Of the 156 agents that make up the Orihuela Local Police, 36 of the are assigned to the coast while 32 agents patrol the city centre and 31 the districts. The remaining officers are made up of 13 agents who work across the whole municipality from the offices (with functions in matters relating to children, reports) and 23 more police officers who are itinerant and reinforce surveillance wherever they are required.

The data was provided in the plenary session last Thursday by the Councilor for Citizen Security, Mónica Pastor, in response to questions from the Neighbourhood Association of Cabo Roig and Lomas.

The neighbourhood group maintains that it receives frequent complaints about the lack of police presence in Orihuela Costa, especially during the winter. They claim that this supposed reduction in numbers gives them a feeling of insecurity in the face of crimes such as household robberies, car theft, control of illegal dumping or illegal parking.

“We believe that the large extension of Orihuela Costa, its population and its special distribution in multiple scattered neighbourhoods more than justifies a greater police presence than currently exists,” the association’s spokesperson, Tomás Moreno, maintains in his letter.

He also points out that the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces recommends that there be one agent for every 667 inhabitants, “so a population centre like Orihuela Costa, with a registered population of around 30,000 inhabitants, should have a staff of at least 45 police officers. This is something that, according to our estimates, is very far from the case. Moreno also recalls that “it must be taken into account that the real population of Orihuela Costa usually exceeds 100,000 inhabitants in summer, so this ratio is far away from what it should be.”

Councilor Pastor partially subscribed to Moreno’s assessments. “I believe that in terms of public security there are never enough officers. We are aware that we have to make an effort to increase the workforce,” she said, while recalling that Orihuela is a municipality with a large population, the capital of the region, a tourist city and that it has the largest municipal area in the province of Alicante.

She also advocated addressing a strategic plan for the improvement and organization of the Local Police, where the needs and improvements are addressed that allow for a consistent service for the entire municipality.

Even so, the councillor did not miss the opportunity to “demand that the central government explain to us what its plans are and whether it considers that the presence of the State Security Forces and other security bodies in the area is sufficient, not just the Local Police. “This is everyone’s responsibility,” she said.

The PP-Vox government, since it took p office last year, has not missed the opportunity to demand more police resources from the Government Subdelegation, especially from the Civil Guard. Although the town has its own National Police station, the complexity of the municipal area forces the Guardia to provide service to Orihuela from a multitude of barracks that already service many other municipalities such as Jacarilla, Almoradí, Pilar de la Horadada, Aspe, Callosa and Torrevieja.

Just last week the Council received a visit from the subdelegate, Juan Antonio Nieves, in which they once again presented these demands for greater and better coverage. Details of these meetings rarely emerge for security reasons but, it is understood that one of the issues that motivated the meeting is a recent wave of robberies in homes on the coast as well as the low number of agents at the Civil Guard of Torre de la Horadada.