A spate of violent crime in Barcelona

Graffiti about pickpockets

A wave of crime in Barcelona, Spain, has prompted authorities to warn residents and tourists to exercise extra vigilance.

The BBC reported that, overall, crimes in Barcelona increased by nine per cent during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2018, and that violent crimes are up 31 per cent over the same period. Despite acknowledging this worrying increase, the authorities and police have been unable to determine the cause.

There have been seven violent deaths and three near-fatal stabbings in the city in a short space of time and Albert Batlle, the Deputy Mayor in charge of security affairs, said that the government of the leftist Ada Colau will roll out more regional and local police officers in an effort to better control crime.

A spokesperson for the Catalan police commented on the situation: "This is a big, complex city and there are many factors at play. We don't believe there is one cause behind all this."

Tourists should take extra care and, of paramount importance, is ensuring they are covered by comprehensive travel and medical insurance.