By Humphrey Carter

THE unemployed and immigrants are considered to be “ potential criminals” given the current economic climate according to the results of the latest “Public concerns” opinion poll carried out by the Gadeso Foundation here in the Balearics.

On a scale of one to ten, Balearics residents canvassed about what they consider to be the principal causes for insecurity, the unemployed were given a 7.55 rating and immigrants 7.3 - making them the two primary concerns for the Balearic population.

The poll has also discovered that many Balearics residents consider immigrants either real or hypothetical competition when hunting for a job and part of the population would support moves to introduce a cap on immigrants “as part of the solution” to the Balearics' serious unemployment problem. The results of the poll vary from one island to another. Ibiza is where immigrants are considered to be the biggest problem with a 8.5 rating. Here in Majorca, immigrants received an 8.1 rating out of ten and the unemployed 7.9.

Pollsters Gadeso said yesterday that one of the most significant discoveries is that the population no longer considers drugs to be the main cause of crime. Drugs and the drugs culture continues to figure on the list of causes of crime but much further down the list than in recent years.

According to the poll, the Balearic population also maintains that crime is on the rise because the laws are inadequate and there is a severe lack of police surveillance and believes that, if the law were improved, the judicial system made more efficient, more police on the streets, a limit placed on immigration and family values restored the situation would significantly improve and the crime rate would fall.

Parents are also encouraging their children to complete their education and not drop out of school because of the lack of job opportunities and security.