It is not only local residents, drivers and transport companies which have begun to complain about the chaos caused most weekends in one part of the island or other by major sporting events, the Guardia Civil traffic division is also feeling the extra pressure generated by the demands of policing these events.

It is understood that during the spring and summer the Guardia Civil are having to police a total of 180 sporting events across the Balearics, something which is putting a strain on their numbers and manpower.

In Majorca there are every weekend between two and four sporting events, such as triathlons, cycle races, athletics events or car rallies, and the Guardia Civil are having to dedicate between 25 and 30 officers to these events' safety and security. These numbers are low by comparison with the recent Mallorca 312 cycling trial. It required the services of 180 officers, some of whom had to be brought in from Minorca and Ibiza, thus affecting the abilities of the force on other islands.

A few years ago, a number of local councils introduced special rates for private event organisers who wanted to hire extra local police. In Palma, for example, it is 50 euros per hour. However, the Guardia Civil provide their services for free, despite the fact that the organisers of the large events charge competitors registration fees and quite often make a great deal of profit.

Not only is all this putting added pressure on the Guardia Civil, it also means that at weekends there are fewer traffic police patrolling the region’s roads. In total, there are 270 officers in the traffic division in the Balearics. If over half of them are on occasions required to police a sporting event, that leaves very few to maintain safety and security on the islands’ roads. It also means that many are having to work overtime to meet the demands of the workload.