Torrevieja´s local police have now considerably scaled down their operation against the so called “lookie lookie men”, as they now consider the issue to be nothing more than a “residual problem”.
A senior police officer with the force, Vicente Gutiérrez, says that political pressure exerted during the last year to clear the streets of the vendors, who predominately sell counterweighted goods in the seafront area, has virtually disappeared.
This reduction in focus has allowed the patrols to be placed onto other duties, such as dealing with street parties, nightlife and traffic management. The town hall had invested money in creating specialist task forces to deal with the problem, equipped with their own specialist vehicles.
The problem had escalated into riots in previous years, resulting in many would be visitors to choose to avoid visiting the city centre. Legitimate business owners had also expressed concern as the illegal traders were taking business away from them, when they were selling legal, original items, in a city that has already suffered numerous business closures in recent years, partly due to the economic situation, and partly due to the creation of shopping centres around the area.
Many believed to be part of organised criminal groups, the vendors operate a network of lookouts whilst selling their illegal goods, although recent reports have indicated that they now simply ignore the police and carry on regardless, above the law and still blighting the streets of a city which aims to be of touristic interest and a town of beautiful sights.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44539/