British Police deployed to European Holiday Resorts for British Crime Curbing Trial
With Magaluf’s nightlife proving a magnet for young British holidaymakers wanting to engage in debauched behaviour – and sometimes criminality – the deployment of UK police officers to the Spanish resort might have appeared a sensible move.
But as the trial on the island of Mallorca nears its end, it is the decision to limit the patrols of the two “Bobbies on the beach” to between the hours of 7am and 10pm – when many revellers are asleep or relatively sober – that has left many scratching their heads.
Forced onto the defensive by criticism of their clocking-off time, Sgt Brett Williams suggested that patrolling the resort at night was a possibility. However, with the officers heading to San Antonio, on Ibiza, on Monday for the second week of the trial, after having the weekend off, it remains to be seen whether they will get the chance.
“We’ll probably end up on the streets at night, but as with any English crime and any English thing that we want to deal with, we need to speak with the stakeholders in the day,” said Williams, who when in the UK is a counter-terrorism officer.
Revealing that he and his West Midlands police colleague PC Martina Anderson had helped at a domestic violence incident, he said the trial was not about tackling drunken Britons but working with hotel directors, security staff, bar owners and local police to gauge the situation.
Since Monday, the pair have been patrolling in uniform, alongside members of the guardia civil, concentrating on areas frequented by large numbers of tourists including beaches, airport terminals and town centres.
It was billed as a way of helping the local police deal with Britons who are perpetrators or victims of crime. Around 150,000 Britons visit Magaluf each year, mainly in July and August, according to the Association of British Travel Agents.
British police officers have been patrolling in the resort of Magaluf on the island of Mallorca, as part of a trial initiative funded by the Foreign Office.
Last year the British Consulate in Mallorca dealt with 182 detentions of British nationals and in the same period 131 British citizens were hospitalised in Mallorca.
It is hoped the presence of British police in the resort will reduce the number of incidents and the workload of British consular staff there.
Tom Burridge spoke to Sgt Brett Williams and PC Martina Anderson, from West Midlands Police, during one of their first patrols of Magaluf.
- Independent, Guardian