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article imageSpanish police gear up for 'summer of crime' with extra staff

By Anne Sewell     Jun 12, 2013 in Travel
Madrid - Spain is a pretty safe country to visit, with only one in every thousand tourists likely to be affected by petty crime. However, the country is deploying over 29,000 police officers to ensure tourists' safety and security during July and August.
The Interior Ministry in Spain has dubbed July 1st as the beginning of "Operation Summer," which will see an additional 1,341 new police officers hitting the beat across Spain.
These additional forces will be spread over the regions of Andalucía, Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Valencian Community, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia and the Balearic Islands.
'Spain is a safe country', Francisco Martínez, Spain’s Secretary of State Security, told online daily 20 Minutos. "Ensuring tourism safety guarantees a higher quality of tourism."
While less than one in every thousand tourists are likely to be affected by crime, the number of petty thefts rises during the summer months, especially in the coastal areas.
For example, Spain's Interior Ministry says that 57 percent of robberies in the Málaga province happens during the months of July and August.
A veteran police officer told La Opinion de Málaga, "These thieves thrive in the busy streets of the Costa del Sol during the high season."
"They are the same ones who prey on shoppers during Christmas or holidaymakers during Easter week."
In many cases, pickpockets pretend to be tourists, so as to blend in with the crowd, and have been known to spend a week or two in every tourist hotspot. Tourists should always be wary of strangers approaching them with flowers, as these people, normally women, are likely to try and take a euro or ten from their wallet while "selling" them a flower.
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