Police in Ciutadella are unhappy at being blamed for the fiesta crowds. | Josep Bagur Gomila


The local police in Ciutadella are "indignant" at the lack of provision for reinforcements for the cancelled Sant Joan Fiestas. Despite the cancellation, police union representative Toni Pons says that the town hall and the national government delegation had both been warned that there was the potential for crowds.

Pons insists that the town hall and the delegation should accept their mistakes rather than looking for "culprits". "We asked for a more effective protocol and for equal reinforcement of the three shifts. But the security board approved the deployment, arguing that requests (for reinforcements) were not logical as all events had been cancelled and so no more officers would be needed. They said that in an emergency there was the UPR Prevention and Reaction Unit (National Police)."

The union representative adds that the town hall gave the police a "strange" order, which was to act without causing public disturbances. "We are there precisely to avoid these disturbances, not to create them. We are outraged because everyone is pointing the finger at us and holding us responsible for the crowds. We don't understand this and we are demanding explanations."

The town hall, the union feels, "over-trusted the public" and refused to listen to the professionals. "We are constantly on the streets and we know who the 'party fans' are. It was to have been expected. According to the town hall, there was a Plan B, but we didn't know about it and, given what was seen, it wasn't activated."