THE Majorcan Socialist Party (PSM) representatives on the Palma city council yesterday complained about “the feeling of insecurity” felt by residents of the Playa de Palma during the winter, and called on the council to do somthing about it. In the summer, the Playa de Palma is a bustling resort, but in winter, most of the hotels and bars close and the population dwindles.
But a PSM spokesman said yesterday that socialist councillors visiting the area were constantly bombarded with complaints about insecurity by traders and residents. The group's spokesman, Pere Muñoz, said “this feeling of lack of protectioon experienced by neighbours and traders in the Playa de Palma, Can Pastilla or Cala Estancia is not logical.” He expressed a regret that the Local Police centred their activity in the summer, in protecting tourists against crime, but in the winter, their numbers are greatly reduced. During the summer months, there are more than 100 Local and National Police officers on duty in the Playa de Palma, patrolling the popular resort by car, motorbike and horseback, as well as the Green Patrol and the Immediate Intervention Unit. They were backed by the tourist police, who were introduced to the Balearics last summer.
Unlike the National Police officers, the tourist police are not armed, except for a spray, truncheon and handcuffs, but they do speak English and German as well as Catalan and Spanish. It is their job to help tourists, answering their queries, and tackling problems such as illegal fruit vendors on the beach, and the shell and pea conmen. However, the PSM pointed out that they are on duty from May to October only, while the number of regular Local and National Police officers on the Playa de Palma is also reinforced for the summer but greatly reduced in the winter. The PSM was highly critical of the tourist police when the force was first introduced, demanding instead an increase in the number of regular police officers.