Let’s focus on what they do to help

West Midlands Police officers, in Punta Ballena, the main club strip in Magaluf, Majorca, Spain. Photo credit Nick Ansell/PA Wire
West Midlands Police officers, in Punta Ballena, the main club strip in Magaluf, Majorca, Spain. Photo credit Nick Ansell/PA Wire
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A pilot project was launched earlier this month to help curb crime in Magaluf and Ibiza by deploying two British officers to assist the Spanish police.

This has been met with heavy criticism so far, but for those who might need to deal with the police abroad – for example, if injured in an accident – their presence can only be a positive thing.

Statistics from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office show there were 1,680 fatal road traffic accidents in Spain in 2013 and 10,086 casualties with serious injuries requiring hospital admission.

The same data also shows that 1,492 British nationals died in Spain in 2013, and almost 900 had to be hospitalised.

Sustaining a serious injury, or losing a loved one in a fatal accident, is a traumatic and difficult time.

Many people are in shock and have difficulty in processing the information that they are given.

If this happens while overseas that trauma is often compounded by the lack of familiar support, language and communication difficulties and the lack of understanding of the local systems and processes.

Having a British officer on hand would undoubtedly be a great comfort and reassurance to most victims, particularly if, in the case of these two members of the West Midlands force, they are fluent in Spanish and know the area well.

Instead of focusing on what they’re doing in their down time, I’d be interested to hear from some of the people I’m sure they’ve already helped.

This attempt to make two of Spain’s most notorious resorts into safer places for holidaymakers is surely worth a try.

Joanne Berry

Travel lawyer, Slater and Gordon