Palma.— The Majorcan Hotel Federation (FEHM) yesterday asked the Central Government delegate in the Balearics, Teresa Palmer for an increased police presence in the tourist areas of the Balearics and that foreign victims of crime should be provided with a free translation service when they lodge complaints with the Police or Guardia Civil.

The move by the Federation comes in the wake of reports of victims of crime having to pay 50 euros for a translator when lodging complaints with the police after suffering the trauma of a robbery.

These were just some of the proposals put forward yesterday when Federation representatives met with Palmer who agreed that “security would be a determining factor” in increasing the competitivity of the Balearics as a top holiday destination.

The FEHM urged the Central Government delegation to create police units which are specialists at dealing with tourists and to simplify the process of presenting a legal complaint for the sake of both the victims of crime and the officers having to deal with distressing cases.

Palmer was asked for better coordination between the varying police forces and that a better watch should be kept over areas frequented by tourists as a preventive measure, although hoteliers praised the individual action by the Guardia Civil in tourist resorts.

Penal code reform
The Managing Director of the Hotel Federation, Inmaculada de Benito, said that the next time that the Penal Code is presented for reform, the crimes which are typically practiced in tourist areas should be specifically documented. These, Palmer said, could include tricking tourists with card games and prostitution.

She suggested that a more specific Penal code could act as a tool for the police when the time came to cope with crime common in tourist areas.
De Benito took advantage of the meeting to let Palmer know of the concerns of hoteliers with regard to planned cuts in the national budget for Tourism, which will reportedly be reduced by 40 percent in 2013. De Benito said that now was a time when Spain needed funds to be spent on successfully improving its image overseas.

Also high on the agenda of yesterday's meeting was the construction of water treatment plants which remain pending at various points around Majorca.