Police are used to trouble in Gomila, but residents suggest the town hall is not doing enough. | Alejandro Sepulveda


In Palma's Gomila area on Saturday night, some fifty youths were involved in what residents described as a pitched battle.

The trouble started around eleven o'clock when there were screams, deafening noises and people running everywhere. The youths, aged around twenty and seemingly of Latin American origin, were on the street and in doorways. They were armed with baseball bats and chains.

Residents say that it looked as if the fight had been arranged. It was not just young men who were involved. Some girls had baseball bats in their bags for the boys to use.

Calls were made to 112, the local and National Police. A number of patrols arrived and more than fifteen people were lined up by a doorway and checked for ID. One resident, identified only as Toni, says that the situation is intolerable. This was not the first time there has been trouble on the Joan Miró street. Weekends are characterised by fights, urinating in the streets, street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Another resident, Xavier Abraham, says that the worst aspect is the number of late bars which are sales points drugs. They operate around the clock, he adds. "We denounced all this a year ago but nothing has changed. We're sick of it."

Residents are particularly incensed by the fact that the town hall responds to their complaints by saying that they need to make "denuncias" in an official manner in order to point out which bars are infringing regulations. "When fifty armed youths turn up to fight, it is clear that we have a problem."