IBIZA – Ibiza’s government responds to criticism from senior officers claiming only two patrols operated simultaneously during August.
The Government Delegation denies criticism that only two patrols per shift were in operation across the whole of Ibiza during the height of the summer instead claiming that thirteen patrols were operating although patrol times and location were not specified. Up to three or four patrols per shift were working across the island according to the delegation who were also quick to point out that many patrol officers were working at the courts controlling detainees.
One prominent Guardia Civil officer who has been critical of the patrol numbers describes a change in policing culture across the island with more time devoted to tourist’s needs than fighting crime: “Instead of preventing crime, it’s giving priority to the citizens, so that tourists do not have to wait to register complaints or for any other needs.” Ibiza and Formentera have more than three hundred Guardia Civil agents, approximately a third of which take holidays during the summer months. According to the officer, encouraging Guardia Civil agents not to take their holidays during peak summer months would be one way to combat patrol shortages during the summer.
Nineteen officers were sent from Mallorca as reinforcements two weeks ago working night shifts in a bid to help tackle drug trafficking and robberies in tourist areas of the island. They arrived on Sunday August 31 and left a week later but according to an other senior officer temporary reinforcements are not enough: “Sending twenty Guardia Civil who do not know the island for a week is not a solution for any of the problems that we suffer in the summer. The only way to achieve effectiveness in the agents’ work is to have experienced policemen who know the island well.”