Winter is coming … and the annual crimewave with it

Winter is coming … and the annual crimewave with it

It’s that time of year again, where pickpockets and muggers follow the elderly and the winter sun seekers to Tenerife. Each year, the main tourist areas in the south become territory for these predators, and the National Police in Playa de las Américas always increase their presence and activity, arresting individuals and targeting the organized crime that is sometimes the cause of crime groupings.

It’s not just tourists at risk, though, and only yesterday  three individual walkers were mugged on the coastal path from Las Galletas to Costa de Silencio. One was a rucksack grab, another a gold necklace snatch, and the third was a failed attempt to snatch a woman’s bum bag. All were separate incidents along the same stretch of that one walk.

Obviously the police must be informed (see HERE) but they can only do so much. There is no substitute for self protection, and police say that holidaymakers should be on guard everywhere, but particularly at the beach, in supermarkets, in bus queues, and hotels. It’s also a good idea to wear crossover bags or, as in the failed attempt yesterday, bumbags, if out walking rather than shoulder bags. And put jewellery out of sight, or leave it in a safe if out just for a hike. Be on guard.


  1. I heard the local police were on industrial action and just a skelton staffing, is that true.

  2. Author

    not to my knowledge … which local police are you talking about?

  3. interesting article Janet – is this more of a problem in the winter season than the summer?

  4. Author

    Yes, it’s a year-round problem but the winter is particularly so because of those who come to prey on our winter visitors, who are generally older than the normal visitor, and more infirm, and so a more inviting target.

  5. Can we hire a taser? Can’t bring them in luggage, so a taser hire outlet would thrive I think. I would carry one…shocking or what?!

  6. Author

    no … “electrical weapons” which include tasers, are not legal for the public here. My understanding, more generally, is that sprays are allowed for anyone over 18 provided it’s a personal defense spray as defined and authorised by the Spanish Government. Any shop that sells them over the counter is likely to be selling a spray that’s authorised. The law is HERE.

  7. Why is Tenerife operating with third world security systems. This sort of crime is impossible to deal with after the event as muggers and pickpockets rarely have evidence on them for more than a few minutes.

    It requires proactive monitoring using cameras and other surveillance techniques. These would show up when one of the hundreds of known criminals is in a hotspot and can be set up to automatically alert the authorities. So for instance if the gang targeting the Trypp hotel return after an incident the police can be alerted in real time. However it seems that there is no will to invest in safety and do many, many people are being robbed in Tenerife at all times of the day- in shops, on the promenade, at bus stops and walking home at night.

    Unfortunately the situation is not helped by the folk who make light of this issue and think they are immune. They must have brain cells missing coz even big boys have been robbed according to my info. Still they pretend that there is no such crime and hope it will go away and so the police are happy to carry on with the status quo.

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