|Policia Local patrol car in Benidorm|
As with all holiday destinations Europe wide, the mass arrival of toursits attracts pickpockets and organized crime gangs. Cities such as London, Madrid and Venice have the problem year round but with the current economic climate the problems appear even more prevalent.
Many businesses and residents have been complaining for some time about the situation in Benidorm and the local English press have echoed this concern in recent months. Since the long awaited eviction of predominantly East European squatters back in March from an illegally occupied building on Calle Lepanto, the situation has not improved as they just moved to another area.
|Pea Men scam in action on Avd Mediterraneo|
Another scam is for 2 relatively attractive girls to be sitting in the hotel reception studying a map .... when a fresh influx of holiday makers arrive - usually a group of men they will approach and start asking you a question.... and being men you will be only too pleased and flattered that they are asking. Whilst you are distracted the second girl will be helping herself to your belongings. You may think that you are invincible and will know but trust me, these girls are professional and you won`t feel a thing!
|Additional support from National Police|
Organized crime gangs are nothing new - they exist all over the world, especially in Eastern Europe. The Russian mafia are probably one of the most notorious of all. I have personal experience of conducting business over there. You have to pay protection money to either the police or the mafia - or sometimes both! At the moment the Romanians seem to be the culprits of the majority of crime occurring in Benidorm - with freedom of movement within the EU it is very difficult curb. Lets hope that with the Town Hall courting the Russian market that the "wrong sort" don´t come here and start a turf war!
To anyone due here on holiday ... don´t be alarmed but keep your wits about you like you would back home. Many holiday makers seem to leave their brains behind on the plane when they arrive - if you wouldn´t do it back home then don´t do it here! Don´t walk around with lots of expensive gold jewelry on display - with the emergence of so many Gold shops changing your gold for cash it only attracts temptation. Do not carry around a lot of cash or credit cards ... leave them in the hotel safe. Only take enough for the day/night - if you see something you would like to buy then go back the following day. Do not carry your passport around with you ... if you have it pinched it will cost you a lot of effort, time (the Consulate is in Alicante so at least half a day) and money (122 euros) for a replacement document to get back home.
Benidorm is a great place to live and holiday.... thousands think so as they keep coming back year after year.