by Staff Reporter
THE director general of Police, Victor Garcia Hidalgo, yesterday introduced the new head of the National Police Force in the Balearics, Elicio Amez Martinez, at a ceremony at the government representative's office.

The ceremony was attended by the leading political, civil and military authorities, including Balearic minister of the interior Jose Maria Rodriguez, government representative Ramon Socias and Balearic leader Jaume Matas.

Garcia Hidalgo said that Elicio Amez had “the ideal profile for the job” and encouraged him to “face the challenge with the same spirit as when he started his police career 37 years ago.” He also praised the work of Eduardo Perez Extremera, police chief for the past eight years.
During the ceremony, the director general revealed that crime in the Balearics had dropped by 6.30 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year.

He said that the results were “quite satisfactory” and called on officers to continue working and “to remain on the alert at all times.” Garcia also pointed out that there are now more National Police officers than ever in the Balearics, although there is still a shortage. He said that 86 per cent of the places had been filled.

This figure, he said, had never been reached before in the Balearics and it was higher than the national average.
The director general said that the islands had an added problem: “as not many people in Spain want to join the force, when officers have to be transferred, numbers fall.” Garcia stressed that domestic violence and violence involving young people increasingly called for a more specialised police force. Because of this, a programme has been devised to simplify the structure of the force, making it more functional.

For his part, Elicio Amez said that the challenges of his new job included maintaining the levels of security, a very important factor for a region in which tourism is the chief source of income.

The prevention policy would continue, and the people of the Balearics “could feel safe,” he said.
The new Balearic police chief is 60 years old and has been posted in Palma for 30 years. Until last month, he held the number two job on the force.