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Anti-crime: are the police proactive enough?

Anti-crime: are the police proactive enough?

Jul 29th, 2000, 06:22 AM
Nigel Doran
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Anti-crime: are the police proactive enough?

In London, the police place posters in areas where pickpockets, muggers etc. lurk, to warn people, especially tourists, of the dangers. Also, London has seen a rash of new closed-circuit t v cameras to help in the fight against street crime.
My question is 'do the police in other countries do enough to counter the threat of crime towards tourists'?
Jul 29th, 2000, 07:05 AM
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IMO, Spain -- particularly Barcelona -- has a long way to go on this point. It seems to me, actually, that the police HAVE to be in on a system that looks the other way when tourists are relieved of belongings. Rarely saw police in the Ramblas area and wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that pickpockets and scam-artists kept the palms of the police "greased" during the tourist season.

I'd be interested in comments re:Italy on the same point.
Jul 30th, 2000, 10:09 PM
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may be the police dont do enough ? but hey !! i,m sick of seeing STUPID tourists out there just asking to be robbed.how many have you seen that have handbags,wallets clearly to be seen .a french guy in LA with his passport half sticking out his top pocket. PEOPLE PLEASE TRAVEL SAFELY !!
use a money belt under your clothes, keep all your money, passports,travel tickets safe and out of sight.Dont where chains,bracelets. buy a cheap watch to travel with. put daily spending money in an inner pocket with a zip or velcro catch. sleep in your money belt, take it into the shower with you. ALWAYS KNOW WHERE YOUR THINGS ARE !!!!
if you lose clothes , it is an inconvenience, but if you lose money or documents , its a major problem
dont blame the thieves, take some responsibility for your self.
i travel with two credit cards, one in use and one if a machine should swallow it up. plus several travellers checks ,USA currency, these are for total emergencys, until you can get new cards.YOU CAN TRAVEL ANYWHERE AND STILL BE SAFE.
Aug 1st, 2000, 08:36 AM
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Certainly in Barcelona not enough is done.
If you know what to look for you can watch the scams go on right under your nose, yet the police ignore it & the thieves operate with impunity.
I really don't think the police are bribed, just told not to prioritise this.After all it keeps the crims off the locals' backs & everbody is happy, except the tourist who doesn't have a vote & probably won't come back after "doing" Barcelona anyway.
Returning-type tourists are usually too streetwise to be caught.
Some might say that ensures that the city gets a bit more out of tourism than it would otherwise!
Possibly they could be shamed into actions if someone (eg Fodors) was to compile a comparison of tourist crime in European cities.The data is probably available from the EU.
Italy - recently I've only been in Sicily, didn't seem too bad, but I hear Rome is a hassle.
I have great sympathy with people who are robbed - many are young & on their first big trip, the experience is shattering for them.
My girlfriends father, over 70 years of age & used to touring Africa, was violently assaulted & his moneybelt torn from his body in Ronda, he left Spain next day despite having money to continue - he was just sickened.
There have been recent posts here about people being beaten to the ground & robbed in Barcelona.
I myself have been assaulted in Seville & just 8 weeks ago in Malaga I emerged from the toilet in a cafe to find my girlfriend wrestling with a guy whom she had caught with his hand in her bag.When I went for him I found he had a minder whose job was to ease their retreat..not much you can do.
None of us are "stupid tourists" - the point is that if the police don't care then these guys can do exactly what they want, no matter how careful you are.
ATM cards are fine until someone forces you to use one at knifepoint - the latest fashion now that they know we all use ATMs.
I accept CCs point that stupid tourists exist but there aren't enough to feed the thieves' appetite - we are ALL targets now & we need action from the police!!
Aug 1st, 2000, 09:28 AM
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Ronda -- how sad to have this overlay some very pleasant memories of the town from last summer. And to think we wandered around evening-Madrid with no fear!

Are the professional pickpockets really turning to weapons & violence since USA (and other) travelers are becoming more "savvy"? That seems rather strange to me -- usually a criminal doesn't make such a radical change in his MO.

When one of our group was almost pick-pocketed in Pisa 2 yrs ago, the policeman recognized the "caught" thief and proclaimed that he was not Italian, but from Cosovo (sp!!) -- one of those "war refuges" the US has spent millions on. It may be more logical to think the increase in violence is the result of this Balkan mess.

Whatever, the crimes against US tourists do not get the same national/international press that the occasional crime against a European in the US does get. Remember the outcry about the tourists in Miami? Remember how the FRENCH TOURIST was highlighted when over a dozen women, mostly non-tourist, were attacked in Central Park last month?

What we need is a major network to pick up on these attacks -- in Spain, in Italy, in France and highlight them. Get our Senators/Representatives alerted that we want US tax dollars withheld from areas that are indifferent to our safety. Maybe one of the states tourist bureaus could pick up on this... can't you visualize the tourism ad ... ignore our flag, come here and you will avoid: colorful enactment of Barcelona/Rhonda/ATM attack!

Unfortunately non-US police & governments won't respond to this problem until they are forced to by Big Uncle Sam, who needs to be forced to by us.

Perhaps we could all print out this and other crime horror threads and mail them (or email) them with our request for action and outcry from our State Dept and Congress.
Aug 2nd, 2000, 05:22 AM
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Is this last post a joke?

If it isn't, I would advise you to start giving US tax dollars to Spain, Italy and France before you think about withholding the aid. Otherwise it's something of an empty threat.


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