Palma.—Representatives are claiming that the defensive sprays that officers carry with them as part of personal protection have passed their useful life more than two years ago. “This ,” said union members “is clearly a threat to the safety of the officers and the public”.

Apparently many officers have complained of the situation but there has been no official response. Union members are also saying that the Civil Service board is not complying with the law if it does not make provision for officers to undergo regular firearms practice, reportedly because of lack of funds.

Rules in the Balearics say that officers authorised to bear firearms should have a minimum of two practice sessions a year. Union members say that none at all have been carried out in 2011.

Members say that over the past few months, they have, on a number of occasions drawn attention to the seriousness of the situation to the Citizen Safety Council and police chiefs, pointing out the risks implied in ongoing poor safety standards. On each occasion attempts at bringing practices up to standard have allegedly “fallen on stony ground” due to lack of funding.

The lack of money is also prompting difficulties with changes in firearm arrangements. Reportedly guns are being taken away from some officers to give to new recruits, and being substituted with revolvers which are now over 30 years old and which don't have safety holsters.

Union members are saying that 40 percent of the police force isn't properly equipped with even basic security material.
However, Citizen Security Councillor Guillermo Navarro gave assurances yesterday that contrary to the fears expressed by police union members, public safety is guaranteed. He admitted though that the economic crisis has meant that there has been a delay in providing material for the statutory firearms practice.