Residents in Palma, Mallorca, protesting against drug addicts in a playground

The residents have had enough.

19-09-2021Alejandro Sepúlveda

Residents of the Calle Cotlliure in the Camp Redó district of Palma are protesting against drug addicts and homeless people who have "taken over" the local children's playground.

One resident says that the situation began to degenerate two years ago: "At first there were groups of marginalised people and some alcoholics. Also some drug addicts, but they didn't bother anyone. Since 2019, however, everything has changed and now it is unbearable."

Another describes the situation as "surreal". "It is not normal for children to be playing in a playground and a few metres away there are women and men drinking, vomiting and doing their business right there, not caring about anything or anyone."

Parents are concerned about what children might see: "The other day, at eleven in the morning, there was a man and a woman having sex on a bench." Another resident says that there is one individual, almost two metres tall, who is scary. "He is not right in the head." She worries about what he might do.

Smoking joints and drinking heavily. And then they have to relieve themselves. "They cross the pavement, get between two cars in full view of everyone and urinate or defecate. As if it were a public bathroom."

Residents believe that the reason why there are so many marginalised people in the playground is because it is on their way to a help centre for the homeless. "We have nothing against beggars, let that be very clear, but when it comes to people who have sex and defecate in front of our children, the police should do something."

There are daily calls to the police, but officers have little room for manoeuvre unless the drug addicts commit a crime. "It is difficult to expel them from the playground without a reason and without being able to confirm that they have caused vandalism."

The local police are now acting to remove violent playground occupants.

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