Oscar Wilde is reupted to have said that 'Youth is wasted on the Young'; that said, there is a school of thought that says maybe it is or is it just an expression of freedom which is apprently displayed in the television series, 'The Magaluf Weekender'? This programme's facebook page, chock full of wall-to-wall seething hormones, follows '4 holiday reps and their guests' and proclaims that it will show you what 'Magaluf is really like'. Who would blame any young person without a care in the world to briefly flirt with a hedonistic lifestyle?
Consider then the following articles we have written from 2011 to 2013:
- Is there a Crime-Wave in Majorca;
- Is there a Crime-Wave in Majorca II;
- Call for the Police, Tour Operators & FCO to Act on Crime in Majorca;
- Case study of Crimes against British Holidaymakers in Majorca.
But what lies behind the glitz & glamour should be a cause for concern, not just for parents but for the young people themselves!
So the problem is, as we have on very reliable information and suggested by other articles linked below is that:
- Prostitutes 'gangs' largely occupy the streets of Magalluf during the hours of darkness;
- 'Street Prostitution' we understand is not illegal as a result of a Spanish High Court decision;
- Apart for the obvious risk of sexual disease transmission, young British holidaymakers are are open to pick-pocketing and robbery;
- There is growing concern about the encouragement of a drinks culture through the use of 'pub crawls' which appear largely unregulated; is there an issue here similar to one we dealt with in Kavos several years ago?
- Wide concern by local people on Majorca that this situation is harming the good reputation of the island and will affect its tourist trade.
Let's now examine the opinions and threats to this Island's economy.
One August 2013 Trip Advisor review about a hotel in Magalluf stated:
- "We also found that between the hours of 2-5am the local prostitutes would take their customers down the alleyway that our balcony looked out onto so we got a free peep show every night!"
- "The prostitutes are all the way down the walk from the hotel to the strip and we quite often saw guys running away from them. Would advise for people to hold onto their handbags etc when walking down here."
The hotel response to their concerns simply stated:
- "We do stress the importance to all of our guests to stay safe when out in Magaluf, as you would on any evening out when back at home in the UK".
In another Trip Advisor review (May 2013), this guest stated:
- "Lovely clean friendly hotel, 13 ov us girls have just come back from a hen do, stayed at this hotel but would b scared to stay again, between us we saw 6 muggings off prostitutes in 3 days, we wer very scared to walk back late at night unless we wer all together, this problem needs sorting otherwise this lovely hotel will lose out on bookings"
The hotel simply responded:
- "We are sorry that you felt the area did not live up to your expectations".
In the Majorca Daily Bulletin, they reported back in March 2013, that the local Council had appealed to the Madrid Authorities to pass a law banning 'Street Prostitution' and for extra funding for police to enforce any new law; they appear to be still waiting!
Bringing matters up-to-date, this week (2/6/14), the Majorca Daily Bulletin advises optomistically that the Madrid govenment is to increase police numbers in the Balearics by 70% (remember this also includes, Ibiza and Menorca), but then laments that Magalluf had become an:
- "no-go area ruled by marauding gangs of mugger-prostitutes";
- "our Facebook page last week, many of them making the same points which have been made time and time again but some of which indicated that the problem has become even worse this season, there was one which really hit home. It said that it was better to go to an all-inclusive because then you wouldn’t have to go anywhere and to be made to feel unsafe. How terribly ironic. All-inclusive became popular in regions of the world where there were genuine concerns about safety. Is this what it has come to in Magalluf?"
In a facebook page known as 'BTW Calvia', post after post reveals the extent of the reports, problems and concerns; one post refers to letter written to the Bulletin which apparently stated:
- "For the first time we felt very unsafe and had to run the gauntlet of numerous African women every time we walked back to our hotel at the top of Carrer Martin Ros Garcia. We watched many young tourists being robbed, and when my wife warned two young lads of what was about to happen she was slapped by one of these criminals.All the Bar owners know what is happening, where are the Police?"
The presence of the Police is a subject which I have been critical of both on this website, our Facebook page and on Twitter. Within the BTW Calvia Facebook Page there are links to the programme (The Truth about Magalluf) made by Stacey Dooley and aired in January 2013. In some of the clips she is working with local police but it appears that their hands are tied for want of legislation to back up their actons.
Radio One Mallorca has reported that the opposition on the Council have called for a 'special security plan' to deal with he 'postitutes return'. They report that:
- "The Calvia Council and the police have vowed to crackdown on the prostitutes but so far they have been hampered by a legal loophole which means that they can't simply be arrested".
On the question of pub crawls, illegal or otherwise, it appears that the local council has come into crticism for trying to regulate this activity. The Majorca Daily Bulletin reports that the opposition on the Council have raised the concerns that new laws will simply:
- "legitimise an activity which involved excessive drinking".
You can see why the opposition to the Council would express such a concern when Radio One Mallorca reveals that:
- "However, the biggest shake up is the new crackdown on pub crawls with any one wishing to organise such activities having to meet a series of requisites such as applying for a license, taking out civil responsibility insurance, paying a special tax, revealing all his or her fiscal details and addresses and all the guides on the pub crawl will have to wear reflective clothing and a special badge awarded by the council which states they are officially recognised".
All too often we hear of deaths, suspicious or otherwise, from different resorts. In 2012 we heard of six balcony fall deaths in Magalluf. Frequently we hear from various sources that such incidents may be due to a mixture of drinks and sometimes drugs; we disagree. The vast majority of suspicious deaths we hear of result from some innocent look at a girl which spreads to an argument and a chase, to being 'hit-on' by 'gangs, taking them to cash tills and later being seriously injured or found dead.
Either way, criminality and questionable alcohol dealings lie at the heart of these serious problems for holidaymakers.
There are many who hold their own prejudicial views about HolidayTravelWatch, but one thing that none of our critics can dismiss is the consistent views we express about safe tourism and how we want all holiday resorts to benefit from tourist currency.
We are going to continue to watch and monitor Magalluf (and other resorts) for criminality unchecked; time now perhaps for the Calvia Council, Tour Operators and the FCO to give up their cosy little chats and invite the real stakeholders in to help resolve this Mallorcan mess?