There is a shortage of police officers in Palma.

23-05-2018Miquel À. Cañellas

Aurelio Martínez, representative of the UGT union at Palma town hall, says that personnel involved with protecting the public are the only ones not to have benefited from improvements over the past four years.

At the start of the current administration, personnel policy at the town hall came under two departments: public service and public safety. Martínez argues that this hasn't worked either in terms of organisation or the number of posts. There has been a lack of political will to address the situation.

He notes that up to one hundred police officers are set to retire this year. There has not yet been any attempt to recruit replacements, while there is in any event a deficit of some fifty officers. In all, Palma will have 150 fewer officers than it should have.

Martínez explains that there were only two years when the state imposed restrictions on recruitment for public protection purposes. The town hall, he says, could have had recruitment drives since 2014 but hasn't.

The situation is similar with the fire brigade. There is to be a recruitment drive this year, the first for four years. This will be for twelve new posts, but the brigade needs another forty.

Pedro Castro of the CCOO union echoes the views of the UGT representative. Negotiations on recruitment with the public safety department "have not functioned". He says that during the first two years of the administration, when José Hila was mayor, there was "no personnel management". Antoni Noguera, mayor since June 2017, "saved" the administration in terms of personnel.