MAGALUF businesses are demanding that police and local council act against African prostitutes who, they claim, are actually muggers.
Unless something is done, tourism in the area will suffer, they say.
On an early morning visit to Punta Ballena, the nightlife strip, EWN reporters saw about a dozen African women shouting for clients, and only once did regular passing police patrols stop to issue any warning.
Meanwhile a local businessman warned a drunk Englishman being groped by a prostitute near the main road that he would be mugged. Immediately, a crowd of African women used foul language insulted the businessman as a family looked on from a nearby bar terrace.
The prostitutes then followed him onto Punta Ballena, gesturing crudely.
Limited reaction to such activities have angered local businesses.
However, a Calvià council source said that the number of police in the area had been doubled and that there were fewer incidents involving the women.
But businessman Paul Smith said that any drop in statistics was due to bureaucracy which put many victims off reporting a crime.
Mr Smith said he had written to the council many times highlighting the problem but had met a brick wall.
“Tourism is the main revenue in Mallorca, we try to keep Magaluf safe.
“[The council and bars] should be working with each other not against each other.
“Myself and partner saw a guy getting mugged. We told a police officer and he said: ‘Do I tell you how to do your job?’ To have a response like that from an officer is absolutely disgusting.”
Running a business in Magaluf for 11 years, he wants the council to introduce a community liaison officer.
He also recommended that Punta Ballena be pedestrianised and that police patrol on foot rather than in patrol cars.
Mr Smith also said he would like Calvià mayor Manuel Onieva and the police chief to visit the area at night to see the scale of the problem first hand..
Meanwhile the Calvià council source said that it had met local businesses about the situation.
“We used to fine the prostitutes but a judge ruled against the policy so we’re appealing,” he said. “The council is in negotiations with the central government to change the law.”
However, he also admitted that the women “pretend to be prostitutes but their objective is to rob the clients.”
At the Punta Ballena taxi rank, one driver was reluctant to criticise the police but said officers had admitted there was a serious problem.
There have also been reports of the women hanging around outside hotel lobbies.
Joan Espina, vice-president of the Palmanova-Magaluf Hoteliers Association, said police move them on, but that their hands were tied by the law.
“They don’t prostitute themselves; they are mugging people,” Mr Espina added
Calvia council said it had no up-to-date statistics but pointed out that last year almost 30 people were arrested for prostitution, with at least 11 women charged for using violence
Article written by By Frank Anderson and Álvaro Reynolds