Spain's police director general, Juan Cotino, tried to play down the importance of the Balearics crime figures at a European crime conference in Ibiza, claiming that the region's crime rate is the lowest, per capita, in the Mediterranean. Addressing delegates at the European Crime Prevention summit, Cotino said that Spain's crime rate, per 1'000 inhabitants, is the third lowest in Europe, adding that the sharp rise last year in the Balearics was due to the new system used for calculating crime. He explained that last year's crime rate included crimes reported to both the Local and National Police forces in the Balearics, hence the numerical increase in crime does not correspond to the reality of the situation on the streets. Cotino also said that within the next six months, all the vacancies in the police forces will be filled. However, in the 80*s the National Police lost an average of 1'000 men and women every year, while at the moment there are 3'000 people studying at police academies across Spain. Cotina said that Spain is leading the way in Europe in the fight against crime, he stressed the need for the new “eurorden” police system to be introduced which will make the hunt and arrest of criminals within the European Union easier for the security forces as well help the fight against organised crime and terrorism.

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