San Antonio Ibiza Crackdown Update
As Spring turned to summer the news from San Antonio was that this was to be the year of major crackdowns on the current rules and a raft of new measures were being brought in including the ban on dynamic advertising (Pr’s, ticket sellers and club parades) to improve the town for all and to attract a wider range of tourist.
As we approach the halfway point in the season we take an in depth look at the reality of the situation and what has changed.
Firstly yes there have been police and Guardia operations against those flouting the rules and the local Ibiza press has been full of articles making it look like, on the surface at least, that the winds of change have come to San Antonio.
However so far we have worked out from these articles that there has been less than 200 reported breaches of the ordinances (bylaws) which if you take the whole of San An into account and include, noise, tickets, PR’s, hawking and socially unacceptable issues such as drug dealing, prostitution and pickpockets this is a mere drop in the ocean.
The problem with trying to clampdown on these activities that have existed for many years is that you need the resources to do it day after day, night after night and sadly the police nor the Guardia have the sheer manpower available to them to do it on a daily basis. In all honestly I take my hat off to them for what they have been able to achieve.
So maybe once or twice a week they have the time and resources available to them to crack down, however, as soon as they are seen word spreads like wildfire and anyone doing anything illegal stops and disappears into the night and as soon as the police have left the area they all come back.
It has even been reported that the extra national police assigned to Ibiza for the summer season are having to be based in Palma as there is no cheap sustainable accommodation available for them in Ibiza. Read the full article here.
Taking PR’s for example, for years they have stood outside bars enticing customers wearing council issued jackets for which the bars pay for. The system was always an odd one with the jackets being issues to a named employee and not the venue, so if the named employee had a night off in theory the venue couldn’t have a PR. There was also the issue of some bars not wanting to pay for the official jackets so used PR’s anyway in any number they liked illegally.
Because of the chaos of the system and the increasing harassment of tourists the council have banned PR’s in their entirety which, if everyone played by the rules, would solve the problem.
The reality is that those bars which never paid for official jackets have kept employing illegal PR’s and those bars which would like to play by the rules have been left at a huge disadvantage. Some of whom, seeing a lack of a crackdown on other establishments have opted to illegally employee PR’s just to keep their businesses going.
One bar we have personally watched had 7 highly skilled PR’s talking to potential customers and coercing them into their venue. If you own the bar next door you cannot compete with this amount of illegal activity and the only sensible answer is to employ your own PR’s. Yes of course they take the risk of being fined but with the fine being only a third of what a jacket used to cost and the chance of being caught being so low it’s a risk that many of the bars are taking.
If anything, the situation with PR’s bugging people as they pass by is now worse than ever before.
Pep Colomar, the President of San Antonio’s West End Association in a recent interview stated the situation is unsustainable and that very little has changed in 2016. Read the full interview here.
Looking at the luky luky guys selling their wears, hats, sunglasses, cds and other things who are prevalent across San Antonio, yes they are stopped occasionally and have their products removed from them, and because of the way the law works they receive a 75 euro fine and a 24hr ban from the town. However, the very next night they return after having visited the cash and carry and stocked up again.
If the resources were in place to every night stop them and remove their goods and issue fines they would soon move on to pastures new but as it stands the benefits outway the risks.
Some bars have taken the extreme measure of employing their own security guards, separate to doormen, to keep the luky luky guys and others away from their terraces to make it more pleasurable for their customers, which is working but shouldn’t have to be a long term solution to the problem in our minds.
So has the Great San Antonio Ibiza Crackdown in 2016 made a difference? Simply put NO.
It’s the same as it always has been and as much as the council on paper are trying to improve the situation, the reality is that unless a much better enforcement system is put in place the party will continue as it always has done.
Now we at the White Isle Ibiza Blog love San Antonio with a passion and accept it as it is with its rough edges and I applaud the council and the police for trying to improve the town, however, I would urge them to look at the problem areas with fresh eyes and work with the bars and venues in those areas to find solutions. Imposing new rules and laws clearly isn’t working for anyone.
As always we would love your comments and thoughts on whether you think the changes / crackdown is working, please post below.