PALMA policing and security look set to become two of the key election issues in the battle for mayor in the New Year.
The Majorcan Union party's candidate for mayor, Miquel Nadal, announced yesterday that, should he win the municipal election in May, one of the first steps his party will take is to introduce “civil agents” in order to improve public safety and security in the capital. Nadal said that Palma's Local Police are either desk-bound or on administrative duties instead of protecting and looking after the public.
Nadal explained that civic agents are used in other cities. Their primary aim is to ease the pressure on the local police force by taking care of more menial and administrative tasks such as monitoring rubbish disposal, controlling accesses to the main markets and making sure dog owners clean up after their pet. Civic agents would also be used to replace Local Police officers on school duties, for example.
The agents will not have powers to arrest or fine people but they will be able to report incidents and suspects to the police.
A civic agent pilot scheme is currently underway in one of the Barcelona neighbourhoods. Nadal said that city hall sources say the scheme is proving very successful. “Training police officers costs the local authority a great deal of money,” he said. “They should therefore be doing what they are trained for,” Nadal added. The Majorcan Union party's policing policies do not stop there. Nadal said that the Local Police force will be completely restructured with more officers on the beat at night and the force's resources significantly increased, along with the number of Tourist Police. But, the biggest shake up will see the number of police officers deployed to patrolling the suburbs increased from the present number of 56 to 300. “At the moment, there are too few police patrolling a too large area,” he said. “There needs to be a constant police presence in the suburbs if the force is going to be effective,” Nadal proclaimed yesterday.

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