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tshirts go goThere isn't one specific reason why visitor numbers to Benidorm are dwindling – increased prices and escalating crime are two obvious explanations, but the answer is to find solutions rather than just lay blame. But Live Sex Show posters, gyrating pole dancers and vulgar tee shirts on display during the day certainly do nothing to entice families here – quite the opposite.

SquareWeekend packages promoted by tour operators that offer cheap alcohol with an anything goes attitude simply encourages bars to compete against each other, giving free shots to entice groups in. However, the rapid increase in ATM machines sprouting up literally everywhere is a worry and simply motivates and spurs on reckless spending.

multi ATM in barsSome are even positioned in bars - Stardust, Broadway – not one but two, Secret Garden, Rose & Crown to name a few ensures that you are never more than a few footsteps away from more cash and more rounds! They are especially prevalent on and around Calle Gerona in the Rincon area, where the Brits tend to go and not so much in the Old Town – targeting and encouraging a specific audience I wonder?

Corner CuencaKnowing that many will have cash on them also fuels theft. Check any social media forum regarding Benidorm and one topic is clear – escalating crime and the apparent apathy by the police and authorities to tackle the issue. Pickpockets are certainly commonplace in tourist destinations and Benidorm is no different to Barcelona, Rome and London.

Broadway 2But what is exasperating many are the known gangs of predominantly African girls purporting to be prostitutes who are attacking lone males to steal their wallets and valuables. Many hang out on the steps outside the indoor market, opposite the Hotel Nereo and numerous videos have been posted on social media of the gangs in action, filmed by holidaymakers from their hotel balconies.

back of SATEThese and in fact any crimes should be reported at the SATE office but bizarrely, the opening hours from October to April are 9:00am until 3:00pm Monday to Friday and completely closed at the weekend! Well that’s certainly one way to ensure that ‘official figures’ quoted by police of crime rates in Benidorm are down year on year.