Pickpockets continue to pray on careless tourists but now they are having to pay as much attention to the police as they do to tourists’ bags and wallets (read the article in full in Castellano here El Pais). Reported thefts in Barcelona have dropped by 5.4%. The authorities admit that 2009 was a terrible year for security with 56,351 reported thefts just in the first six months – 25 % of Barcelona residents say they were the victim of a crime in 2009. This year, that figure has dropped by 3,000, thanks in part to 400 new police officers patrolling the area. Pickpockets take advantage of the fact that if they steal money or objects worth less than €400 it’s considered a misdemeanour rather than a crime and if caught, in many cases they don’t even get taken to the police station. To combat this sense of pickpocketing with impunity, the police are focussing on locking up the most active offenders. This is also the first summer in which security cameras have been used with 7 cameras on La Rambla and 9 in the Raval and the Gòtic. Groups of drug dealers in fixed positions have also been broken up.
Residents of Almogàvers, Pamplona, Zamora and Pere IV (Bogatell/Marina) have had enough of sleepless nights at the weekend (read article in full in Castellano here, El Periodico). They condemn the drinking in the street, noise, rubbish and people urinating in the street as people come and go to the many nightclubs in the area. Owners and guests at many new hotels in the area have also been affected. Residents of Almogàvers 107-115 have formed a collective and created a Facebook group to share their concerns. One neighbour explains that one of the problems is that youngsters gather to drink in a communal space between the two blocks leaving behind a trail of "cans, bottles, tampons and condoms". Affected residents have reported their concerns to Sogeur (responsible for the building along with FAVB) in a bid to find a solution after repeated reports to the town hall and the police have met with little success.
A 5-year-old boy and his father were seriously hurt yesterday in a fire at 107 Calle Hospital in the Raval (read the article in full in Castellano here, El Periodico). Both sustained second-degree burns but are said to be in a stable condition at Hospital de Vall d’Hebron. The building, completely blackened by smoke and fire damage, has been declared uninhabitable. Police are firefighters are investigating.