Like anywhere, Spain suffers from its fair share of crime, but this is minimal in comparison to many other countries. Below you can find out about the security situation in Spain and what you should do if you become a victim of crime.
The crime rate in Spain is no higher than anywhere else in the world and, with the exception of major cities, most places are unusually safe. The latest crime figures indicate that the UK is far worse off than Spain when it comes to crime - particularly violent crime.
Andalusia is a particularly safe place to be, particularly regarding violent crime. However, petty theft, such as bag snatching is commonplace, particularly in tourist resorts and big cities. Most of this can be avoided with a little forethought - carry valuables under your clothes if possible and watch for people who get unnecessarily close to you at airports, at stations, on trains or buses or on the street. Never leave baggage unattended and avoid crushes. Also be cautious with people who come up to offer or ask you something for no good reason. This could be a ploy to distract you, especially as many petty thieves work in gangs.
If you do lose anything valuable, the first step is go the nearest Local Police station (as opposed to the Guardia Civil or National Police). They will then complete a form, which you sign, stating the facts. This is a vital document if you are planning to claim on your insurance policy. The police will take your contact details in the event they locate the stolen items. If you lose your passport, you will need to contact your embassy or consulate for a replacement.
There are police stations in all cities and towns, where you can report incidents or ask for help. The national emergency telephone number for the Police is 091.
Apart from the Servicio de Vigiliancia Aduanera or the Policía Judicial, there are four other security bodies that you can contact:
These are general definitions, as all four of the above bodies often operate together. Apart from these official bodies, there are also numerous security guards from private security companies, however their responsibilities are minimal and they are prohibited from carrying out police operations by law.
On the Costa del Sol, you have access to the European-wide emergency number: 112 . This toll-free number can be dialled in all kinds of emergencies, eg. security, health or other urgent matters. Spanish, English, French and German speaking personel operate this 24-hour-service line. We recommend calling 112 for any kind of emergency.
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