With local residents associations claiming that only one local police patrol is dedicated to the Orihuela Costa overnight the commander of the Guardia Civil in Pilar de la Horadada is alleged to have described the area as a ‘paradise for criminals’ in a recent discussion with neighbourhood watch groups.
He is reported to have said that there is more crime on the Orihuela Costa than any other neighbouring town and during the holiday season, when the population increases by five fold, it will get much worse.
Meanwhile in Pilar and Torrevieja the number of patrols watching over the towns during the night is said to vary between four and six.
As a result of this appalling lack of resources many incidents are not being attended with the security of coastal residents being put seriously at risk. More worryingly, agents who patrol the coast at night are not allowed to carry tasers, which they describe as extremely useful in dealing with aggressors, unlike their colleagues on daytime patrols.
Not only are the police unions calling for more trained officers and better equipment which they claim is acutely under resourced, they are now stating that officers are being refused their rest days and holidays as a result of which, during the Moors and Christians Fiesta many were threatening to take their children into work with them.
Orihuela’s Local Police unions (CSIF, SPPLB and UGT) announced last week that they would take legal action against the councillor of security, Mariola Rocamora, if she does not withdraw the express order for the head of the Local Police to grant leave or rest days during the period July 15 to 21, during La Reconquista and Moros y Cristianos festivals. They have been told that they must work for 8 consecutive days with some agents announcing their intention to take their children to work if they are prevented from resting during that time.
The agents consider that the councillor for Security is violating their human rights, so they are considering taking Mariola Rocamora to court.
Some of the policemen have said they will go with their children to work if they are forced to cancel their rest days. They will submit a signed document objecting to the order, and they will leave their children in the headquarters.
In addition, they announce that they will not escort the Oriol Bird, the city mascot, on 17 July for the first time in history.