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Joan Collins RAMON Socias, the national Government's delegate in the Balearics, yesterday blamed the high crime rate in the Balearics (one of the highest in Spain) on the almost 11 million tourists which come here each year, especially in summer when the “floating population” also rises. He said that this had caused a “statistical deviation” in the data from the national Secretary of State for Security, Antonio Comacho. Socias made this statement at the welcoming ceremony for 115 new officers of the National Police Corps (CNP) who will be taking up their duties on the islands. The ceremony was held in the Provincial Headquarters of the CNP, in the presence of its chief, Elicio Amer. Socias drew a parallel between the Balearic crime figures which had been published and what would have taken place in Catalonia if they had a population of 77 million inhabitants. He also said that in the Balearics the crime figures for the State Security Forces are added to the Local Police crime figures, which doesn't happen in other autonomous regions. In fact, the delegate said that there had been a “significant fall” in the crime rate recorded in the islands and said that next week he would release the 2005 statistics which would show the number of crimes attributable to illegal activities due to the presence of a great number of visitors to the islands, among them robberies and drug trafficking. At the same time, Socias said that he “regretted” the declaration of the Balearic Minister for the Interior, Jose Maria Rodriguez, (to whom he referred without mentioning his name specifically), in the media with respect to a supposed lack of citizen security in the Balearics. He said that “it is intolerable that such a sensitive issue for a community whose principal industry is tourism should be converted into a political weapon”. He said that he had been given examples of towns which had asked for reinforcements of State Police because the number of police officers they had was insufficient. He accused Rodriguez of “twisting” the crime figures to gain political advantage and said that the residents in the islands know that they live in a secure community and the number of State Security officers had grown significantly in the Balearics in the present term of office. He said that, with these new officers, the number of CNP officers in the Balearics goes from 1'286 to 1'401.