TIGHTENING border controls may well have been top of the agenda in Palma yesterday, but the Home Secretary also used the visit to pledge his co-operation in resolving the Balearics' domestic security problems. Miguel Angel Acebes promised to work “shoulder to shoulder” with the Balearic government to crackdown on crime and “resolve the public's problems by defending their interests.” He said that all public administrations and institutions have to be responsible for public safety and security, referring in particular to the need for a much greater level of co-operation and co-ordination between local councils and their local police forces. Acebes supports the idea of municipal security councils being established to deal with planning district policing to meet each municipality's specific needs while simultaneously working with the National Police and Guardia Civil. With regards to the Balearic government's call for more police, Acebes said that, under the new national crime plan, more National Police and Guardia Civil will be recruited every year. The Home Secretary also reminded Balearic members of the recently formed Security Council, the first meeting of which was shrouded in controversy last week when Acebes apparently back-tracked, failing to give central government delegate Catalina Cirer authorisation to attend, that in accordance with the deal signed between central government and the Spanish Federation of Local Councils last September, the country's 54.000 Local Police will be actively involved in the national fight against crime. It will provide local authorities with a potential 200.000 autonomous, Local and National police to call on as well as the Guardia Civil. Acebes said that once local councils have drawn up their individual security plans, the number of police on the streets will “multiply” providing a much greater deterrent to criminals.

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