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TO assert claim to more officers for the National Police Force, to train special police units to operate in tourist zones or to study proposals for linking up the operational responsibilities of some local police units; these are some of the challenges facing the central government representative, Miquel Ramis, whose overall aim is to improve security in the islands' municipalities. In order to get a working knowledge of alternative courses of action, Ramis met local mayors in order to establish “a first point of contact” between the local administrations of Majorca and central government. This initiative followed the recent elections when local authorities had focused attention on the need to improve security. Ramis affirmed that his office would try as far as possible to satisfy the demand for more police presence by making an application at governmental level. It is hoped the Balearics would then be able to benefit from a 100 per cent National Police presence. Currently, policing on the islands stands at only 84 per cent of capacity. Particular training is needed to equip specialized units with know-how on dealing with crime most commonly perpetrated in tourist areas.
Similarly, Ramis confirmed he was “open” to the idea of certain municipalities - particularly smaller ones amalgamating their security measures, thereby creating a more cohesive policing agenda. This proposal was put forward yesterday by the town council of Vilafranca and Ramis greeted it as a “novel and viable” system that “we will study with interest”. Ramis made these declarations after various local mayors on Majorca had voiced some of their concerns to journalists relating to security issues, above all the need for a greater police presence and for amalgamating some local policing units. In this respect, one of the community leaders who laid most claim to extra security was the mayor of Alcudia, Miquel Ferrer who officially requested from the Government further backing in security in tourist areas. These localities “are important economically and politically for the government and therefore the security forces they are prepared to provide should be allocated accordingly.” Ferrer was keen on some municipalities sharing local police (pooling security resources) but believed that “the essential aspect is that each unit should make full use of individual and joint competence. The theme of public safety is a matter for the Guardia Civil and the National Police”, bodies that are managed by the central administration.

POOLING RESOURCES
Some of the first public figures that championed pooling of police resources were, to a greater or lesser degree, the mayors of Alaró, Selva and Alcudia. At the same time, the mayor in Calviá, Carlos Delgado, opted for improving the security in that particular area, for relieving the “deficit” of local police officers, increasing resources available to the Guardia Civil and asking for a National Police station. His counterpart in Llucmajor, Lluc Tomás, took a stance of wanting better co-ordination between the different policing units.
The mayor of Felanitx, Catalina Soler, confirmed that on another subject of great importance - immigration Ramos had recognised that the town councils are carrying out functions that really shouldn't fall to them to do.