Holidaymakers visiting Benidorm are demanding the police and the Mayor start to take the problem of pickpockets more seriously. Even though back in November 2015 a protest took place by holidaymakers and local Benidorm residents to stamp out pickpockets and crime, nothing has really changed.
Although there are no official figures on how many people are pickpocketed in Benidorm, it is believed there are more than fifty victims each day. Many of those who are pickpocketed don’t report the crime. In2town Travel Magazine spoke to some victims who did not make a report to police due to believing nothing could or would be done, while others said they would just put it down to experience.
Some holidaymakers have reported being pickpocketed on their first day in Benidorm. A holidaymaker who posted on Trip Advisor to warn other people of how clever these people are said:
“We have just got back from our holiday in Benidorm which did not start very well. We had a coach transfer from the Airport to our hotel. The coach dropped myself and my husband off outside the Helios hotel and we had to walk a few metres to our hotel, The Presidente. As we were walking up the steps to the hotel reception we had a man and 2 women come up the steps behind us and then they barged between us bumping into my husband. I thought to myself, how rude you can see us struggling with our cases. I assumed they were guests going into the hotel, but no. We went in to the reception area and saw my husband’s ruck sack open and our spending money gone.”
This type of story is not uncommon. During our research, we found many similar stories and even stories of people being pickpocketed at Alicante Airport before boarding their transfer coach. Other people have reported having their money stolen in the lift while they struggle to take their suitcases to their room.
The majority of victims only lose their money and valuables, but in 2016 ex-pats and holidaymakers were shocked when one victim was beaten up during a mugging.
A 68-year-old pensioner by the name of Alan Stewart was beaten up for his money and valuables just months after undergoing a quadruple heart bypass.
One holidaymaker we spoke to who did not wished to be named said they were very puzzled why the police are not targeting those who commit the crimes in Benidorm. She explained:
“If you go on Facebook and other social networks then you will see many pictures and videos of these criminals. But, even though their pictures are posted everywhere and thousands of holidaymakers know who they are, the police are still not arresting them.”
Another holidaymaker said they did not understand why the police were not arresting these people especially when it was common knowledge who they were.
Although Benidorm is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and is in no doubt a magical place, many of those that love Benidorm are refusing to return until more is done to tackle the problem. However, there is no real evidence the Mayor is taking the problem seriously, forcing holidaymakers to be on their guard and not feeling 100% relaxed or safe.
By Susan Knowles