NUMBERS recruited for the Tourist Police, a new force which will be operative from May next year, will not cover the demand of 260 places required by the Islands' town councils. The force will initially number only 100. The Balearic Interior minister, José María Rodríguez Barberà was speaking yesterday, on the occasion of an agreement signed between his department and the Balearic town councils. The aim is to integrate this new, specially trained body into the policing of tourist areas, thereby relieving already existing security forces. Contracts held by officers in the tourist police will be of a permanent nature but not for all months of the year. Initially, the period of operation will be for six months, possibly extending to nine during 2005. A preparatory period is scheduled between 19 and 21 November, which will consist of a training programme lasting 300 hours.
A special section will devote 80 hours to tourism, and the new police officers will be able to attend courses in English and Catalan.
Duties of the new officers will focus on providing information and the prevention of petty crime. “It will make a difference to security out on the street and in preventing theft in tourist areas” confirmed the Interior minister.
The cost for launching the Tourist Police support force will reach 1'300'000 euros in its first year.
Seventy-five percent of this money will come from the Balearic ministry of the Interior and 25 percent from local town councils.

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