Noisy Stag & Hen groups
Benidorm police are starting to crack down on establishments for not complying with regulations - in particular with reference to noise pollution. The hospitality and nightlife business is extremely important to the economy of the resort, but there needs to be a balance with the rights of the residents too - not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination! Many Brits come on holiday to Benidorm specifically because the alcohol is so much cheaper here than back in the UK and there is an almost round the clock party atmosphere. The town is rife with Stag & Hen parties - something of a controversial issue with family groups, arriving on a Friday for a 3 or 4 day manic drinking session. Some hotels have even banned large groups of Stag and Hens or discouraged them by stipulating very large deposits in case of breakages.
On Thursday, one club - "Beachcomber" located in the heart of "The Square" was closed down by the police for continually flouting the law and the music system was taped off for the remainder of this week. The Square is a popular destination for the Brits, especially the Stag & Hen groups,who head there knowing that it is open late. The regulations state that the doors have to be closed so that the music does not carry - and that Beachcomber in particular have been warned several times about this. The police also discovered that staff hired as security personel did not have the appropriate training certificate, which is a requirement by the Generalitat - regional Government.
Local police are also prosecuting three other establishments - not directly on Calle Mallorca, which is the name of the road where the square is located, for employing workers who are in the country illegally. They have not named the places but in a statement referred to them as places which offer "erotic shows"! There was also an issue with the staff which were employed as inviters. Following the introduction of new rules to clean up the streets of Benidorm, club and bar promoters - often referred to as inviters, are required to wear high visibility vests and identification stating which establishment they are working for.The police are making regular checks, fining the bars heavily for those promoters found working without their vests and ID and found some that were working without a contract.
Extended opening times
However, despite ongoing complaints from residents the Council are seeking to extend the opening times based on the arguement that "Benidorm is a tourist town and relies heavily on tourism". These special extended times would only be applicable until 30th September and allow restaurants to remain open an extra hour - extending it from 1:30am until 2:30am and "pubs,clubs and cabaret bars" extended until 4:00am. But the police union has said that many already breach these times, with some, particularly on the beach and the Rincon de Loix areas open until 5:30am. Over 300 letters were sent out in the week advising owners of the regulations, such as closing all doors and windows after 00:30am, the volume control on outside speakers and that no live music should be played between 2:00 and 5:00pm - as it is siesta time! This one I feel will be rather hard to enforce - just walk along the Levante on any afternoon and listen to the noise emmiting from both Tiki Beach and Daytona to name just two. Even without music, the volume of noise generated from the people alone is deafening, not to mention them taking up most of the road!
Problems in Old Town
There were many problems in the Old Town last year following persistent complaints over the Summer months from the residents about noise! Those living around a square at the bottom end of Avd Ruzafa instigated a "hate campaign" over the Summer period - they continually threw buckets of water down onto the customers of bars and restaurants sitting at tables below. The police were called out almost on a nightly basis as tempers rose between residents and restaurant/bar owners - wonder what will happen this year as we enter the busy peak holiday season. Spain is renowned for its relaxed laid back cafe style culture and late nights - often weddings and concerts do not even begin until 10pm throughout the hot Summer months here.
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