Playa de Muro, where police numbers are not as they might be.

05-06-2017

There are warnings that local police in Muro may not be available 24 hours a day this summer. Muro, a municipality with a permanent population of some 7,000, can have up to almost 30,000 people in the height of summer. There are nearly 17,000 hotel places but there are also large numbers of holiday homes, holiday rentals and workers in the tourism sector.

Twelve years ago, the town hall could call on 34 officers which included six tourist police. There haven't been any of those since 2010. There are now 19 officers in all but only twelve of them are in the shift system. And of these, there will be occasions over the next few months when they will be entitled to some time off.

Muro police are among the lowest paid in Majorca. Consequently, officers have sought work elsewhere. The municipality is not alone in this regard. Capdepera is another case in point. And as in Capdepera, one of the problems for the town hall is the Montoro Law, by which salaries can rise by no more than one per cent, if they rise at all.

In order to ensure that shifts are covered at present, some officers have to change them at the last moment. They do so in order to support each other, but the situation is hard to sustain. A union representative says that there will come a time when the mayor will have to order services by decree, a move which would potentially rekindle old tensions between the mayor and local police.

Concerns are being expressed about being able to provide adequate policing for events. In Muro, the main fiestas (for Sant Joan) will take place later this month. A potential flashpoint of these, as ever, is the bullfight. But just as importantly, there are all the tourists plus the residents. Emergency calls, police sources admit, are in some cases not being responded to immediately.

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