Palma City Council, holding its last council meeting of the year yesterday, agreed to back track and keep the 21 Local Police officers who were due to be replaced by the traffic wardens. While their contracts are due to expire at the end of the year, the police, unions and the opposition have criticised the council for releasing the policemen and women. Yesterday, the city council decided to over rule its previous decisions and keep the 21 officers on the beat. There are still qualms over the council's refusal not to replace 18 retiring policemen and women. However yesterday, as the Local Police's neighbourhood police scheme came into full force, city council spokesperson José Manuel Sierra, informed councillors on both sides of the chamber, that Palma, as a city, has one of the highest ratios of police per inhabitant. The Palma Local Police force is 803 officers strong -- a number the council believes is more than adequate to deal with security in, and around the city. Their jurisdiction extends along the Playa de Palma where much of the attention has been directed this year. Police chiefs hope, and expect, that the remodelling of how the force operates, with the introduction of a rapid response unit, the “green” patrols, being taken off parking duties and the neighbourhood “bobbies on the beat” will increase the police's results and improve performance. The city council wants the police to boost public confidence in the force while simultaneously increasing the level of co-operation between residents and the police in the crackdown on petty crime. Prostitution is still going to be a hurdle the police desperately want to overcome. Also for the new year, the police will be launching a fresh crackdown on noise, in particular on mopeds.

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