The hoteliers say that there are no police at night. | Pere Bergas


Playa de Palma is the one resort area of Mallorca that remains relatively busy over the winter. All things are relative as just seventeen hotels are currently open out of a total of almost 200.

This summer, notes the vice-president of the hoteliers association, José Antonio Fernández de Alarcón, Palma town hall provided police strength which, "while it was not spectacular, did mean a more or less constant police presence". In winter, however, it is a different matter. Hoteliers, he says, have made an effort to keep their establishments open, but "what is the point of promoting tourism in winter, if we can't have something as essential as security?". "There are no officers on the streets. Surveillance is conspicuous by its absence."

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According to the association, an organised gang of criminals has been "running wild" since the main tourism season ended and the police numbers were reduced. Over recent weeks, there have been numerous thefts, especially phones from people who are mugged and items from hire cars that have their windows smashed.

Fernández de Alarcón claims that after dark "there are no officers". "They're all gone." The association is collecting complaints from individuals affected by robberies and will present these to the police, both Palma and National. A problem, he adds, is that "many of those who are robbed are tourists and they often don't report robberies". Hoteliers are holding talks with car-hire companies, so that they can together make a demand that the town hall complies with its obligations to maintain a police presence.