HOW TO STAY SAFE IN BENIDORM
We often hear horror stories of people who have been robbed, conned or violated in some manner while on Holiday in Benidorm. There are even those who set out to promote these stories in the claim they are trying to help. In reality they are frightening people and misleading them. They are not helping anyone. They are destroying the image of Europe's most popular holiday resort.
What is it that creates an environment for pick pockets, con men and the like, to exploit us? The answer is simple. Large numbers of people with plenty of distraction. Holiday resorts, Markets, shopping centres, concerts and the like. The very things that describe Benidorm to a tee. That is, large numbers of people all year round and we all know the amount of distractions available in Benidorm.
But let's look at the facts.
FACT Benidorm is Europe's most popular holiday resort.
FALSE Benidorm has the highest rate of crime in any Holiday resort in Europe.
FACT It is not even listed in the top 10
In reality, the chances of losing your hard earned savings to a pickpocket in Benidorm is much lower than in many other Holiday resorts. HOWEVER Here are a few tips to watch out for while in Benidorm, so we can decrease those numbers even lower.
- Safety in Numbers. If you fortunate enough to be travelling with a group. Stay with the group. Pickpockets and muggers look for easy targets. At football matches there are large groups of people with plenty of distraction. But pickpockets are rare. Why? Who in their right mind would walk into a crowd of testosterone fired men and attempt to mug one of them? Keep with your friends, as much as possible. If you do get separated get a taxi back to your hotel/apartment.
- check into your hotel on social media, so it’s easier to find at the end of the night
set up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch with each other
keep an eye on each other’s drinks to make sure they don’t get spiked
do not let a friend walk back to their hotel alone
do not giving a drunk person more alcohol
We can not re-iterate this enough, If you come in a group stay in a group, do not drink so much that you put yourselves in a dangerous situation, DO NOT go wandering off without at least telling someone where you are going and who you are with.
Know the name of the accommodation you are staying in so if you need help getting back some one can assist you.
We know you are on holiday but safety should always come first before drink and a "good" time.
Every single weekend we are getting "missing persons" posts, thank goodness most are not really missing as such but have just wandered off and don´t know where they are staying.
Please be sensible you would not do this sort of thing back in the UK so certainly DO NOT do it in a strange country
- Do not walk home alone, especially if you are a bit under the weather. People who are drunk cannot defend themselves very well. They become the easy target.
- Do not carry unnecessary (wear) valuables that can create temptation to the thieves. The higher the reward, the more risk they will take to get it.
- Beware of friendly strangers. Props at bars will carry identification. No identification, Walk on.
- Beware of distraction by touch. A pickpocket will often try to distract you by touching you. When you become aware of a touch on your shoulder, you do not feel a hand in your pocket. Typical examples, someone pretends to brush dirt off the back of your shirt or to fix your collar. Another one is to place their leg between your legs and jiggle their leg about like it is some sort of a joke. You stand confused while they empty your pocket.
- Ladies either do not take a handbag out with you or carry your handbag in a manner where it cannot be easily grabbed. Do not leave it sitting on the chair beside you in restaurants etc. Unless of course you can run exceptionally fast in high heels to retrieve it.
- Only take out what you need for that day or night, leave the rest in the safe, have a copy of your passport and your EHIC card with you.
- PEA MEN These are con men and most of the crowd around them are part of the gang. Between Players, Watchers and Look outs, not to mention the pickpockets in the area. There could be as many as 30 of them in the same team. DO NOT STOP. KEEP WALKING. The best way to put these people out of business is to take away their customers. However, trying to warn others could be very dangerous. The person you are warning could well be part of the team. PLEASE KEEP WALKING, read more HERE
- MEN DO NOT get involved with the street prostitutes.
- Street Beggars - While there are a number of genuine homeless people in Benidorm there are also a lot of scam beggars in operation including the infamous disabled man who has then been seen walking and driving a Mercedes. Please do not give money to them unless you are 100% sure. If you want to help then better to make a donation to a homeless charity or charity shop.
- Finally avoid dark quiet streets. Most of Benidorm´s dark quiet streets are perfectly safe. What thief wants to sit in a street no-one walks up, in the hopes someone, who comes under the easy target category, might show up one night. However some of these streets can be well known shortcuts to the beach etc during the day. Strangers to the town may well use them at night as well. If you know Benidorm, you will know which streets are safe. If not, play safe and stay in the busy well lit ones.
Carrying your Passport as ID
It is mandatory in Spain for you to be able to identify yourself, the police can stop you at anytime and ask to see some form of photographic ID. As UK citizens do not have ID cards then this can be done by showing your passport or a valid picture driving license.
We do not suggest you carry your passport around with you, this should be kept in a safe place but a notorised copy of your passport is also a valid document and will get you out of immediate trouble, but you may still be asked to provide the original at a later date at the police station
MOBILE PHONES: Be careful how you list your personal numbers.
After a lady had her handbag stolen (Not here in Benidorm) which contained her phone, credit card, wallet, etc. . . . . . 20 minutes later when she called her husband, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, he was astonished and told her . . 'Oh gosh.. I received your text asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago.' When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen phone to text “hubby” in the contact list & got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.
a. Do not disclose the relationship between you & the people in your contact list. Always avoid using names like Home, Missus, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mum, etc.
b. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, do not respond BUT immediately CONFIRM by calling back.
c. Also, when you receive a text unexpectedly from friends or family asking you to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you.
If you are unlucky enough to be a victim of a crime, please report it to the police and use the SATE office to help file a police report if necessary. More help and advice HERE
You will find a list of emergency numbers HERE
You will also find lots more information on all aspects of crime HERE