IN the aftermath of a violent week in what is known as the ‘English zone’ of Benidorm, that has witnessed shootings and a local comedian/DJ ending up in an induced coma fighting for his life, the local council and the police have acted immediately. According to a report in the Spanish media, they have said that “enough is enough”.
In addition to installing more CCTV cameras in the zone of Calle Mallorca that should be completed within the next two weeks, there will be a permanent police presence in the area to act as a deterrent to the criminals – especially alleged drug dealers – and the general excesses of anti-social behaviour by the tourists in the area.
A meeting last week was held between the Benidorm Council and the National Police to formally address the issue. However, one immediate change to the law has seen the withdrawal of the permissions for those people that roam the streets close to the pubs and clubs on ‘public relations’ and encourage passers-by to visit their venues…a number of which are suspected by the authorities as promoting the sale and use of drugs to tourists. Pubs could face fines of up to €1,200 for breaking the ban.
Things escalated on Saturday following the England win over Sweden in the FIFA World Cup quarter final match and onlookers watched as multiple police cars with lights and sirens parked on the Calle Mallorca, a street popular with British tourists.
Officers appeared ready for action, diverting traffic and walking with night sticks and riot shields on the street and there was an element of violence.
The next potential flashpoint will be this coming Wednesday evening when England meet Croatia in the semi-finals and fans, possible fuelled by alcohol and the heat, could be on the streets again and will no doubt be greeted with a significant police presence.