After months and months of criticism, constant complaints and protests, the Orihuela government has finally budgeted additional police hours to tackle the illegal trading that takes place every night of the week along the 700 metres of the Aguamarina Promenade in Cabo Roig.
Following efforts by the Costa Blanca Leader and the Spanish newspaper, Diario Informacion, alongside the local community Group FAOC, it is understood that the local council has allocated 1,200 additional hours so that the Policia Local can provide one further patrol during the working week and an additional two patrols at weekends.
The situation with regard to the illegal traders has been particularly problematic during the summer months, especially since the clampdown in Torrevieja, with upwards of 50 ‘looky looky men’ setting themselves up every night of the week along the Cabo Roig strip. The number increases significantly at weekends when the problem brings with it a significant number who also deal in drugs.
The Manteros display their products right in front of the shops, bars and restaurants, along what is the largest commercial area on the Orihuela coast, which has caused additional complaints from the merchants and hospitality associations that are reporting a loss in sales during the summer months of around 20%.
It is also known that when the manteros are approached by the legally operating traders and asked to move off their forecourts they often issue threats and there is evidence of broken windows and other damage taking place as a result.
The police reinforcement has already been noticeable during the last few days with a patrol car and a police van placed on the Paseo de Aguamarina every night. The presence of the six additional agents is ensuring that the manteros are no longer able to set up their merchandise on the pavements, which allows a better transit of pedestrians up and down the walkway.
Currently, however, the sellers do not go very far, watching the movements of the police officers who occasionally have to leave the area to deal with other incidents. As might be expected, as soon as they drive off in their police vehicles the ‘looky looky men’ are quickly out with their never ending supply of well-known, but counterfeit brands, of sports shoes, t-shirts, polo shirts, handbags, watches and sunglasses.
The Federation of Associations of Orihuela Costa (FAOC) has asked that the police confiscate the illegal items, as have the merchants and hoteliers Business Association, OC Avanza and the Cabo Roig Strip Commerce Association, something that the police seem loathe to do!