THE Balearic National Police Force (CNP) yesterday started a new Citizen Participation Programme, which includes the nomination of a controller in each of the seven national police stations in the islands, as well as a provincial representative, a responsibility which has fallen to Jaume Bergas, according to the national Government's representative to the Balearics, Ramon Socias. He was presenting this initiative together with the head of the CNP in the Balearics, Elicio Amer, and said that, in the two months during which the pilot scheme had been running there had been 30 meetings with residents associations and social groups, which had prompted various actions by the police, some on the same day. Socias referred to controls such as those established in the last few weeks at places where, according to residents, drugs were being sold, street prostitution was being carried out, or robberies or acts of antisocial behaviour were taking place. Socias said that the object of the new programme is to work “alongside the residents” and added that the best result of this “proactive” strategy will be “to make strides in solving the problems of safety”, stressing the preventative nature of the programme. The representative said he was hopeful that, with the Citizens Participation Programme, the “effectiveness” of police action would be increased and said that “we have never had so many patrols in the street and we have never been so close to the people”. For Ramon Socias, the difference between the previous situation and the beginning of this programme is that previously “citizen participation was advocated but stayed very much on paper, as there was no actual channel, nobody to whom the people could always refer”, a circumstance which is going to change, he said. With the beginning of the Citizen Participation Programme, residents associations and private people can go to the liaison offices linked to Palma National Police Stations (Centre, West and Playa de Palma), as well as those in Manacor, Ibiza, Mahon and Ciudadela, which are coordinated by Bergas from the Main National Police Station.

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