The college of tour guides and the local residents association have complained about the level of illegal street selling in Playa de Palma and Arenal. Susana de Cortada, president of the college, says that tourists are constantly harassed. "They can't get on or off a bus without feeling like they're at a flea market."
She blames this on a lack of police, as she also does the increase in pickpocketing and the return of the carnation women. Francisco Nogales of the residents association says that from the start of the season the street selling was blatant. "One hundred of them, providing unfair competition to those businesses which pay their taxes." He also highlighted police inaction and referred to the internal problems that the local force has been experiencing.
Their views were being made at Palma's full council meeting, at which there was unanimous agreement for there to be a police unit during the Christmas period in order to ensure residents' and visitors' safety and to also avoid a proliferation of illegal sellers.
However, the summer season was what mostly concerned the residents association, Nogales saying that the summer had been unbearable. "It has not been possible to sleep at night or during the day." He highlighted problems of noise and fights, and went on to mention people defecating in the streets. He argued that the absence of police was all tied up with the force being immersed in the Palma police corruption case.
"We can understand their situation, but it's we who are losing out. There is anarchy. Alcohol is on sale 24 hours a day. Drugs are being sold like nobody's business."
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