CALLS FOR POLICE TO BE RELEASED FROM DESK JOBS

By Humphrey Carter
A new National Police station in Calvia has become a priority issue for Socialist members of congress in Madrid who yesterday called for radical shake up of policing in Spain. Opposition members of congress want to see 27 new National Police stations built across Spain, including Calvia where the local council recently called for the urgent deployment of National Police on the streets of the district, with policemen and women currently bogged down, dealing with administration and bureaucracy, released from behind their desks and put on duty on the beat. Spokesperson for the Socialist congress party, Jesús Caldera, said yesterday that since 1996, the crime rate in Spain has risen by 40 per cent and is now the highest in the European Union behind Belgium and Greece while the country has the highest homicide rate in Europe per 100.000 people. Caldera criticised the government's policy on crime, saying that it has failed, hence in many communities, in particular the Balearics, the sense of insecurity is on the rise. A motion proposing that every town with a population of more than 30.000 people should have a National Police station is to be tabled in congress while pressure is going to be put on the government to solve the problem caused by the lack of 14.000 National Police and Guardia Civil members. A lack of police is one of the Balearics' biggest problems as the local government, which has recently set up a special Balearic Security Commission, tries to tackle the fastest rising crime rate in Spain with Madrid dragging its feet over providing rapid solutions to the escalating problem.

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