TRADERS CALLING FOR URGENT GOVERNMENT AND POLICE HELP

PALMA shopkeepers are calling for urgent government help to stop the crime wave that is sweeping certain parts of the city centre.
The streets which are being targeted in particular are Sant Nicolau and Peraires but there is growing concern that the crime wave will spread. The small shopkeepers' association Pimeco, yesterday called on the newly appointed central government delegate to the Balearics, Miguel Ramis, for assistance. In a letter to Ramis, the association has complained that the crime wave is costing members substantial amounts of money, not just in stolen products, but also in repairing the damage done. Pimeco is also worried about the potential threat posed to shop keepers by the criminals behind this current crime wave. In the past four months, three major break-ins have been carried out in Peraires and Sant Nicolau, leaving shop keepers with large repair bills. Critics of the city council claim that the city centre crime wave is proof that the council's community policing efforts have failed and that the extra police on the beat, are not deployed to the areas which require a greater police presence. Elsewhere, Palma city council is also launching a new crackdown on crime along the Playa de Palma by installing a network of close-circuit television cameras. City policing and rising crime is going to become one of the burning election issues over the next few months.
Palma has one of the highest crime rates in Spain and was one of the first to see the National Police Focus Plan enforced. Although, since the start of the year, little news of the controversial operation's efforts and success has been forthcoming from Palma police chiefs or the council.

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