Notices

Madrid Street Safety

Reply

Jul 15th, 2012, 09:45 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 53
Madrid Street Safety

I'm used to walking around European cities on my own but am kind of wondering about the Madrid street scene because of the current economic situation in Spain with its high unemployment rate. I'm a middle age woman who doesn't have any physical problems but I sure don't look Spanish. I don't plan to be wearing any jewelry and I always carry my shoulder bag with the strap across my body. Anybody have any recent experiences (good or bad) they can share? Any advice (beyond obvious stuff like don't hang the bag on the back of your restaurant chair and don't wear white sneakers) would be welcome too.
lovely2c is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 09:54 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 173
Are you suggesting that the average Spanish person is more likely to commit a crime because s/he is unemployed?
TonyBishop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 09:59 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
I am 81 yrs old and have been to Madrid, among other Spanish cities, 4 times in the last 10 months for 3-4 days each time. Lovely2see I have never felt threatened,nor was accosted or robbed. I never carry a purse but do have a fanny pack around my waist ( under a loose, open shirt) with my camera, lip balm, Advil etc. in it. My credit cards are in a small folder under one bra strap and my passport under the other strap.If I have much $$$ (LOL) it will be found in a light weight money belt. Never have worried and I might qualify as an easy mark due to age...Madrid seems to have alot of police in the main squares and they are always alert as far as I have seen. Do not let the negative remarks scare you off..Have a great time but stay aware of your surroundings and cross the street if you feel uncomfortable...
amer_can is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:01 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,015
Sounds like a fair question to me
John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:08 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 173
John, which question are you referring to? I asked one; lovely2c asked two.
TonyBishop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:18 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
Lovely2see sounds a little apprehensive and I certainly understand her questions..However there will always be hands holding little cups,open palms and pleading words..Just shake your head and/ot ignore and continue on your way.Unless Madrid has drastically changed in 2 months the unemployment rate shouldn't have increased the crime rate in Madrid. Tony.. are you not being a little snide?? John, it certainly was/is a fair question..but not one to be overly concerned about IMO..
amer_can is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:25 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,848
OP's fair question, but no I would not worry, but like all cities becoming a victim is all about body language so do usual things and enjoy.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:39 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,643
Um, at a guess unemployment in the US is worse than in Spain (since we calculate it so differently). As for violent crime - any US city is liable to have way more than any place in Spain. If you're concerned about pickpockets - well there have been 500 threads on how to avoid them,
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:41 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 173
No, amer_can, I am not being snide. On the other hand, I (naturally) think my question was a fair one.

For what it is worth, I live in Andalucía, the region that has the highest level of unemployment in Spain. I travel frequently to Seville and Málaga and see no obvious signs of increased crime levels that would trouble your average tourist.

I asked "Are you suggesting that the average Spanish person is more likely to commit a crime because s/he is unemployed?" That is because the questions posed by lovely2c come across as something disagreeable to me.
TonyBishop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 10:49 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,740
Well my advice would be not to carry around your passport, large amounts of cash and more than one credit card (with a second one back at your hotel). That way if you would be robbed it will not be a disaster. In Barcelona, and perhaps Madrid, there are some very professional pick-pockets - I don't think it is connected to unemployment - these folks have been pretty well employed in this chosen profession for many years. And they are quite good at what they do. So limit what you are carrying on any given outing just in case and have backup resources. We were victims several years ago in Barcelona - the crooks actually just took the cash and threw away the credit cards in a nearby bin. Not a pleasant experience but no reason to stop traveling.
suec1 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 11:01 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Perhaps the OP has recently seen the clashes with police in support of the miners on tv. Stay out of the Puerta del Sol where these demonstrations take place, esp. if you hear that something is happening there. You won't be missing anything, and you will avoid crowds which is where most pickpocketing, etc. takes place.
Bedar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 12:07 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,447
I'm a 76-year-old woman who usually travels solo.

I've spent time in Madrid four times in the last few years, including in 2011 and 2012, and had no difficulty whatsoever.

Ditto in Málaga, despite the fact that my guidebook said that Málaga warned that because of the high unemployment rate, there was some crime. I had a very pleasant week in Málaga in April of this year and also of last year, and was impressed by the friendliness of the people I met.

Barcelona is another story. My sister's purse was stolen while we were having dinner in la Boqueria in 2006, and a woman attempted to rob me on the train to Montserrat. I don't know whether she was trying to take my purse or just find my wallet--but I ain't as dumb as I look. I realized what was going on and moved my purse out of her reach. She thereupon left the train with her companion.

Neither of these experiences would stop me from visiting Barcelona again. It is a wonderful city with fabulous architecture.

My advice is always the same: Wear a money belt. My money belt was what saved the theft of my sister's purse from being a disaster. She had asked me to put her debit card and her passport in my money belt--the only time she ever did that--so that all she lost was a camera.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 12:28 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
Pegontheroad..You're my kind of gal!!! We seem to belong to the unstoppables!! Tony, as you interpreted lovely2see wrongly I did likewise with your comment..Sorry and BTW how lucky can you get???Living in Andalucia!! If this were in technicolor you would see me green with envy..
amer_can is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 12:45 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,699
I am younger then you but small and petite and have traveled around the Madrid this spring solo. My advice, bring only enough money for your needs, leave valuables in hotel safe-including passport-keep a copy on you. I walked through some deserted streets at night and never was accosted. Madrid is pretty safe for a major city and many people are out and about late at night. I did see on the Spanish news that Barcelona is experiencing a spike in crime so I would be extra vigilant in that city.

Although the economic situation is grim, the Spanish people for the most part are friendly and helpful. I had a great time in Madrid as a singleton and I met other solo women as well. Just take the usual precautions and enjoy Spain. Still miss the tapas and cafe con leches.
emily71 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 12:50 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
I miss it all!!! Will be back unless I am called up yonder first!!
amer_can is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 01:20 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,291
Well my advice would be not to carry around your passport, large amounts of cash and more than one credit card (with a second one back at your hotel).>>

you might have problems buying anything with a credit card in a shop unless you have your passport on you, at least that was my experience in el cort 'ingles in Madrid, when i wanted to buy a present for my daughter. I did happen to have it, and I suppose that if you were prepared to pay with cash, you'd be ok.
annhig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 01:49 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,190
<< so that all she lost was a camera >>

I'd rather lose the passport and ATM card than the camera.
adrienne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 02:00 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
Every place I went to in Spain/ (Oct, 2011, 4 weeks, Apr.2012 4 weeks)/ (Madrid, Salmanca,Burgos, San Seb., Santiago, Sergovia, Avila) and tried to but anything with my Chase Visa I had to show my passport. Large stores,groceries, markets, small stores train stations but not restuarants..made no difference. "Passport please".
amer_can is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 03:33 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 53
Many thanks to all who replied. While I'm not enthusiastic about increasing the circumference of my middle, I will buy a money belt and avoid the Puerta del Sol area. To respond to TonyBishop - I believe there is a correlation between unemployment and crime rates. I believe that correlation to hold true just about everywhere in general but I happen to be going to Madrid in particular.
lovely2c is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2012, 11:05 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 108
I just returned from a month in Spain. I had just arrived in Madrid when I was relieved of my backpack while negotiating a rental car. It was at my feet. It is possible, after so many years going overseas with no mishaps, that I became less alert (and the red-eye flight didn't help that), but I was grateful that I always keep cash, credit cards and my passport around my neck at all times, causing an increase in the circumference of my torso rather than my middle (take your pick!) In any case, the missing backpack didn't ruin the trip but was a bit disappointing.

I agree about the correlation between unemployment and crime, because desperate people sometimes do things they wouldn't do if they had what they needed, and that there is nothing wrong with your question.
In addition to the neck wallet, I travel with a simple gold band wedding ring and no other jewelry to speak of. I also email myself all of my travel confirmations, passports, and credit cards, so I can access them remotely, just in case. I can say I have always felt very safe, at any hour, overseas. Enjoy your trip!
castlevisitor is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:59 AM.