Robberies abroad

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by scotjimland, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Thankfully we don't hear of many folks being robbed while abroad, but it does happen and with this in mind I thought it may be a worth while exercise to try and establish if there were any 'hot spots' that we should be aware of ..

    To my knowledge no one has a list or the crime stats for this type of crime.. so I had the idea to compile our own list and plot them on a Google map, that way hot spots may show up.. and even if they don't it would show us where others had problems..

    What do you all think, is there a significant number of incidents to make it worth while.. suggestions.. or comments ?

    I am more than happy to compile a list and do a map ..

    Jim
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Jim, as a security consultant, one of the things I do for a living is provide city and country threat assessments to companies. However for general (and sometimes very specific) advice, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office takes some beating. Just look at the crime section from the latest report about Spain. You can see that they name streets and plazas that have particular street crime problems, they go on to list the roads that you should be aware of pirates and give advice re bogus police. I would suggest that a regular tourist need not delve any deeper than these reports provide. They are excellent and are kept up to date. You can subscribe and if anything happens in a country you have an interest in, they will send you an emailed update. Well worth it:thumb:
    Crime

    The great majority of the 17 million visits made to Spain by British nationals are trouble-free. But street crime does exist in the main tourist areas.

    Personal attacks, including sexual assaults and rape are infrequent. Nevertheless attacks occur and are often carried out by other British nationals.
    You should also be alert to the availability and possible use of "date rape" and other drugs, including "GHB" and liquid ecstasy. You should purchase your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times to make sure they cannot be spiked. For more general information see Rape and Sexual Assault Abroad.

    Street crime is occasionally accompanied by violence. Remain alert and guard valuable personal items at all times. The majority of reported thefts are a result of items being left unattended or thieves using distraction techniques.

    In Madrid, you should take particular care in the Puerta del Sol and surrounding streets including the Plaza Mayor, Callao, Gran Vía, Lavapies and the Retiro Park and on the underground particularly on line number 8 from the airport.

    Drivers, especially on the M30 and M40 Madrid ring roads, the A4 and A5 should be wary of approaches by bogus police officers, in plain clothes and travelling in unmarked cars. In all traffic-related matters police officers will be in uniform. Unmarked vehicles will have a flashing electronic sign on the rear window which reads "Policia" or "Guardia Civil", and normally have blue flashing lights incorporated into the headlights, which are activated by the Police when they stop you. In non-related traffic matters police officers may be in plain clothes but in any case members of the public have the right to ask police officers to identify themselves. The Guardia Civil or Police will ask you to show them your documents only and do not request that you hand over your bag or wallet. If in any doubt, drivers should converse through the car window and contact the Guardia Civil on 062 or the Spanish National Police on 112 and ask them to confirm that the registration number of the vehicle corresponds to an official police vehicle. Bogus police officers are also known to operate in the Alicante region.

    In Barcelona, you should be especially vigilant in the Plaza Catalunya, Ramblas and surrounding streets of the old city and be aware of the possibility of violent muggings in the Montjuic area. In the Ramblas, Old Port (Port Vell) and Olympic Port Areas, thieves posing as Police Officers may ask to see wallets for identification purposes. Holders should proceed with precaution, first establishing that the officers are genuine. Should the police request ID, they should be shown your passport, driver's licence or other photographic identification. Genuine Police Officers would not request to see wallets or purses.

    Motorists should be on the look out for "highway pirates" who target foreign registered and hire cars, especially those towing caravans. If you decide to stop to check the condition of your vehicle, you should be extremely wary of anyone offering help.

    In Catalonia, on the A7 motorway between La Junquera and Tarragona toll stations, there is an increase in 'flag down' robberies. Vehicles are flagged down by passengers in other vehicles, under the pretence of a problem somewhere on the car. Once stationary, the thieves will often use distraction techniques to remove tourists from the vehicle and steal valuable items.

    At Malaga Airport robbers are particularly targeting rental vehicles on the exit road and nearby highways by indicating that there is a problem with the vehicle's tyres. When the vehicle stops the robbers will offer assistance and take advantage of distractions to steal bags, etc. from the interior of the vehicle. Within the Barcelona urban area thieves are also employing this 'punctured tyre' tactic at traffic lights in order to distract and stop tourists.

    In the Alicante area there have been numerous reports of luggage being stolen whilst people are distracted, filling in paper work for a rental vehicle at the airport. Thieves are also simulating accidents where their vehicle bumps into a rental vehicle and, while travellers are consequently busy filling in the relevant insurance papers, an accomplice steals belongings from the rental vehicle. You should also be wary of being followed to your accommodation from the airport in your rental car.

    Passengers arriving or departing from the airports of Alicante, Valencia and Murcia (San Javier) should be extremely careful and not leave their luggage unattended due to the increased number of robberies.


    See link below
     
  3. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Hi Jim!
    That 's a very good idea!
    I tried to explain to a member recently how France could be very different from a place to another.
    If i consider what i hear on T.V.(everyday national news and local news, since we have télé toulouse)and my own experience + my friends 's one + my family and my relatives's one as well, i would say that in south France , there's a risky line from Toulouse to Marseilles all along the biggest towns. Lyon and the surrounders as well.
    Then, From Toulouse down to the spanish borders, when you're going through carcassonne, Narbonne, Perpignan and finally Le Perthus. But you must know that it goes on down Spain , at least down to Barcelona which has a very bad reputation concerning robberies.
    There are differents ways to rob a van . The most famous one is: A car drives on the middle lane while you're on the right one and people inside wave at you and tell you your tyre is flat or something is wrong and tell you to stop!
    That happens on motorways AND on roads!
    Center south and Eastern South are the most dangerous parts of south France. Once you get to Antibes it's much more poshy, and perhaps many famous people so many more policemen....

    From Toulouse to Andorra it's quieter especially on the A66. But when you get very near from the spanish borders then you may meet thieves , because of the cigarettes , alcohol and drugs traffics; which is quite important.

    This is the part of France i know best, so i can talk about it. Then i know that the department 93 near Paris is to be avoid.
    For the rest of the country, i would say the more you stay outside the big towns for the night, the better.
    People seem to be much saner when living in the country side or near the mountains.
    Brittany is probably one of the safest places In France with the center of the country, but i might not be well informed. The best would be to ask to Vanessa and to Bob and Di what about their place.


    Amicalemant

    Frankie:Smile:
     
  4. lugnutt

    lugnutt Funster Life Member

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    hi Jim we had a bit of trouble wildcamping on the main carpark in a place called Tilff 10 miles outside of lierge ,it was a beautiful place town and shops literally within youre view architechure churches ,chateaus with moats,river running along side picture postcard place,until after midnight cars driving round with no lights even to the extent that they were climbing on the ladder of Rv never slept all night although everyone else did,plus some chap asking questions about Rv pretending he wanted to buy it off me ,which was an excuse to case it found out later on he had been talking to grandaughter about it earlier in the day.Was soon gone after daylight pity it was such a lovely place.Launderette ,bakery lidll bars resturants right across from the car park.
     
  5. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    a hot spot not a good spot hee hee:Wink::Wink:
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Jim

    Yes, I was aware of the Home Office guide and information by country, but there is nothing specific about aires or sites where motor homes have been broken into..

    Most of us (i hope) are aware about the danger of stopping overnight on autoroute aires and some larger cities.. but crime is not limited to these locations...

    it was just an idea which I thought might be useful.


    Jim
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Ah I see what you mean Jim.. We could have a forum section for funsters to report crime, which we could then collate. I have asked on this and other large forums about crimes that involved motorhomers for something that I was writing at the time. I had hardly any responses, only a few motorhomers out of thousands had experienced crime, or maybe its just something people don't want to discuss, or just didn't want to talk to me more like:BigGrin:
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Yes, that was my thinking , it may take some time to get enough reports in.. but there is no rush .. one by one a picture may evolve..

    I know many who have suffered minor theft, myself included, often you see words in posts like.. don't suggest an aire we were robbed.. but there is no follow up or proper logging done..

    Worth a try..
     
  9. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi Jim sounds a good idea, go for it. :BigGrin:

    Olley
     
  10. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Sorry i can't give proper names to locate the "to be avoided" aires.
    At least there's one in department of Ariège, which is on the "nationale" going to Foix called "aire de Saverdun". That one is well known for robberies but also for most violent experiences (rapes among others). I forgot to tell you about that one since i don't take anymore the nationale but the A66. Peaceful and with an aire just at the "péage" with very clean toilets. I had myself experienced some trouble on saverdun aire. Fortunatly my hubby wasn't far and could help me.
    By the way a good tip if you're in town and in danger. Don't shout "au secours", i'm afraid you won't be helped! Shout "au feu"! (fire) it's working much better!!
    If i hear about aires in particular , i'll let you know!


    Amicalement


    Frankie:Smile:
     
  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Frankie

    Thanks for replying with some good information.. if this goes ahead it will be very useful.

    At this point I am trying to see if there is any interest in this project and how it would work.

    Perhaps a forum to report a crime with a pro forma to complete, giving details, date, time location etc .. Jim would need to agree and set this up .. I am willing to collate the info and present it on a map.. but if there is no enthusiasm and participation from the forum it's dead in the water ..
     
  12. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    No Problem, we have a motorhome security section already, I can add a sub-forum to it. I could design a form so that the results are sent directly to you, I will need a few days though mate as I am struggling for chunks of time at the mo.
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Sounds good Jim .. thanks, no rush,....

    I'll start on a map and add info I already have. .. you could embed it on the forum or just have a link..

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  14. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    I reckon thats a great idea. Well done chaps.

    Jim :thumb:
     
  15. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    Come on down to the US/Mexico border for some real fun (not). This is just one of many reports of violence down there. Some have involved robbery, abuse and shooting of RVers.
     
  16. geoff1947

    geoff1947 Read Only Funster

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    theft

    I parked my bike outside Lidl for 10 minutes and loo and behold some B***** stole it. It's quite common around Roquetas De Mar due to the amount of migrant workers in the area so be vigilant.:cry:
     
  17. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Sorry to hear that Geoff.:Sad:

    It's sad that nowadays we have to chain everything up!!!!!

    We were born in more trustworthy times.
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    What a coincidence :Eek!:

    We lost a bike at the EXACT same Lidl store two years ago... we left the four bikes at the store entrance, we only popped in to buy some juice, and left our son Paul (16) to guard them .. one was stolen from under his nose.. mine.. :Angry:
     
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