Joan Collins THE Mayor of Palma, Catalina Cirer, has announced that the council in studying the possibility of reintroducing the neighbourhood watch scheme in districts of Palma to help the security forces combat the city's high crime rate. Cirer made this announcement during a tour of some of the worst crime-affected districts of the capital as part of the campaign “We want to listen to everyone, we want to talk to everyone”, which the conservative Partido Popular (PP) has been promoting during the whole of February. The Mayor of Palma was responding to the complaints by residents in certain areas about the graffiti which is popping up across the city.

“At the moment we are studying the results in towns such as Vitoria or Gijon, which have recently reintroduced the neighbourhood watch scheme”, said Cirer. If it is eventually decided to reintroduce this scheme, its function will be to patrol some areas of the town at certain times. “The reintroduction of the neighbourhood watch scheme would not be to look after the personal safety of residents, nor to stop acts like the painting of graffiti on walls”, added the Mayor. The neighbourhood watch scheme was operative in Palma and other Spanish towns for decades, until halfway through the 1960s approximately.
The patrols had the keys to the buildings and guest houses in the area where they patrolled, and would open the doors to these buildings if requested to do so by the residents.
The deputy mayor of the Citizen Security department, Alvaro Gijon, confirmed that the council has not yet taken a definite decision about the reinstatement of the neighbourhood watch scheme. The Balearics still has one of the highest crime rates in Spain but the authorities are working hard on boosting the region's police forces.