ANGRY expats and locals have slammed a wave of illegal behaviour that has left Duquesa port a ‘hotbed’ of drugs, drinking and violence.
Some two dozen business owners and residents have penned complaints to Manilva town hall for ‘failing to protect’ them.
They feel the police presence is insufficient in the face of binge-drinking, littering and vandalism – and the town hall agrees.
The group claims a ‘botellon culture’ operates around Italian Square after 11pm on weekend nights with some areas out of bounds for women.
“There is seemingly a complete lack of police foot patrols – apparently because they don’t have stab vests,” said a 47-year-old British resident and business owner who regularly has sleepless nights due to the disturbance.
“My wife will not go out alone in parts of Duquesa at night and I have seen several people get beaten up.”
He continued: “It’s like Jekyll and Hyde because Duquesa is beautiful in the daytime and should be the jewel in Manilva’s crown.”
The Olive Press found several cases of leftover cocaine on outdoor surfaces following complaints of open drug dealing where locals claim ‘police turn a blind eye’.
Only last month, two young British teenagers were mugged at knifepoint as they left the port late at night.
They told the Olive Press: “It was really nasty and could have led to serious injury.”
Meanwhile, British expat Paul Charrington, 41, from Duquesa Business Centre has to clean outside his premises every morning due to ‘litter and public urination’.
He said: “It’s a bad way to start the day. “It is time for a clean up.”
Last night, Manilva councillor Dean Tyler Shelton told the Olive Press that he was ‘taking action’ to remedy the problem.
He said the ‘root of the problem’ was due to police staffing, with on average just five officers per shift stretched between Manilva, Sabinillas, Duquesa and Castillo.
“We know there is a problem, and I am personally taking action to see policing is increased,” he said.
“But unless the padron reaches 23,000, which we believe it should be, we cannot get the improved support of national police and our local officers are stretched.”
Manilva official padron stands at 15,000 while the town hall believes there are, in fact, up to 25,000 residents and approaching 50,000 in summer.