The big headline in the local Spanish press today declares police reinforcements from France and Portugal will be arriving in Benidorm to help back up the local force over the peak summer period. That all sounds great… logistically how it will work is another matter. What language will they speak to each other for instance?
Obviously they will have no legal authority to make an arrest therefore need to be accompanied by Spanish officers at all times. But read further down and it’s not quite so dramatic – there will in fact only be 2 French officers and 2 Portuguese, dressed in their countries uniform and unsurprisingly, no British bobbies.
Every summer the town hall employs extra beach police in addition to officers from other regions of Spain who come to the resort to help with the influx of visitors. This year it will include 25 National Police and a further 80 Local Police, including cavalry – those on horseback. Hope there’ll be someone walking behind picking up the mess like they do at the parades – especially if it is along the Levante promenade!
But it is reassuring to holidaymakers seeing police patrol along the front despite alot of the their time being spent playing cat and mouse with the illegal cocktail sellers. The penny finally dropped with the health authority though as they have now issued a warning that it is a "serious risk" to your health if you consume one!
Thankfully the long awaited SATE office in the Rincon has finally opened -located opposite the Flash hotel. This is where you MUST go to report any crime... pickpocketing, mugging etc and there is a translator available to help you fill in the report.
Unfortuantely it is not open 24 hours a day as it should be and only half days at the weekend! Yet further down the coast, in Alicante, they have just set up a special police unit “Fox Unit” - that will be patrolling the streets of the city to help control drunken and disorderly behavior.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8 officers, an inspector and 2 officials will operate from 9:00pm until 5:00am. Now this is what is needed here in Benidorm to control situations getting out of hand and deterring the gangs of African girls preying on drunken tourists, although no doubt the town hall will claim that the police do already patrol. However, ask those that are out in the early hours and it is a very different story.