National police forces in the Balearics and across Spain will from today be working to rule as part of a two week protest which will culminate with a mass demonstration outside the European Union summit in Barcelona. All police unions have backed the protest and union sources said yesterday that public services are likely to be worst hit. According to the union, the Interior Ministry (Home Office) had promised a revision of overtime, night shift and weekend payments. In the case of some officers, they have not been awarded a rise on overtime payments for 26 years. Police are also protesting over a shortage of staff, but the union said yesterday that the work to rule will enable the police “to provide a quality service as opposed to the quantity of work done, as was the thrust of the Project 2000 police plan.” Police will be working to rule at airports in particular, checking all passports and documents, which in some cases will cause problems and slow airports and passengers down. Union sources said that while the crime rate, according to the Home Office, is 13 per cent higher, the reality is that it is 40 per cent and the National Police force needs more human resources. The National Police chief yesterday announced that the force is to receive a new fleet of high-performance squad cars.

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