Safety and security

Political situation

Avoid all demonstrations across Spain and follow the advice of police and local authorities.

There have been large gatherings of people and demonstrations in some parts of Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to political developments there. Some demonstrations have become violent, with protesters causing damage to property and disruption to transport. Further gatherings and demonstrations may take place and demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational. If you’re in an area where demonstrations are taking place, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder.

Crime

Most visits to Spain are trouble-free, but you should be alert to the existence of street crime, especially thieves using distraction techniques. Thieves often work in teams of two or more people and tend to target money and passports. Don’t carry all your valuables in one place, and remember to keep a photocopy or scanned copy of your passport somewhere safe.

Take extra care to guard passports, money and personal belongings when collecting or checking in luggage at the airport, and while arranging car hire.

In some city centres and resorts, thieves posing as police officers may approach tourists and ask to see their wallets for identification purposes. If this happens to you, establish that the officers are genuine and if necessary show some other form of ID. Genuine police officers don’t ask to see wallets or purses.

Personal attacks, including sexual assaults, are rare but they do occur, and are often carried out by other British nationals. Be alert to the possible use of ‘date rape’ and other drugs including ‘GHB’ and liquid ecstasy. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times to make sure they aren’t spiked. Alcohol and drugs can make you less vigilant, less in control and less aware of your environment. If you drink, know your limit – remember that drinks served in bars are often stronger than those in the UK. Avoid splitting up from your friends, and don’t go off with people you don’t know. Check the TravelAware ‘Stick with your mates’ campaign for more helpful tips and advice.

Make sure your accommodation has adequate security measures in place and lock all doors and windows at night or when you aren’t in. If you’re a tourist and are concerned about the security of your accommodation, speak to your tour operator or the property owner. Make sure you know the contact details of the local emergency services and the location of the nearest police station.

Vehicle crime

Be aware of ‘highway pirates’ who target foreign-registered and hire cars, especially those towing caravans. Some will (forcefully) try to make you stop, claiming there is something wrong with your car or that you have damaged theirs. If you decide to stop to check the condition of your/their vehicle, stop in a public area with lights like a service station, and be extremely wary of anyone offering help.

When driving, be wary of approaches by bogus police officers in plain clothes travelling in unmarked cars. In all traffic-related matters, police officers will be in uniform, and all police officers, including those in plain clothes, carry official ID. Unmarked police vehicles have a flashing electronic sign on the rear window which reads Policía (Police) or Guardia Civil (Civil Guard), and normally have blue flashing lights. Genuine police officers will only ask you to show them your documents and will not ask for your bag or wallet/purse.

Reporting crime

In any emergency, call 112.

To report a crime, including stolen property and lost or stolen passports, visit the nearest Policia Nacional, regional police (Ertzaintza in the Basque Country, Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia, and Policia Foral in Navarre) or Guardia Civil Station to file a police report (denuncia). Some Spanish cities also offer a ‘Foreign Tourist Assistance Service (SATE – Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero) run by the Town Hall and National Police where foreign tourists can report crimes in a variety of languages, including English.

While in Spain, you can also call a dedicated English-speaking police line on +34 90 210 2112 from 9am – 9pm 7 days a week, or file a police report onlinefor minor offences such as bag or car theft.

Be aware that violent crime or sexual assault must be reported in person at the nearest police station. If you’ve had belongings stolen, you’ll need to keep the police report for insurance purposes.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll also need the report to apply for an emergency travel document from the nearest British Consulate and to apply for a replacement passport when you return to the UK.

 

 

 

 

Beware Crime rate in Spain is high during the summer seasons with destinations such as Ibiza top of the list as a prime target.

There have been several deaths as a result of falls from balconies. Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of drink or drugs. See Balcony falls

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain. See Terrorism

London & United Kingdom Current Threat Levels February 2021.

Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321. If your information does not relate to an imminent threat, you can also contact MI5.


Current threat from international terrorism

The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is SEVERE.


Current threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism

The threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).

  • The current threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland is SEVERE.
  • The current threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Britain is MODERATE.

Source: Travel advice GOV.UK.

 

There has been an increase in reports of burglaries in areas with holiday accommodation and residential areas in major cities. Make sure your accommodation has adequate security measures in place and lock all doors and windows at night or when you aren’t in. If you’re a tourist and are concerned about the security of your accommodation, speak to your tour operator or the villa owner. Make sure you know the contact details of the local emergency services and the location of the nearest police station.

 

 

Most visits to Spain are trouble-free, but you should be alert to the existence of street crime, especially thieves using distraction techniques. Thieves often work in teams of two or more people and tend to target money, luxury items and passports. Many people have their passports stolen while passing through airports, either on arrival in or departure from Spain.

 

In some city centres and resorts, thieves posing as police officers may approach tourists and ask to see their wallets for identification purposes. If this happens to you, establish that the officers are genuine and if necessary show some other form of ID. Genuine police officers don’t ask to see wallets or purses.

 

In Spain in any emergency, call 112. To report a crime, including stolen property and lost or stolen passports, visit the nearest Policia Nacional, regional police (Ertzaintza in the Basque Country, Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia, and Policia Foral in Navarre) or Guardia Civil Station to file a police report (denuncia). While in Spain, you can also call a dedicated English-speaking police line on +34 90 210 2112. If you’ve had belongings stolen, you’ll need to keep the police report for insurance purposes. If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll also need the report to apply for an emergency travel document from your nearest Consulate and to apply for a replacement passport when you return home.

 

Personal attacks, including sexual assaults, are rare but they do occur. Be alert to the possible use of ‘date rape’ and other drugs including ‘GHB’ and liquid ecstasy. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times to make sure they aren’t spiked. Alcohol and drugs can make you less vigilant, less in control and less aware of your environment. If you drink, know your limit – remember that drinks served in the bars are often stronger than those in the UK. Avoid splitting up from your friends, and don’t go off with people you don’t know.

 

Passengers caught using unlicensed taxi services are liable for fines of up to 600€. Make sure you book your taxi or airport transfer through a licensed firm.

 

 

During political situations avoid all demonstrations and follow the advice of police and local authorities.

 

 

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