The crime wave which is sweeping Majorca is giving the authorities sleepless nights, never mind the public, as all the community policing drives appear to be failing. While police chiefs argue that the 30 per cent rise in street crime last year in the Balearics is because of a new system of calculating crime and that the latest figures do not reflect the reality of the situation, juvenile crime is spiralling out of control and just days after National Police chief Juan Cotina proclaimed that the Balearics is the safest place in the Mediterranean, a 72-year-old pensioner was killed when her bag was snatched as she nipped out to buy her nephew some pastries for breakfast. The tragic crime has shocked Palma and Majorca. All of the region's three police forces, Local and National police and the Guardia Civil do not have enough man power and every day this week, teenagers have been arrested in Palma for mugging fellow kids for their mobile telephones. Teenagers in the UK are making hundreds of pounds a day by trading in stolen mobile telephones and juvenile delinquents in Majorca appear to have cottoned on to the lucrative scams. The population in Palma and along the Playa de Palma have spoken out about a growing sense of insecurity and in the centre of Palma you can never find a policeman when you want one - despite the city's new community policing drive. Over the past week, European security chiefs have been discussing fighting crime in Ibiza and the EU is to adopt Spain's community policing model. Perhaps the Balearics should do the same before street crime rises by another 30 per cent this year with the police forces unable to cope with the pressure of millions of tourists who also need to be looked after, but have not been accounted for when the policing needs of the Balearics are assessed.

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