I think since the borders within Europe have opened, we are all going to experience a rise in crime – whichever EU country we’re living in. It is not just Spain. Where I am in Greece it was only a couple of years ago when people didn’t worry about locking their houses, let alone their cars. Now break-ins are a regular occurrence and it is just a fact that when anyone is arrested, they usually turn out to be someone employed in the construction field, and from Eastern Europe.
The police here have just arrested a group of these lads who split themselves into two groups – one group hanging around a local village popular with the Brits. for an evening dinner out who watch the cars/number plates of who is arriving. They then ring on their mobiles to their mates who have a list of which cars belong to which (now empty) houses, and they go along and break in. Mates back in the village can call them to warn them when the occupants have finished dinner. So like Katy’s example, they know the exact ‘window’ of when they are safe to break in.
The number of break-ins has escalated ten-fold in the last couple of years along with the increasing amount of construction/imported labour.
It’s now just become nastier – heard this week that some people, returning from an evening out, arrived home to find the robbers in the house. They were promptly threatened with a gun while they made their getaway. No-one was hurt thankfully but this new event has certainly suddenly made this whole crime thing more scary and on a new level.
The only houses they seem to avoid are those with dogs – thankfully we have two. They wouldn’t say boo to a goose, but do bark like mad at anyone coming near the house.
So in answer to Frank’s question, I think life as we all knew it has changed permanently when it comes to crime wherever we live in Europe – it’s not just a consideration if thinking of moving to Spain.