Belfast Telegraph

Monday 31 August 2015

Magaluf 'not lenient on revellers'

Published 14/07/2014

The head of tourism in Magaluf has denied the authorities are lenient with rowdy tourists
The head of tourism in Magaluf has denied the authorities are lenient with rowdy tourists

The head of tourism in Magaluf has denied that police take a lenient approach towards rowdy tourists after footage emerged showing a Northern Irish girl performing sex acts on 24 men during a pub crawl.

Cristian Alfaro, head of tourism for Calvia town hall, which has responsibility for the notorious resort, claimed that the scenes in the video earlier this month were an "isolated" incident rather than a trend.

Carnage Magaluf, the pub crawl's organiser, has said it is collaborating with local authorities to make sure that there is no repeat of what happened in the video.

But similar incidents are common and have been going on for decades, according to local residents on the Spanish island of Majorca.

One taxi driver, who asked to remain unnamed, said that it was not even the worst he had seen in the raucous bars and clubs on Magaluf's seaside strip.

"I have seen British tourists have sex in front of the crowds, without any shame," he said.

"The only difference is that now mobile phones have cameras and there are social networking sites to post the footage on.

"Part of the problem is that the local police look the other way. There are a lot of hotel spaces here and they have to be filled somehow."

Mr Alfaro flatly denied that police take a lenient approach towards rowdy tourists and said an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the video was still ongoing.

And he argued that a new regulation announced last week forcing pub crawl operators to be licensed and keep numbers of revellers to a maximum of 50 would help the local force bring the worst excesses under control.

But he refused permission for the Press Association to accompany officers on the beat and film them during the busy night shift.

He said: "I think we should leave the police to do their job and I don't see how filming the job of the police can help for that job to be done better.

"I don't think anyone doubts that the police are doing their job, that's not our perception.

"What happened was not acceptable and we don't want our resort to be associated with this kind of behaviour.

"This has been the irresponsible act of one rogue operator which could damage the hard work we have been doing in the last years to promote Calvia."

Aside from the scandal surrounding the sex acts footage, Magaluf has also been in the spotlight recently over drug use and prostitution.

Over the weekend, a 20-year-old Danish tourist fell to his death from a fourth floor balcony at a hotel in the resort.

Previously this summer, the Balearic islands have been hit by claims that clubbers - a number of them British - are consuming a synthetic "cannibal" drug which can cause users to lash out by biting.

Known as "bath salts", methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) has previously been linked to a horrific attack which saw an alleged user chew off the face of a homeless man before being shot dead by police in Miami two years ago.

Footage released earlier this month purportedly showed a British tourist in Magaluf writhing and screaming while under the effects of the drug.

According to local press reports, 11 police officers were needed to restrain the 28-year-old after he tried to bite people on the beach.

And local businesses have complained that pickpockets are posing as prostitutes and stealing from unsuspecting tourists.

Mr Alfaro said: "With prostitution we had a problem but we have been working on it with the tour operators and they say they are not having issues with that this year.

"We have had some issues with this and with the legal weapons that we have the town hall has acted and done as much as it can."

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