Palma will have an urban green patrol next year, provided by SEPRONA (the Nature Protection Service) of the Guardia Civil, part of a programme which by 2003 will be extended to all regional capitals and 12 cities with major environmental problems. Manuel Silos, the head of Seprona, said yesterday that the Guardia Civil will add 500 officers to the 1'500 who form the service, and 40 per cent of them will be assigned to urban patrols throughout Spain. There are 22 such patrols already operating. Seprona's mission in the cities will be to protect the urban environment, animals, prevent pollution, protect the historical patrimony by detecting and reporting offences against the environment. They will help ease the pressure on the rural patrols, which often have an area of responsibility covering an average of 1'800 square kilometres. Silos explained that these patrols would be no different to the ones which are already operative and would be formed by four Guardia Civil officers, a vehicle and four motorbikes.

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