Playa de Palma plagued with problems. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


A Palma police officer maintains that "the frontline of ​​the whole of Playa de Palma is like a war zone". The return to tourism normality has meant that it isn't only tourists who are back in great number, so also are the criminals. Thieves and three-card tricksters ("trileros") are out in force. While the police have to deal with them, there are also some of the the tourists - those making up for lost drinking time.

On patrol one morning, officers are advised by some tourists that they have found three high-end phones. They have been stolen. Thieves steal anything valuable for sale on the black market. The thefts are mostly at night. The items are hidden in order to be collected the next morning. The thieves don't want to carry them in case the police stop them. In this instance, the police have got to the phones before the thieves can return.

The officers spot a trilero in operation, but in a flash he has disappeared. "We're up against professionals, catching them in action is almost mission impossible." He points to one individual. "He's one of them, but he stopped when he saw us." In Playa de Palma, there are two gangs who have been scamming tourists for some fifty years - the Bustamantes and the Lisiados.

In one of the streets there are numerous illegal sellers. As soon as the police appear, there is a stampede. No arrests and just a box of sunglasses seized. The police say that organisation makes it nigh on impossible to put a stop to the street vending. "It's a mafia, everything is organised. They have a sixth sense to notice the police. And they are constantly warning each other."

And as for tourists, "many of them come here just to get drunk". An officer tells the story of a man who arrived in the resort at 10am and, by midday, had already been expelled from the hotel for balconing. The tourism of excesses decree is supposed to put an end to this sort of thing. But there are visitors who either unaware of the regulations or who simply take no notice of them.