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 crimewaves. It’s not just tourists at risk, though, with residents here also vulnerable to opportunist crimes.

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 and residents alike 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 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, and stay safe.

Above all, remember that Tenerife is not a crime “hotspot” but obviously we’re a holiday island and people come here in a relaxed manner, and sadly the elderly can inevitably seem like targets, easy pickings for casual or even organized thieves. Any visitors whether affected by crime or not can download apps like the AlertCops one for their smartphones to report incidents, or victims can also report a crime in English by phoning 902 102 112 (Madrid). They will be given a reference number to take to the police station (that bit is still unavoidable) where their denuncia will be waiting for them to sign along with paperwork to collect for any insurance claim. And of course, in an emergency, always ring 112 because the service is a multi-lingual one – and that’s guaranteed multiple languages, at least five, spoken fluently, and with access to further languages too if needed.

As to what one can use legally as self protection, the answer is anything that you can buy in a licensed shop. Everything which comes from an authorized source, such as THIS one in El Camisón, will be legal, and the shops will be qualified to advise on the conditions and circumstance in which the various protective sprays, alarms, or equipment can be used.


  1. Ceejay, I can understand your comments, we bought our apt. in Los Cris. 17/18 years ago, when we built a really good and happy like minded group of friends, we all owe our friendship to David who was the owner of the best bar in Los Cris. The Merry Monk, on the Appolo Centre, we first went in “The Monk” 23 years ago. Back then there wasn’t the problems we have today, We came out to Tenerife a couple of times a year in the winter months, and met the same people all out at the same time. We started meeting up for nights out at different eating places, then back to “The Monk” where we would dance the night away! I am not joking when I say their would be 30 odd of us some nights. you name it we have celebrated it. Don’t get me started about Carnival Nights at you know where! Over the years a few have gone to the big party in the sky, we are now about 8/10 of us, still meeting up for the odd celebration, day out, and night out, raising a glass to absent friends. so really, good friends, good social life, and warm winter days, plus hopefully, staying safe and close to home.

  2. Ray, I,m confused by your comments WHY
    do you keep on coming to Tenerife year after
    year please tell

  3. I honestly cannot believe the comment above, “remember Tenerife is not a crime hotspot” are you having a laugh, the place is a walking paradise for robbers, muggers, and anybody else that wants relieve you of your valuables. The airport, waiting to board a bus, people placing baggage in the hold are an easy target, all that pushing and shoving! The bus terminal in Los Cris. probably the worst spot, from top to bottom, my next door neighbour in los cris, robbed of her purse, my wife after opening her bag to give someone a light for a fag, was almost robbed I just got their to tell this person to …. off, they ran for their lives. 3,/4 friends have all been robbed their. Someone came up to me, an elderly guy, English, he said his friend had just drawn money out of bank and minutes later he had been robbed, he was warning everybody he could. My friends wife was held up at knifepoint at the park area behind Lewinskys when the fair was in town, I could go on but I think that’s enough. Don’t tell me Tenerife is not a crime hotspot, wake up Arona, Adeje, councils. I have been coming here for 25 years so I think I have a strong opinion, right or wrong, about the place I call my winter home.

  4. I will never understand why the bar touts and waiters don’t do more.
    They must see all sorts.
    Frightened tourists won’t come.

  5. My friends used the Madrid phone number & got a recorded message in Spanish & then it flashed up on their phone that that number was for emergencies only. He has had his watch taken off him in the street & this was no help at all.

  6. The thought of carrying any sort of sprays horrifies me, I have never done this in my life. Its a very sad situation. We have owned our apartment in Tenerife since 1984 and never felt unsafe in Tenerife. Now, I am looking over my shoulder for possible thieves. People will be put off coming to Tenerife if the authorities don’t do something about improving police presence and start using cameras. Even flying to Tenerife can be a nightmare if there are large unruly groups travelling on the plane.

  7. But also beware of leaving anything whatsoever in cars, a friend was leading a birdwatching tour on the island recently, their minibus was broken into and cameras and other birdwatching equipment taken. They were only 30m away at the time! This is the first time it has happened to him and he’s led lots of tours like this in Spain and Morocco for 10 years plus. It’s put him off going back to Tenerife sadly.

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