.


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