The shortage of policemen and women in the Balearics is not the reason for the region's rapidly rising crime rate, central government delegate Catalina Cirer said yesterday. Cirer, the Partido Popular's candidate for Mayor of Palma at the May 25 elections, admitted that the Balearics has not got enough police but brushed aside claims that criminals are having a field day because of the lack of human resources. “The police are where they should be, but what they need is more judicial support because 74 per cent of crimes are committed by re-offenders,” she said yesterday. She did however admit that the crime figures are alarmingly high. Central government tried to pass them off, claiming that the introduction of a new crime collation system in the Balearics which added Local Police and National Police crime figures together was the reason for the unusually high figure, “but central government's judicial reforms will help to reduce the figures,” she said. There has also been a drop in the number of police cadets over the past year and the compensation offered to officers relocating from the mainland to the Balearics fails to cover for the high cost of living in the region, hence the problems the National Police force has in persuading officers and their families to transfer. There are an estimated 300 vacancies which central government has said it intends to fill. Just how and when, will be one of the topics on the agenda at next week's Public Security Council meeting in Palma which has been called to discuss the results of the study published yesterday, which revealed that one in three members of the public have been a victim of crime in the past 12 months.

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