Spain to put more police on the streets to tackle ‘plague’ of pickpockets – risk areas

Simon Calder offers travellers fast track advice

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

According to Spain’s Interior Ministry, there were 12 robberies an hour in 2018 in Barcelona. Tourists are frequently the target of thieves.

At a press conference, the city’s deputy mayor for security, predicted that Barcelona would see a “vibrant and intense” summer.

While Albert Batalle welcomed the return of tourists to Barcelona he said it would also bring back some negative factors.

Batalle said: “We do not face summer as fate, as if it were the eleventh plague of Egypt.”

He said Barcelona needed to return to being a “self-respecting” city with the spirit of the Olympic years.

This summer, there will be a 12 percent increase in police officers on the street as part of the plan to tackle crime.

The majority of officers will be assigned to high risk areas with a 37 percent rise in staff on the night shift.

Government officials said: “This is a city with rules and must be respected. We face the summer with responsibility and professionalism.”

Local residents have also expressed concern about drunken behaviour in the popular area of Poblenou.

The Government said police will pay special attention to the busiest areas to crack down on drunken tourism.

It is also planning to crackdown on bicitaxis, a fairly new mode of transport which has grown in popularity in Barcelona.

The cycle rickshaws are popular with tourists who travel in groups of up to three on the back of the bikes.

However, the Government has said the bicitaxis are dangerous and endanger passengers and drivers.

One councillor has applied for a ban on the taxis, although for now they are regulated by licences.

While Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular city breaks, it is notorious for theft and pickpocketing.

Tourists can be easy targets particularly if they look lost or are carrying a lot of luggage.

Experts advise tourists to leave as many valuables as possible at their accommodation to stay safe from thefts.

Tourists can also keep essential items in a bag under their clothes to hide it from any potential thieves.

Britons could also only take a limited amount of money out on day trips so a thief won’t escape with much.

The busiest areas are likely to be hotspots, with Barcelona’s Las Ramblas popular with pickpockets.

If tourists do have something stolen they can contact the local police and should cancel any cards.

Source: Read Full Article