MAGALUF, Majorca – West Midlands police officers Pc Martina Anderson and Sergeant Brett Williams were sent to Magaluf to help the Guardia Civil, but tourists and workers at the resort have complained they are on duty at the wrong time of day and year.
Bar and club staff said the officers had arrived too late as most British visitors arrive earlier in the season, while both workers and holidaymakers said the police needed to be around at night to have any effect.
“Having only two policemen covering two major resorts in two weeks between 7am and 10pm isn’t going to make much difference in my opinion. Most of the problems begin after 10pm in both resorts,” said Anna Nicholas.
“All the same it’s a start. Hopefully if this pilot scheme proves a useful exercise, more police will [come] next summer. Magaluf has apparently quietened down a fair bit since the new laws were introduced in June. At first many tourists… rebelled against them but I think have now got the message that anti-social behavior will not be tolerated,” she added.
The officers arrived on Monday and have been out in full British uniform working eight-hour shifts between 7am and 10pm. They are patrolling popular tourist spots, such as the Punta Ballena strip – the nightlife hub – as well as beaches and the airport to assist any British victims of crime and support the Spanish police with any British offenders.
On Wednesday they patrolled the resort but were also spotted in the sea having laid their towels on sunbeds at their four-star adults-only spa hotel.
They will soon move on to San Antonio, Ibiza, to keep an eye on British revelers there.
Cathie Wood said their working hours were “a joke”.
Ms Wood, who was visiting the holiday island for the third time this year, said: “People don’t even get out of their beds until midnight to come out and party. Where are they when they are partying and the trouble’s kicking off?
“Two officers is like a drop in the ocean, isn’t it – they’ll make no difference whatsoever,” she added.
On the Punta Ballena strip, where club staff try to entice young tourists to their bars, Lee James, who works at the City Lights bar, said the officers were at the resort months too late, and that Magaluf was full of Britons in May. But since the end of July, it has mainly been Italian and Spanish tourists.
The latest initiative follows a successful experiment carried out last year in Majorca where French and German police were called upon to do the same.
Last year, Balearic authorities declared it was aiming to transform the notorious resort into a “mature tourist destination” by introducing new curbs on anti-social behavior and an overhaul of hotels in a bid to attract a more upmarket crowd.
Popular for the last two decades with hedonistic young travelers, it was here last summer that an 18-year-old girl was filmed performing sex acts on a series of men, part of a craze known as “mamading”, where girls are encouraged to engage in lewd behavior for free drinks.