TOURISM

Two British bobbies head out on the beat in Magaluf

Two UK officers form part of pilot international scheme policing vacationers in Balearics

Spanish Civil Guard officers and British policeman on patrol in Magaluf.
Spanish Civil Guard officers and British policeman on patrol in Magaluf.J. Fernández Ortega

Two British police officers are now pounding the beat in Punta Ballena, the bar-lined street in Magaluf, the low-cost resort in Mallorca that each summer attracts tens of thousands of mainly British revelers attracted by sun, sex, and cheap alcohol.

The two officers, Anderson and Williams, are part of a pilot scheme involving European police forces aimed at reducing friction between vacationers and local people. Four members of Germany’s Bundespolizei have also been seconded to the Balearics, along with three Italian Carabinieri and two French gendarmes, where they will remain until August 30. The two British police officers’ stay in the Balearics will be shorter – just two weeks.

The British, German, Italian and French officers will be uniformed, and will take part in patrols supervised by the Civil Guard and National Police

Spain’s Interior Ministry says it has also increased the number of Spanish police officers that will be patrolling areas popular with foreign vacationers by 23 percent over the summer.

The British, German, Italian, and French officers will be uniformed, and will take part in international patrols under the supervision of colleagues in the Civil Guard and National Police.

During their second week, the two British police officers will head to Sant Antoni de Portmany, in Ibiza, another resort that attracts large numbers of young British people on cheap vacations, and where there have been many incidents over the years.

The British Embassy in Madrid says the main job of the two police officers will be to remind British visitors of the importance of “respecting local people, “and to enjoy their holidays safely, avoiding any problems or breaking the law.” The idea is that their stay in Mallorca and Ibiza will encourage British tourists to behave themselves, thus reducing friction with local residents, who have long complained of drunkenness, fighting, and other anti-social behavior.

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The pilot program also foresees British and other European police officers aiding their Spanish colleagues in investigating cases that involve foreign nationals in any way.

Teresa Palmer, the Spanish government’s delegate in the Balearic Islands, says the accommodation costs of the foreign police officers will be covered by local hoteliers, who are cooperating with the scheme. “This is typical of the hotel sector’s generosity,” she notes.

She adds that the government’s objective is to “provide specialist police attention to tourists,” although this would always be under the supervision of the Spanish officer leading the patrol.

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