THE days of the Costa del Crime could be seriously numbered. Or at least, so say the Spanish police. Detectives in Malaga have revealed that a year-long crackdown on British and Irish fugitives is paying off and Malaga is no longer an ideal hideout for wanted criminals. The clampdown, which came in a series of on-the-spot raids on pubs, bars and shops on the Costa del Sol, has drawn considerable success. In total, dozens of wanted fugitives have been caught in the raids after six roving teams of national police were set up at the end of 2010. The teams entered establishments closing off exits and demanded identification from all those present. In one day alone, last year, they made a staggering four arrests, while in total 117 Irishmen were arrested last year, using the method. The moves were spurred on by the murder of Irish tourist John O’Neill, 40, who was shot near a pub in Benalmadena by a man wanted by British police. Police insist that due to the crackdown there were fewer gangland shootings and ‘settling of accounts’ last year. “The recession could also have had an influence but things are definitely a lot quieter,” said a spokesman for the UDYCO organised crime unit.