By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
AN inter-local authority organisation is being set up to tackle teenage gangs in Majorca.
Social services, the central government delegation to the Balearics, Palma City Council and the various police and security forces will all be part of the new working group which will be headed by Majorca's new gang tsar, the Minister for SocialServices and Immigration, Josefina Santiago.

Launching the organisation yesterday, she said that the first meeting will be held as soon as possible after Christmas and expert advice will be sought from professionals with wide experience with the problems of teenage violence, an issue of equal concern in Britain.

The minister stressed that, for the time being, the government does not consider Palma is facing a problem of teenage gangs.
Santiago admitted that information has been gathered to suggest that there are a number of teenage groups which do have basic structure and could be considered gangs, but for the moment, the government wants to tackle teenage violence as a whole.

She said that there is still time to nip the problem in the bud and, if street and school violence starts to escalate, then firm and immediate action will be taken.

However, the minister echoed the comments made by Aina Calvo, the Mayor of Palma, earlier in the week that society as a whole will have to be involved in combating teenage violence. “Direct action is not going to work unless it is backed up in schools and homes,” she said. “This is why the new organisation will be drawing up a new social and educational agenda which will involve schools and families in the fight against teenage violence,” Santiago added. The anti-gang group will work in close coordination with all the various social groups and organisations and the minister said that, once up and running, everyone involved will know what their role is and what they have to do. “We have to be united and coordinated in our actions and make sure we send out the same message to society,” Santiago stressed yesterday.

Last night a public cry for social justice was made by hundreds of people who attended a rally organised in Plaza Cort by the Stei teachers union in protest over the stabbing of a 16-year-old West African immigrant nearly two weeks ago in the centre of Palma. Two teenage brothers are being held for the killing and the attack is believed to have been teenage gang related.The debate over teenage violence and gangs has been raging ever since Eusebio Ebulabate was killed and his devastated family hope that something positive can come from their son's death and that no more young people fall victim to the Latin and African gangs in Palma.

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