The island Consell's campaign for promotion of a safe family haven holiday destination does not appear to be going so well. They may have closed what they see as the main culprits - the after hour parties and the clubbing drug dens, but unfortunately attention has drifted somewhat as the increase in reported violent crime is taking up the news instead.
Bank robbery in Jesus, a violent mugging in Calle De la Virgen and an incendiary device in a bar in Figuerettes are not the usual stuff of daily news during a White Isle summer. But all appeared over the last 2 weeks while the local police forces patrolled popular and late night bars and restaurants such El Ayoun, The Underground and Kumharas dishing out denuncias, fines and closures.
Smaller venue owners are convinced that an unholy alliance has formed between the 'Island Seven' super clubs and the local police as the discotheques put pressure on the town hall as part of their agreement to comply with the new opening and closing hours.
On the 11th of June a man armed with a pistol burst into the Sa Nostra bank in Jesus and made off with 4.000 euros (thankfully) without hurting anybody. Not the case the previous morning when a 58 year old man was violently mugged of his laptop on Calle De la Virgen at around 2am, leaving him in hospital with serious facial injuries. The Rolex Robbers are also back, Italian gangsters pouncing on unsuspecting victims around the Marina Botafoch area and making off with jewellery and wristwatches.
And the island's police force?
Well they could be found last week patrolling the bars in the port area, checking for decibel levels, inspecting back rooms for evidence of drugs being consumed and counting heads in the Underground to make sure that they were in compliance with their legal capacity.
Last week, after the sudden decision to close DC10 for the 57 days, the next victim Kumharas also fell. Citing the same reasons as DC10 (!) hippies favourite sunset hangout Kumharas, just outside of San Antonio was closed for 2 months for tolerating the consumption of drugs on their premises.
Chic upmarket Moroccan restaurant El Ayoun were fined during their 10 Anniversary celebrations for allegedly breaking decibel limits, and other similar bar/lounge type venues suffered similar harassment.
Because it is harassment. When the rest of the island is being robbed at gun point, or mugged in the street, it is madness that these middle-ground venues are being targeted by the major clubs and the town hall combined, with no way to contest their treatment.
A lawyer representing one of the venues simply held up their hands in the futility of trying to fight back against such big organisations.
DC10 and Kumharas have been closed, If one law applies, then it should apply to all. Until a viable association between all the 'non-discotheques' can be formed, with its own legal representation and political force, there will be no way of challenging the actions of the local police.
Blue Marlin, Grial, Underground, Bambuddha, Blu, Bora Bora - anywhere where people dance will be seen as a threat and will be next. Join up with DC10 and Kumharas, back up El Ayoun and Underground and be taken seriously. Tourists come to the island for many different experiences, but closed venues and violent crime are not 2 of them.