bars on windows

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This topic contains 38 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #56231
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    hi, i have just joined the forum,i am thinking of buying a holiday property around tarragona probably in the country, a lot of the places i have seen have bars or shutters on the doors and windows some have what looks like security fencing around the property, is crime in spain a big problem or is there no need to be over concerned

  • #104604
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It is definitely a problem in places.

    You also need to be warned that there is a serious problem with habitation certificates (cedulas) in rural areas of Tarragona province, at least around Tortosa. As a result many vendors are trapped.

  • #104607
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “I have seen have bars or shutters on the doors and windows”

    In the olden days they were placed to protect the honour of the ladies of the families. Gosh I am ancient.

  • #104608
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    It seems to me that most properties in Spain that are older than 50 years have bars/shutters on the lower floors. And certainly all flats in Madrid have “puertas blindadas” (bullet proof doors!) I assumed it was a hangover from more “unruly” times

  • #104633
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Crime is very high in Spain particularly in isolated rural areas near the coast. Houses left unoccupied are burgled with monotonous regularity. Most of it is not reported. The Police service is ineffectual.
    I speak from experience. My villa has been broken into 3 times. 🙁 Now I leave nothing in it. I have been mugged twice in Spain and each time lost my wallet. The worst aspect of that is not the cash loss, it’s the hassle losing cards and identity papers.
    Bars on windows are minimum protection. The thieves simply use a car jack to force them open.
    Eastern European gangs are operating all over Spain. Beware.

  • #104649
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    thanks for the replies i think i might look at another country

  • #104651
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    That’s one of the reasons why I have chosen to make my residential home in France. Never had a problem in many years. Taxes may be high but you get what you pay for.

  • #104655
    Profile photo of Tinnat
    Tinnat
    Participant

    @daverob wrote:

    thanks for the replies i think i might look at another country

    Is there someone in the know who can help put this post straight? It seems to me that what Logan says is a gross misrepresentation of expat life in Spain. It’s a reputation-killer, but is it well-founded?

  • #104656
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    It is not a ‘gross misrepresentation’. Unless I and many others I know are just unlucky.
    In truth ex-pats don’t like discussing this subject because it bursts ‘the dream’ and worries them.
    I know from my own primary experience that crime is a problem in Spain. It only gets reported if an insurance claim is likely. The police don’t bother to even investigate just record.
    Immigrants from North Africa and eastern Europe come to Spain with criminal intent because they know the chances of being caught are low.
    I don’t say all all immigrants are criminals only a large number are responsible for crime.
    The first question I was asked by the Guardia last time I was mugged in August last year was ‘were they Moroccan?
    I questioned the Guardia on the amount of crime committed in the area. They showed me a huge pile of crime reports for a small coastal town in Andalusia for that summer alone.
    Crime is a fact of life anywhere you go in the world. However the poster wanted to know about the risks of property crime. Now he knows.

  • #104657
    Profile photo of Tinnat
    Tinnat
    Participant

    “I questioned the Guardia on the amount of crime committed in the area. They showed me a huge pile of crime reports for a small coastal town in Andalusia for that summer alone.”

    Perhaps expats based in our areas would care to give their opinion. Costa Brava, Costa Dorada, inland towns….

  • #104658
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    its the same all over europe with eastern europeans i saw a romanian women and her kids stealing in a charity shop in my town center a few weeks ago.since i have been here i have had 2 cars stolen my van broken into and 2 other attempts on our cars.i have had 2 new garage doors and a new kitchen window from break ins in which we have lost camera equipment and 2 motocross bikes.they even tried to get in through the roof whilst we were having our extension put on.but the sun doesn’t shine here as much as in spain so it feels worse.I have paid out for a upto date alarm system and since it went in we have only had one attempt which makes me think it was the same gang over and over again.Holiday homes are always a target as the chances of being caught are very low

  • #104678
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It depends on what sort of crime. Having your home burglared I would say happens ones every three years if you are living in a “tourist” area. Expect to be pickpocketed at least once every year or two. Being mugged probably depends on your living patterns and your age etc.

    It happens in “spanish” areas too but you usually have more neighbours around all year long to scare people off.

    The downside with bars is that if they want to get in they will get in anyway and they will destroy the bars and the building in itself so I’m not sure it’s worth it. It probably makes oneself feel safer but a dog or an alarm would probably be my best bet.

  • #104679
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    On the Algarve it’s just as bad. I spent some time there in the 1980’s crime was out of control even then.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/30/british-tourist-killed-portugal-albufeira

    I don’t think fear of crime should stop you doing whatever you want to do in life. Just be very aware of it’s presence and take precautions. Bars on windows just slows them down a little.

  • #104680
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    The bars that are installed now are not the same strength as they used to be. Many are hollow. The advantage of bars is that in hot weather the windows can be left open without security risk. We had most of the bars removed in main areas as I hated them. We had the re-enforced Clima glass and alarms. We had them in the kitchen and basement and was useful for the cats as they could come and go.

    Never been burgled in 15 years in Spain although we always had a dog. Our neighbour, a spanish Lawyer was burgled, they even took the car keys and drove off in his lexus! The robbers were caught eventually, was a security guard on a nearby building site. Worst areas are eg. Calahonda where there are a lot of short term tourist rentals, mainly druggies who just want cash. Someone we knew had a villa overlooking Los naranjos golf course, he was murdered by a drug crazed spaniard for 1000 pesetas…not just the Romanians, spanis prisons are full of er….spanish citizens.

    I have to say I never felt worried or threatened about crime in Spain.

  • #104681
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “a spanish Lawyer was burgled, they even took the car keys and drove off in his lexus “

    easy come easy go than, ahhhh

  • #104682
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @tinnat wrote:

    @daverob wrote:
    thanks for the replies i think i might look at another country

    Is there someone in the know who can help put this post straight? It seems to me that what Logan says is a gross misrepresentation of expat life in Spain. It’s a reputation-killer, but is it well-founded?

    Well, I lived in Catalonia for 15 years and not once have I been burgled or mugged! Nor do I know anyone who was whilst I lived there!
    However, I went to France in my motorhome and got mugged pulling into the toilets on the motorway!! And my father in law has been burgled whilst he was inside his home in the uk. So work it out for yourself.
    Crime is the same in Spain as it is in France and in the UK, there are rougher areas than others, you need to know where to go, and you only know that once you move somewhere, same as in the UK. If you pay to move to a “nice” area crime won’t be so bad. If you purchase in a run down hole, you will get crime.

  • #104683
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Crime is very high in Spain particularly in isolated rural areas near the coast. Houses left unoccupied are burgled with monotonous regularity. Most of it is not reported. The Police service is ineffectual.
    I speak from experience. My villa has been broken into 3 times. 🙁 Now I leave nothing in it. I have been mugged twice in Spain and each time lost my wallet. The worst aspect of that is not the cash loss, it’s the hassle losing cards and identity papers.
    Bars on windows are minimum protection. The thieves simply use a car jack to force them open.
    Eastern European gangs are operating all over Spain. Beware.

    Sorry but you must have “mug” written on your forehead. Never happened to me once. You must have lived in a rough area! My house is left unnocupied every winter for 6 months, NEVER had one break in. Don’t generalise the whole of Spain with your incidents. You are certainly on a mission to put down Spain at every given chance aren’t you. Spain must have really played the dirty on you for you to be SO bitter.
    And to say that France is safe is a complete joke, I have heard numerous incidents of fellow campers being mugged and robbed in daylight. You should maybe take a look at some motorhome forums to see exactly how much crime there is in France.

  • #104684
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    when i put the original post on i did not mean to start world war3, i do like the tarragona area and think its the right time to buy a holiday home not that i am rich i am not, but when i see bars on doors and windows it makes me beg the question why ? i live in the north of england i except that crime is an on going thing i was robbed in fuengerolla i have had my house burgled twice i had a holiday home in wales burgled 3 times so i am no stranger to being robbed, but getting robbed abroad when you are a long way from your property is another problem and i asked the question so i was not going into it blind, i do not think spain has a bigger problem than where i live but the type of property i was thinking about in spain would be in the country , and an alarm would be a waste of time and money, i am going to france to have a look at some property there but i still think i will Finnish up in spain, thanks for all the replies. forgot to mention i used to have a shop and that was done 3 times my brother has a house in france and he has been burgled, i am sure it not just a spanish thing

  • #104686
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Jonas.
    I am not the least bit bitter about Spain and I have no intent to ‘put the country down’. Your comments are silly and ill informed.
    I have had a long association with Spain over more than 30 years. In business and living in different parts of the county.
    I have a great personal affection for the country and it’s people.

    However what I do dislike and try to counterbalance is all the bull s**t written by numerous people who have a vested interest in talking up the country.
    I do not mean on this forum necessarily but elsewhere. This forum is a useful tool for anyone who seeks a better perspective on the property market and the culture of Spain other than the ubiquitous sales speak.

    Spain has many, many problems and in my opinion they need highlighting instead of the usual propaganda aimed at tourists.
    Most people who have had a long business association with Spain well understand the negative aspects of the sub culture which exists.

    Talking about it and speaking the truth is the only way to modestly try and change it.
    I have said that crime is a fact of life anywhere in the world. I live in the rural south west of France where it hardly exists. In the cities and large towns its as bad as anywhere else.

  • #104690
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Crime is a fact of life anywhere you go in the world. However the poster wanted to know about the risks of property crime. Now he knows.

    “Now he knows”…. All the poster knows is what you have told him, but what you say is a gross misinterpretation of a huge area of of Spain. Maybe in Andalucia the crime rate is high in empty properties, but it certainly has never happened to my property in the catalonia region. And I am yet to meet someone in my area that has been broken into on numerous occasions, or on one occasion for that matter!
    Ultimately you get what you pay for. You live in an expensive area in the south of France so do not have as much crime. My home in Spain is based in an expensive area so the crime rate is not high. If you buy a cheap shack in some run down area at 50% off the peak price just to get a bargain, then expect problems ahead! The place will probably be riddled with crime and that is why you are getting a bargain to start with!
    My comments are not silly or ill informed. I think yours are!

  • #104694
    Profile photo of Tinnat
    Tinnat
    Participant

    @jonas wrote:

    @logan wrote:
    Crime is a fact of life anywhere you go in the world. However the poster wanted to know about the risks of property crime. Now he knows.

    “Now he knows”…. All the poster knows is what you have told him, but what you say is a gross misinterpretation of a huge area of of Spain. Maybe in Andalucia the crime rate is high in empty properties, but it certainly has never happened to my property in the catalonia region. And I am yet to meet someone in my area that has been broken into on numerous occasions, or on one occasion for that matter!
    Ultimately you get what you pay for. You live in an expensive area in the south of France so do not have as much crime. My home in Spain is based in an expensive area so the crime rate is not high. If you buy a cheap shack in some run down area at 50% off the peak price just to get a bargain, then expect problems ahead! The place will probably be riddled with crime and that is why you are getting a bargain to start with!
    My comments are not silly or ill informed. I think yours are!

    This was my point exactly.

  • #104697
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The important thing is to have an opinion based on primary personal experience.
    You have yours, I have mine. You would not expect them to be the same.
    The reader is free to decide for themselves if they have any validity.

  • #104698
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @tinnat wrote:

    @daverob wrote:
    thanks for the replies i think i might look at another country

    Is there someone in the know who can help put this post straight? It seems to me that what Logan says is a gross misrepresentation of expat life in Spain. It’s a reputation-killer, but is it well-founded?

    In answer to your question “is it well founded?” :
    No, it is not well founded, it is merely the experience of one person.
    The experience of several others on this post alone have agreed they have never had any problems.

    Just don’t purchase in some run down area with boarded up windows or you will be asking for problems, but that is the same for any country. good luck on your search and do your own research, take what any of us say on here with a large pinch of salt 😀

  • #104699
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Oh and I forgot to add, my grandma had bars on her windows in the 1960’s, it is a completely standard thing to have on a ground floor property in Spain. I have not seen any without! Even new builds have them.

    To be fair, when I returned to the uk I felt somewhat unsafe to start with knowing that I did not have any bars on my downstairs windows! I wish it was standard procedure here also. They could certainly do with them in certain areas.

    I grew up in Spain and felt safe there, I certainly don’t feel the uk is as safe for my children as I felt in Spain.

    As Katy has also pointed out, it is handy when it is hot as you can leave your windows open and feel safe.
    It is certainly not a reflection of the level of crime in Spain.
    It is just how it is done and has been done this way for centuries.

    http://www.andalucia.com/property/ironbars.htm

  • #104801
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    As has been said crime is all over, if it has not touched you then its not a problem but if it has then it is

    We have had our Spanish villa for 2 years now and were burgled 5 months ago wile we were in the UK, the hole house had solid iron bars on the windows and doors with only one door on very top floor having no bars, this is the door they used to enter.

    We have now beefed up the doors and fitted bars and have a fully monitored alarm system so we shell see, we have friends not far from us in Spain that have had no problems in 7 years of holiday home ownership but were burgled in there UK home some 3 years ago about a year before my brother was burgled in his UK home

    In the UK we were burgled at our house wile we were asleep around 2 years ago, we have now fitted a monitored alarm there and have been ok since but time will tell, I also have a retail business in the UK that was being burgled every 6-8 months for around 4 years, this was stopped when we had full steel shutters on all windows and doors

    Around 3 years ago wile taking a trip on our motorcycles through France and Spain we had our heavy duty locks and chains cut in the middle of the night on 2 separate occasions in 3 days when we were in France , lucky I heard the “clink” of the chain in the nights and was up like a shot to see the would be thieves running away after seeing the light go on in our hotel room

    So for me at the moment Spain seams like a reasonably safe place to be and I hope it stays that way!

  • #104837
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    On the Algarve it’s just as bad.

    Its just as bad in southern France as well, the police don’t bother, solving crime is hopeless.

    Jonas, there is no question that Spain have a petty crime problem, the fact that you are desperate to sell/rent your property in Spain isn’t going to change that or the commonly held belief that Spain is crime ridden.

  • #104839
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    In the olden days they even used to use the bars to tie the horses.

  • #104859
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    Its just as bad in southern France as well, the police don’t bother, solving crime is hopeless. .

    Dont know about French police but to be fair to the Spainsh Guardia they were very good in our case, our neighbour found the house had been burgled, he called them and the were there in an hour, this compares with the 6 hours it took for the police in the UK to turn up, the Guardia also took lists of all items that were taken and were on the phone to us over the next weeks to go to the station and have a look at photos of items they had recovered to see if any of it was ours

  • #104860
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Guardia Civil is no one you want to mess around with and I wouldn’t want to be a thief when those francoesque cops finds them.

    Most of the problems with crime sprees in Spain stems from that the weather is good and its very easy for gypsies and what not to roam around there all year long. Especially since there are lots of vaccations homes.

    I feel more “safe” in Spain then I would do in England but I’m probably more likely to have my home burglared. Unprovoked gruesome violonce is not very common though it seems. Never seen a bar fight for example or people roaming around drunk looking for fights.

  • #104861
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    You have obviously never been in Calahonda 😆

    Tourist areas all over the world suffer from opportunist crime. I feel safe in both the UK and Spain but there are areas in both where I wouldn’t especially after dark in the large cities.

    Just worth noting, read the small print in the spanish home insurance. If your property doesn’t have bars and no alarm they do not cover theft.

  • #104864
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Just worth noting, read the small print in the spanish home insurance. If your property doesn’t have bars and no alarm they do not cover theft.

    Maybe we were lucky, our insures paid out within 4 weeks in full, I asked if there were any “conditions” for the insurance to continue and was told no, cover and conditions will be unchanged, we had a monitored alarm and bars fitted to the one door (3rd floor) for our own peace of mind but were not told to do it.

    Someone once told me during conversion that insurance companies wanted bars to the ground floor before they insurance for theft but have no idea if that’s correct

  • #104872
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    @logan wrote:
    On the Algarve it’s just as bad.

    Its just as bad in southern France as well, the police don’t bother, solving crime is hopeless.

    Jonas, there is no question that Spain have a petty crime problem, the fact that you are desperate to sell/rent your property in Spain isn’t going to change that or the commonly held belief that Spain is crime ridden.

    Oh give it a rest will you Peterhun with the desperate to sell comment, it makes you come across as immature keep on repeating the same thing over and over. It’s as if you are on a mission!

  • #104943
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    Hi,

    my personal experience. never been mugged in Spain. Of all the properties I’ve lived in, never been burgled.
    I know quite a few people that have had a burglary or have been mugged though.
    In both cases, they were opportunity crimes. Home in urbanization that I mostly empty throughout the year, people walking down the street with open handbags, etc…

  • #106176
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m thinking of moving to Spain because of a better way of life and whilst there are crimes being committed everywhere you go, Spain still seems to be as safe as any other.
    When you have an area/region with holiday makers that have large amounts of disposable cash villains are going to seize the opportunities when presented. I guess it’s just a question of prevention is better then cure!
    At the moment Spain is being invaded by many eastern europeans/North Africans who have a different slant on the value of life and possessions of others so until this issue is resolved then crime rates from these sectors will inflate the countries figures.

  • #105976
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m thinking of moving to Spain because of a better way of life and whilst there are crimes being committed everywhere you go, Spain still seems to be as safe as any other.
    When you have an area/region with holiday makers that have large amounts of disposable cash villains are going to seize the opportunities when presented. I guess it’s just a question of prevention is better then cure!
    At the moment Spain is being invaded by many eastern europeans/North Africans who have a different slant on the value of life and possessions of others so until this issue is resolved then crime rates from these sectors will inflate the countries figures.

  • #106252
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    thank you all for the replies we have decided to put a deposit on a country house as they are called just out side a village called ginestar on the ebro, initially for holidays about 6 times a year then who knows might retire there, it has not got bars on the windows but has got shutters i am not concerned about security although we have had our pockets picked a couple of times, where we live now we have the police helicopter flying over every night and crime is on the increase, its not the best of places to live but at present its home,i could not understand every house we looked at had bars on the windows then after a few viewings we started to look at other houses and they where the same i wondered what it was all about
    cheers Dave

  • #106419
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Crime in Spain is increasing everywhere due to the worsening economic situation. You will need to secure your country house very effectively ‘daverob’ if you don’t want it burgled.

  • #106852
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @jonas wrote:

    @logan wrote:
    Crime is a fact of life anywhere you go in the world. However the poster wanted to know about the risks of property crime. Now he knows.

    “Now he knows”…. All the poster knows is what you have told him, but what you say is a gross misinterpretation of a huge area of of Spain. Maybe in Andalucia the crime rate is high in empty properties, but it certainly has never happened to my property in the catalonia region. And I am yet to meet someone in my area that has been broken into on numerous occasions, or on one occasion for that matter!
    Ultimately you get what you pay for. You live in an expensive area in the south of France so do not have as much crime. My home in Spain is based in an expensive area so the crime rate is not high. If you buy a cheap shack in some run down area at 50% off the peak price just to get a bargain, then expect problems ahead! The place will probably be riddled with crime and that is why you are getting a bargain to start with!
    My comments are not silly or ill informed. I think yours are!

    I suppose it’s that old cliche – “location, location, location”. You can wander around villages along the northern coast (Cantabria, Asturias) and the buildings don’t have bars on the windows – indeed I’ve seen villages where people go out and leave the door open, never mind locked. Part of the difference is that local people live in those villages and they keep an eye out for anything suspicious. You also don’t get Brit expats living there – not that they are the thieves, but it means that whole streets are not deserted for months, making for easy targets.

  • #111106
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am also new to the forum, and the window bars will not keep any determined robber out.

    I have know cases of the bars being ripped out of the wall.

    The best deterrent is a big dog, or live in a busy place, where permanent residents live, and there is more people passing by.

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