By Humphrey Carter
PALMA

BRITISH travel industry sources yesterday told the Bulletin that the prostitute problem in Magalluf is putting British family holiday makers off the area and fuelling a rise in demand for package holidays in the north east of the island.

The prostitution crisis first hit the headlines last year and since a group of local residents clashed with some 20 prostitutes in the resort in the early hours of Saturday morning, the problem has raised its ugly head again and, as a result, apparently putting family holiday makers off the resort.

Calvia Council claimed over the winter that they had drawn up special measures and a strategy to clamp down on street prostitution in the resort this summer, but it appears to have failed, according to the opposition PSOE socialist party.

Residents and businesses in the area of Saturday morning's incident claim to be living in fear of the prostitutes and now they are scared of reprisals for coming under attack from a group of local youth on the weekend.

Even the young British tourists are surprised and tired of being constantly hassled by the gangs of prostitutes who can be very violent at times. Yesterday, the Calvia socialists slammed the Mayor, Carlos Delgado, and his council of being “irresponsible” for going on holiday at the peak of the season “when the rest of the resort is working hard at trying to save what is left of the tourist season.” “The municipality has been abandoned while the local population swells five fold,” Alfonso Rodriguez, the socialists candidate for mayor said yesterday. “This is the most important month for the resort and they've all gone on holiday,” he said.
Earlier this week he called on the council to take the prostitution problem seriously and have more police on the beat around the clock and not sitting at desks carrying out administrational work in order to guarantee safety and security of the tourists and local residents.

Yesterday, he praised the local tourism industry and businesses which have worked extra hard this summer to try and recover from the recession. “All the data for June, July and August shows that things have picked up and I congratulate the local community for the huge efforts it has made this summer. “Now we've got to make sure that the season now lasts as long as possible in order to cater for the late bookings,” he added.

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