BALEARIC CRIME BLACK SPOTS TARGETTED

THE first wave of extra police is about to be deployed on the streets of the Balearics, the initial step in a new fight against crime. The new Guardia Civil Public Security unit will bolster the police forces in the Balearics and will target areas with runaway crime rates. Last year, the Guardia Civil dealt with nearly eight per cent more incidents than in 2001 and the new unit was announced yesterday by the central government delegate to the Balearics, Miguel Ramis. Since taking over the post just two weeks ago, he has wasted no time trying to tackle the region's crime problem and plug the gap caused by the lack of police. The new 21-strong unit has actually been operative in Majorca since October but was used to solve the winter crime wave which swept through Sa Rápita. Now however, the unit will be used across the Balearics in crime black spots. Ramis said that the Public Security force will be a rapid reaction unit, able to respond and bolster existing police forces in any single area as quickly as possible. However, rapid response unit or not, Ramis said that he has stepped up the fight against crime and intends to have more police on the street to ease the public's safety concerns, but he said it is going to take time and asked for patience “the results will not be immediate.” All the members of the new unit, unveiled yesterday, have undergone specialist training and been instructed about how to operate in local communities and in association with local authorities and local police forces. The Local and National Police forces have supposed to have been co-operating as part of a new Focus Plan in Palma, but the results have shown little success in the bid to tackle crime. Balearic government spokesperson Josep Costa said that the new unit is a “positive step forward” in the war against crime and improving the efficiency and working relationships of the regional security forces.

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