Palma.—Antonio Emilio Jarabo de la Peña officially took over as the new Chief of the National Police in Palma yesterday and pledged to crackdown on crime, stressing that a high level of safety and security is vital for tourism.

However, he has his work cut out.

The Balearics is the autonomous region with the highest crime rate in Spain and he is under strict orders from the Central Government Delegate to the Balearics, Jose Maria Rodriguez, to reduce crime for the benefit of society as a whole.

Rodriguez and the President of the Balearics, Jose Ramon Bauza, presided over the swearing in ceremony and both granted the new police chief a warm welcome with Bauza expressing his confidence that Jarabo will do an excellent job based on his track record.

Part of his career was spent in charge of the National Police in the Canary Islands and Rodriguez admitted that he has always been envious of the relatively low crime rate in the Canaries considering the vast amounts of tourists they attract and therefore he is hoping that the new police chief can achieve similar results here in the Balearics.

Jarabo said that his appointment is “an honour and that his experience in the Canary Islands is going to serve him well considering the heavy influence tourism has on both destinations and how important it is to the local economy.

That is why he said it is vital that levels of security are as high as possible for tourists. “We need to be using all our resources to make sure that the Balearics, one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations, is as safe as possible,” he said during his investiture.

Jarabo added that he is well aware of the close relationship between security and the economy and Bauza pledged to provide the new police chief with all the material possible he and the security forces need to achieve their goals.

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