Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How careful should you be going to Spain

While high crime rates are not common in Spain, it does have its fair share of crimes. Tourist should be wary of the following types of crimes:
  • Passport Theft
  • Theft from Cars
  • Muggings
  • Pickpockets

Passport Theft

In recent years, passport theft has been on the rise. Gangs seek out tourist to steal passports through pickpocket, motorcycle drive-by and other techniques, then sell on them on the black market. Notify your embassy immediately if you become a victim of passport crime. They can arrange an emergency replacement and notify the authorities.  In Spain you should not show your passport to anyone other than a policeman.

Theft from Cars

Stealing valuables from cars is a common crime in Spain. If you have rented a car to travel around Spain, be cautious at highway rest stations, thieve wait for owners to go inside and quickly break in, stealing radios, suitcases and anything of value. Also do not pull over is someone drives along side and tells you that you have a car problem such as a flat tire. Continue on until you can pull into a service station or well lighted, populated area. This could be a ploy for a car jacking.


Muggings are not common, but if you find yourself in a poorly lighted area, or one where you are alone with no pedestrians, you are a potential target for mugging. Be smart - stay in well lighted areas and around others.


Like all tourist cities, pickpockets are common around crowded tourist attractions. My advice is the same as my other blogs.
  • Carry only one credit card
  • Put your valuables in your front pocket
  • Avoid heavy crowds
  • Take advantage of storage tools such as those that fit under your clothing

Terrorism in Spain

Basque Separatist, fighting for independence have historically been the primary terrorist group in Spain. However, in January of 2011, they declared a permanent ceasefire. However, the Spanish government is wary of the ceasefire, citing past examples of broken agreements. A ceasefire in 2006 ended with a bombing at Madrid’s Barajas airport, which killed two people.

Many remember the devastating Al Qaeda attack on trains in Madrid in 2004 that killed 194 people. In 2008 police arrested 11 men who allegedly plotted to stage a series of suicide attacks throughout Barcelona. Spain continues to be a major target for Islamic terrorist as well as an important logistical hub for worldwide terrorism.

Check with your embassy to get an update on government warnings and recommendations and stay abreast with the news and local gossip.

No comments:

Post a Comment