STATE Security and Police Forces in the Balearics registered a total of 34'876 crimes in the first six months of this year, 1.7 percent less than for the same period of 2002. The number of violations of the law and misdemeanours committed in the first half year of 2003, dropped throughout the country by 1.68 percent in relation to the same period of the previous year. This year's figure nationwide totalled 999'084 against 1'016'139 documented between January and June of 2002.
This report was given in answer to a central government Parliamentary question tabled by the Socialist deputy, Miguel Angel Heredia, who had expressed interest in the number of crimes and law infringements registered in the first half of this year. Analysed according to individual regions, criminality fell in nine Communities, as well as in the Spanish city of Ceuta in North Africa (-9.7%).
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The decrease was most notable in Catalonia where it dropped by 10.6%, and in La Rioja where 12.2% less crime was recorded for this period.
Specifically, the number of transgressions and unlawful acts registered by the forces of law and order, fell in the Canary Islands (-6.4%), the Basque Country (-5.1%), Valencia (-4.6%), Cantabria (-3.3%), Extremadura (-2.5%), the Balearic Islands (-1.7%), and Galicia (-0.5%). At the opposite end of the scale, criminality grew in the Spanish city of Melilla in North Africa and in eight other regions of Spain, above all in Murcia, with an increase of 4.2%, and in Madrid where it rose by 3.6%. In absolute terms, the Community with the greatest number of crimes and law infringements was Madrid, with 206'732, ahead of Andalucia with 188'186.
The figures do not include cases covered by Local Police forces.
In the Balearics, police reinforcements are drafted in every summer, because of the enormous growth in population thanks to tourism, and to provide extra security because the Spanish royal family spend the month of August here. Recently, a programme of fast trials has been introduced in an effort to handle petty crime quickly and to cut down the number of people held in jail awaiting trial. Most of the cases fall into the category of drunk driving or speeding.

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