The UFP Baleares, the National Police Union in the Balearics, has condemned an "alarming lack of personnel" available to the National Police on the islands. As such, it is suggesting that the coming summer season could be "one of the worst" in terms of security.
The union has highlighted this failing against a background of recruitment and retirement over the past four years. It says that an average of 200 new officers have been entering the force, while more than 3,000 have retired, meaning that numbers have been affected detrimentally.
Regarding the situation in the Balearics, a union request to the Police Board for greater numbers has apparently gone "unheard". The union is also pointing to experiences over the Christmas period when there were complaints about the lack of officers for the radio patrol emergency service (091) and because of the low number of cars operating in Palma. On New Year's Eve there were only four cars for the whole of the city. This summer, the union suggests, will see weekends and nights when there will be only three or four patrol cars.
The union considers this state of affairs to be unacceptable. "It is not only seriously detrimental to the safety of the public but also to the safety of officers, as there are situations when three vehicles will be totally inadequate."
The UFP is, therefore, asking the police directorate to send officers on temporary assignments during the summer, as is done at frontier points such as Algeciras and the airport in Malaga.
"According to all forecasts, records for the number of tourists on the islands this summer will be beaten, but it will be a summer in which we see fewer police on the streets."
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