The criminal acts reported in Barcelona during the first five months of 2022 have been reduced by 23% compared to the same period in 2019, the last year in which security indicators were not affected by the pandemic. According to the Department of the Interior, it is important to compare the data with the pre-pandemic reality due to the impact of tourism and economic activity. Thus, if compared to 2021, crime has increased by 40% during these first months of 2022
X-ray of crime in Barcelona: summer thefts in downtown neighborhoods trigger the crime rate
These figures have been presented at the Barcelona Local Security Board, held this Thursday morning. It has been chaired by the mayor Ada Colau and has had the participation of the Minister of the Interior, Joan Ignasi Elena; the Deputy Mayor for Security and Prevention, Albert Batlle, and the General Director of the Police, Pere Farré.
The meeting has served to analyze the security situation in the Catalan capital this summer, during which the number of visitors is expected to be the same as before the pandemic. For this reason, Barcelona will have 8.9% more Mossos d’Esquadra troops to “establish preventive actions” and “maintain crime indicators, which had reached very low levels”, according to the Department of the Interior.
Fewer complaints and fewer crimes
During the first five months of the year, 73,184 crimes have been registered, 8,5878 arrests have been made and 19,278 have been investigated. All in all, the resolution of investigations has increased by 3.7%, despite the fact that arrests have dropped by 7.3%, due to the reduction in crimes. In fact, according to Mossos d’Esquadra, 57% of arrests have been made ‘red-handed’.
Regarding the typology of crimes, it stands out that crimes against property (which account for 88.2% of the total) are reduced by a quarter, while crimes against people increase. Crimes against public health are also on the rise, such as drug trafficking, which rose by 46.7%. But, according to Mossos, this increase does not necessarily imply more crime, but rather responds to the fact that police operations have increased in the last year.
Likewise, another type of crime that is decreasing in Barcelona is robbery with violence or intimidation in the street, which is reduced by 17.5% compared to 2019. In relation to the object stolen, Mossos d’Esquadra ensures that the mobile phone it is still the majority, followed by handbags, watches and jewelry.
Scams, the second most reported crime
Within the category of crimes against property there are various events such as theft or fraud, the latter being the second most reported crime in Barcelona.
This is one of the few crimes that has not been reduced by the pandemic; in fact, a growing escalation began in 2020. This is due to the fact that the majority of scams (90%) are carried out through the internet and, as a result of the confinement, purchases and economic transactions on the network increased, favoring greater ease for this type of crime.
Safe routes against sexual violence
Although the majority of crimes decreased in Barcelona, one of the ones that did grow were those related to sexual and gender-based violence, especially domestic abuse and broken sentences.
This year’s data continues the growing trend that has been taking place in recent years. Thus, in 2022 and compared to 2019 there has been an increase of 31.03% in sexual assaults and 11.34% in sexual abuse.
In view of these figures, the Mossos d’Esquadra have established a plan against sexual violence throughout Catalonia that, among other things, will establish safe routes from leisure areas to public transport.
Similarly, the police forces are passing on advice and warnings to workers involved in nightlife, including nightclub and bar workers, but also security personnel and drivers. These tips are intended to warn and raise awareness about practices that are increasing such as chemical submission, of which 288 cases have been registered in one year throughout Catalonia