Terrifying moment tourists run screaming as gunshots ring out in Benidorm
Panicked people can be seen fleeing from a busy tourist strip in terrifying footage from a shooting in Benidorm that saw a British holidaymaker hit in the bottom.
Council chiefs have now promised a police crackdown to keep British tourists safe and protect the image of the popular Costa Blanca resort.
Head of security Lorenzo Martinez pledged the number of ‘stop and search’ operations would increase in the town’s Little England area after three people were injured in Wednesday night’s drug-related shooting.
He spoke after a meeting between council leaders and local police to discuss the fallout from the shooting, which is believed to be linked to a feud between Moroccan and eastern European drug gangs.
Mr Martinez said: ‘One of the measures we are going to intensify is inspections in business premises as well as inspections and identifications of people in the street.
‘Our sole objective will be to determine what these people are doing there and what their business is.
‘The town hall is very clear about eradicating everything that is going on in that area because it affects the image of Benidorm and that is something we’re not going to permit.’
Police confirmed on Thursday three men including a 42-year-old Brit had been injured in the shooting.
They said they were looking for four men who had fled the area in a taxi.
A foreign-plated car believed to be linked to the gunmen has been taken to a police pound so it can be examined by forensic experts.
‘Drunk driver’ stopped by cops told them his dog was behind the wheel
Local reports pointed to the drugs feud believed to have sparked the shooting starting a couple of months ago when a group of eastern Europeans agreed to stay away from the area following a spat with north African drug dealers.
The reports said the attack could have happened after the eastern European gang discovered the tyres on one of the cars they were using had been slashed near the crime scene.
Mr Martinez also confirmed bouncers who entice revellers into nightspots with free drinks would be banned from operating immediately because police had said some dealers were posing as bar workers to sell drugs to tourists.
Heavy four-figure fines will be handed out to bars and nightclubs that flout the council ban.
More CCTV cameras will also be installed near the spot where the shooting took place, outside the Hippodrome disco-pub in a street in the heart of Little England called Calle Mallorca.
The incident has left local authorities worried because of the importance of British tourism after several holidaymakers have admitted they have concerns in the wake of the shooting.
Hairdresser Olivia McCormack, who is traveling to the resort next week, said: ‘Can’t believe there’s been a shooting in Benidorm.
‘How scary when we go on Monday and it’s a five-minute walk from where we’re going to be staying. I hope everyone involved is okay and safe.’
Expat radio station Cool FM insisted in a social media message: ‘We must say Benidorm is as safe or more so than unfortunately many towns and cities in the world including some in the UK.
‘Like anywhere, there is of course crime and drugs, which this shooting appears to be related to. But do not worry. These incidents are very rare and are normally limited to the hub of disco nightclubs where the drug trade thrives as it does anywhere.
‘You can still safely enjoy the many great attractions, lovely blue flag beaches, fabulous hotels and international range of food and drinks all of which are fantastic value for money.’
Police sources said they suspected the shooting could be related to a feud between eastern European and north African drug dealers.
They have admitted the possibility of a revenge attack cannot be ruled out.
Additional reporting by Gerard Couzens.