September 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm #57785angieBlocked
Channel 4 tv last night showed pick-pockets operating in Spain, but focused mainly on Barcelona, and Policing as well as sort of vigilantes warning people. I was surprised that it was mentioned 150 of the buggers operate daily on the Metro alone, but not surprised that most were Eastern European who operate in most capital and large cities including London. The problem seems immense.
However what was iniquitous was the fact that in Spain it is not considered a crime to steal under 400 euros a time, but a minor offence, so let off with a fine and another caution. It matters not whether you have stolen 399 euros a thousand times, you are not sent to prison. It is a crime in the UK whatever the amount and probably elsewhere.
So this begs the question why? 😯 😕 The conclusion I think is that Spain appears to earn money from this behaviour, after all they generally collect a fine each time they stop someone and they don’t have the cost of a court case nor looking after them in prison. Apprehend 1000 pick-pockets every 24 hours, 100 euros fine and another nice earner for Spain, or is this not the case? 🙄
Crime does pay it seems for all concerned other than the victims, many of whom do ask for it judging by their stupidity 😡
September 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm #118170ChoperaParticipant
Angie – I think you have made a very good point. Madrid has a huge problem – everybody I know has been robbed during the time I have been here. I never knew it was official that if you’re caught stealing less than €400 (how do they know?) you’ll only get a caution, and the police will take their cut. But it doesn’t really surprise me. I don’t think it is that different anywhere else, although that’s not an excuse. I think I saw a report recently claiming the police in the UK don’t investigate 60% of reported crimes. The fact is, they can’t. But they should at least provide some kind of deterent. I have a feeling smuggling is the same. Also there is the fact that crime pays … the police. Like firemen starting forest fires in Galicia in order to keep themselves in a job, it is in the interest of the police that there is a certain level of crime.
September 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm #118171angieBlocked
Thanks chopera. It was an interesting programme, maybe somewhat embellished, I’d heard of problems in Las Ramblas but it indicated it was a problem generally in Barcelona including beaches. I saw mention of Madrid too.
From 1st hand knowledge I know of similar in Malaga, Marbella and even inland towns, we have never been robbed or pick-pocketed due to taking care, but friends have. Has anyone here such as Gary or Mark noticed the problem in Barcelona more than anywhere else? 🙄
Romanian dippers operate in London, get arrested, eventually deported only to be replaced by another team of dippers with children operating as well, however, the 400 euros/pounds rule does not apply in UK, and, again it is low rated crime I think. 😡
Personally, I believe any immigrant pick-pockets, crooks, dealers or whatever, should be booted out of host countries immediately and stopped from re-entering.
The cheek of the buggers was when they told the Liverpudlian blokes riding on their rickshaw bikes warning people in Barcelona, ‘we are just doing our job, keep out of our business and stick to yours’ as if it was a job, it’s blooming crime 👿
I would carry an open rucksack/bag with a rat trap set in it, that would stop them 😆
September 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm #118172GarySFBCNParticipant
It isn’t just pickpockets on beaches and in the metro. I have friends (Americans of Chinese ancestry) who were in Barcelona walking in the Gothic quarter and were stopped by ‘police’ – who demanded their ‘documents’. While their passports were being inspected, my friends were being relieved of their money. My friends didn’t realize it until a few hours later.
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