The National and the Local Police will set up a special surveillance unit in the centre of Palma, to crack down on the increase in petty crime noted over the past few months. They will operate in areas such as Plaza España, Jaime II, Sindicato and Calle San Miguel. The decision to set up the special operation was taken after a meeting of representatives of both police forces yesterday morning. Over the past few weeks, residents and traders in the centre of Palma have been expressing concern at the increase in the number of pickpockets operating in the area, and petty theft from the shops. The police in the new unit will work in plain clothes and their work will be co-ordinated with the regular uniformed police patrols which will operate as usual in the city centre. Vigilance on the number 15 bus (Can Pastilla) will also be stepped up after the good results of the special operation to stop pick pockets, who often target tourists getting the crowded bus to visit the Playa de Palma or make a shopping trip to Palma. This vigilance will be maintained for several months. But it is not just Palma which has a problem with pickpockets. An alleged pickpocket of Italian nationality was taken to hospital in Manacor, after he was attacked by victims in a hotel in Cala Millor. According to reports, a witness accused him in public and the man, who was accompanied by a woman, tried to get away, but was prevented by a group of persons. By the time the Guardia Civil arrived he had been beaten up. He was taken to hospital but released several hours later and taken to jail. The woman managed to escape.

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