The problem of a shortage of vehicles for Palma police continues. In recent weeks, there have been reports of officers using EMT buses and cars from other town hall departments. Now they are resorting to their own cars and motorbikes.
Sunday presented a set of circumstances which highlighted the issue. Real Mallorca were playing at home and there were the controls required at polling stations for the general election - 27 stations in all.
Police sources say that an "extraordinary" situation has arisen because of the lack of vehicles, but they stress that the use of private vehicles is only for getting to and from duty points, such as a polling station. Under no circumstances are officers allowed to patrol using their own vehicles.
The use of a private vehicle could, however, have legal implications. If there was an accident, there wouldn't be the legal coverage. There is also a legal matter regarding the carrying of firearms if the vehicle is private. In addition, there are concerns that officers could expose themselves to risk if their vehicles were to be identified; this risk would include acts of terrorism.
It is being suggested, though, that patrols are being made on unmarked motorbikes which are not prepared for emergency situations. Meanwhile, some old police bikes that were introduced more than ten years ago are being used. One of these went over on Sunday and had to be withdrawn from service.
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