San Bartolomé de Tirajana Mayor Conchi Narváez this Tuesday morning met with the Spanish Central Government Delegation, Policia Nacional, Policia Local to discuss the range of security fears being expressed within the municipality, on the south of Gran Canaria, and agree an increase in resources for the area that includes some of the most important tourism zones, Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and San Agustín, among other areas that form part of the largest local administration on this part of the island.
This additional team will collaborate with the Local Police and the Civil Guard. The decision may well have had added urgency this morning, due to images and video shared across social networks, as well as in local and national media, in which three young people are observed in a brutally violent attack in a local car park, on Monday afternoon. In spite of this, Pestana recognised that the perception of citizen insecurity “does not correspond to the data”, referencing the repeated claims of criminality on social media, that bare little or no resemblance to official reports made to the police. Regardless, the importance of ensuring people feel safe has clearly been recognised, and this will hopefully allow for a decrease in unsubstantiated claims, as well as a lowering of the potential for actual crimes being committed.
Anselmo Pestana highlighted that the migratory flows to the Archipelago experienced throughout 2020 have been highly unusual. In addition, he expressed his faith that the numbers of people temporarily residing in the tourist complexes on the south of the island will before long diminish as they are transferred to the camps set up by the Ministry of Migration in various parts of the Canary Islands.
Over the last week transfers to emergency centres in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria have been well underway with more to follow as the facilities finalise their preparations, which have taken several weeks to complete.
The Government delegate has also indicated that the opening of borders with countries such as Morocco and Mauritania will favour and speed up deportations of those who do not meet an accepted profile of vulnerability.
The security meeting was organised by the Southern Mayor, last week, as part of her coordinated response to serious concerns raised by social media posts, news reports and members of the community expressing increased fears of disturbances and feelings of insecurity. The meeting was attended by the Government Delegate, Anselmo Pestana, the Mayor Conchi Narváez, the Security Councillor, Samuel Henríquez, the Superior Chief of Police of the Canary Islands, Rafael Martínez Lopez, the Commissioner of the National Police of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Eduardo Manuel Caudet and the Commissioner of the Local Police of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Isidro Armas.
The reasons for the safety meeting included the need to directly address the latest altercations reported in the municipality and provide an increase in resources for necessary measures in the face of feelings of insecurity expressed among citizens.
Mayor Conchi Narváez has demanded greater coordination between the administrations and their agreement to proceed with the preferential expulsion of any people who, having arrived in an irregular manner and who are now being hosted in the local area, might then adversely affect public order, as per article 234 of the Spanish Immigration Law. Spain’s Government Delegate, Anselmo Pestana, emphasised that expulsions of those people who have arrived on Canary Islands shores irregularly, are already well under way and that this had not been possible before due to the closures of borders caused by the pandemic.
In addition to taking the opportunity to also meet with the mayor of Mogán, the Government Delegate has committed to transfer an increase in resources, a further 40 national police officers, directly to the Policia Nacional headquartered in the southern municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, to patrol the streets and strengthen citizen security, summoning the administrations, security forces and NGOs that participate in the reception of migrants for a future meeting to ensure better coordination. He also pointed out that the Spanish have already begun the progressive transfer of migrants from the tourist hotels in both municipalities, as other facilities are being prepared and become available.