- Citizenship.Barcelona mobilizes against insecurity
- Chronicle: The 2,800 eyes that watch crime in Barcelona
Three weeks ago, a group of young people surrounded and threw the Afghan ambassador to Spain on the ground to steal his watch. At the end of June, a senior government of the Government of South Korea died after another robbery (a bag tug). In both cases, the events took place in Barcelona . The two authorities are only a couple among the thousands of victims affected by crime in the city, both in a summer in which the municipality has made news, among other altercations, for at least 10 violent deaths. While the municipal groups of Cs and the PP talk about "security crisis" and the mayor, Ada Colau, denounces an "alarm campaign" to present "a false image" of the city, insecurity is already the "most serious problem »For more than 27% of Barcelona residents, above access to housing or tourism, according to the citizen opinion barometer prepared by the City Council.
Does Barcelona have a crime problem or is it a distorted perception? Between January and June 2019, 1,070,421 crimes were registered in Spain. Or, what is the same, every hour there was an average of 246 breaches of the Criminal Code , 4.3% more compared to the same months last year. In Barcelona, the increase was higher: 8.25% compared to the first half of 2018. Although the rise in Barcelona is higher than the national average and is above that of other large cities such as Madrid (+ 5.9%) or Valencia (+ 6.5%), there are 85 municipalities with more than 30,000 inhabitants - population size from which there are detailed data - in which the increase in crime is even greater compared to the same period of 2018, according to the Statistics from the Ministry of Interior known last week.
But there are crimes and crimes. It does not generate the same social concern an increase in criminal offenses due to speeding or theft of copper than a flood of street thefts, assaults on homes or, in the worst case, homicides. Far from the crimes against life - Barcelona accumulated more homicides in the first seven months of 2011, 2012 and 2016 than those counted by the Mossos d'Esquadra as of July 2019 - they are thefts, violent robberies and vehicle assaults, homes and establishments that trigger crime in the capital of Catalonia. It is there, in the comparison by causes and its evolution over time, where Barcelona does not come to a good stop.
Thefts are fired
While at the national level the rate of theft and robbery with violence, intimidation or force per 10,000 inhabitants fell 4.5% between January and June (half a point fell in Madrid), in the Catalan capital it grew 40% compared with the same period of 2016, the first full year after the last major reform of the Criminal Code entered into force. Only Arganda del Rey (Madrid), Castro-Urdiales (Cantabria), Aranda de Duero (Burgos), El Prat and Esplugues de Llobregat (in the metropolitan area of Barcelona) have worse evolution for this type of crimes among the towns of more than 30,000 inhabitants
The appropriation of a wallet or a mobile after an oversight, the subtraction in a poorly closed house or in a car with the window down or the taking of any other material good without the will of the owners and without any force or intimidation are some examples of thefts, one of the most common infractions. At the end of June, Barcelona presented, after El Prat de Llobregat, the highest theft rate in all of Spain among cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants, with 346 crimes per 10,000 residents.
The measure of the anomalous number of thefts in the two Catalan cities is granted by the sixth place that Madrid occupies in that classification, but already with a rate of almost half of appropriations (180 per 10,000 inhabitants) with respect to the Barcelona figure (the national average is 73). If in Spain the thefts represent about a third of the total criminal offenses, in Barcelona the proportion is 56%.
When looking for solutions to the deterioration in security, the eyes are directed towards the thefts. Colau's team, the Government of the Generalitat and several social agents agreed to claim a tightening of the Criminal Code last Thursday to punish multiple repeat offenders in these crimes. On the same day, Cs registered an initiative to amend the Criminal Code in Congress - it has been modified 32 times since its approval in 1995 - to aggravate penalties for theft in cases of criminal repetition.
Robberies with intimidation
Although less numerous than thefts, violent or intimidated robberies against people are, together with robberies in homes, establishments and other facilities, an indicator in which Barcelona has also backed down. Although the assaults with force on houses (whether the house is inhabited or not) decreased in the first half, the group of robberies with violence or force increased almost 20% compared to last year and 44% since 2016. The rate Barcelona between January and June 2019 is the third highest in Spain (72 robberies per 10,000 inhabitants), behind Mazarrón (97), in Murcia, and Sant Adrià de Besòs (75), in the metropolitan area of Barcelona.
The detailed analysis of the criminal events recorded in Catalonia published every month by the Mossos d'Esquadra confirms that the deterioration of security in Barcelona is somewhat widespread. Thus, among the most frequent crimes in the capital, only those of injuries experience a fall between January and July 2019 compared to 2016, the one with the lowest crime of the decade in the city. In that period, the occupation of real estate (+ 85%) and misappropriation (+ 83%) are the most triggered infractions, followed by robberies with violence (+ 56%), scams (+ 54%) and the thefts (+ 36%).
By districts, Eixample and Sants-Montjüic are the police areas in which the situation has degraded most compared to 2016, with Ciutat Vella being the one with the highest rate of theft, violent robbery and force (260 per 10,000 population).
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- Mossos d'Esquadra
- Ada Colau
- South Korea
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