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The goal is to increase safety in tourist destinations

The Director-General of the Spanish National Police Force met in Granada this week with stakeholders from public and private institutions involved in the tourism industry and local authority representatives in order to discuss implementation of the Safe Tourism Plan as related to the Spanish National Police Force and to inform them that a special operation has been launched for the summer season.

Nearly 11,800 officers from Citizen Safety units of the Spanish National Police Force are taking part in the so-called Operation "Summer 2014" – in tourism hot spots throughout Spain. This special deployment of officers will be active until 31 August in Andalusia, Asturias, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia and the Region of Valencia, and will be extended until 30 September in the Balearic Islands.

The goal is to increase safety in tourist destinations, offer a faster and more effective response to people visiting Spain and convey a greater sense of safety to both foreign and domestic tourists enjoying a holiday in Spain. This special deployment will increase the police presence in those cities most popular with tourists, at railway stations, sea ports and airports, and in those areas specified in the Safe Tourism Plan of the Spanish State Secretariat of Security.

60 million tourists for a safe destination

Spain is one of the safest tourist destinations in the world. More than 60 million inbound tourists visited Spain last year and 139 million tourist movements were recorded by Spanish citizens during the holiday periods. One of the strategic objectives for the Directorate-General of the Spanish National Police Force is to protect the tourism sector and remain in permanent contact with tourism, hotel & catering and trade representatives. One such meeting took place this week in order to hear the demands and requirements from this sector in terms of security and crime prevention.

Over 80% of the crimes reported by those tourists visiting Spain in the first four months, are thefts. Some of these crimes could have been avoided by following the safety guidelines included in the 250,000 leaflets distributed by the Directorate-General of the Spanish National Police Force in 10 languages. These leaflets are widely distributed during the summer season. Furthermore, some 5,000 posters will be distributed to hotels, tourist offices, catering establishments and tourist arrival points, displaying advice and useful telephone numbers in the event of becoming a victim of crime.

The Spanish National Police Force also operates a service whereby foreign tourists can report a crime by telephone. Via 902 102 112, officers from the Spanish National Police Force answer calls from foreign citizens and provide them with information, offer helpful assistance or take note of an official crime report. This comprehensive service is provided in English, French, German and Italian. The service received more than 13,000 calls in the first four months of 2014, of which 8,440 concluded in official crime reports.

The Spanish National Police Force is also present at seven Foreign Tourist Assistance Service Offices (Spanish acronym: SATE), alongside the respective local councils and other institutions. The Spanish National Police Force also helps tourists from the Foreign Tourist Assistance Service Offices in Malaga, Marbella, Benalmadena, Benidorm, Manacor, Gandia and Madrid. This quality service is highly valued by tourists and other institutions, such as the Foreign Tourist Assistance Service in Benidorm, which this year received recognition for the quality and excellence of its service from the British Embassy and the City Council. The seven Foreign Tourist Assistance Services operated by officers from the Spanish National Police Force helped over 3,200 people between January and April 2014.

Advice for enjoying a safe summer

Over the course of the summer period, the Spanish National Police Force will be underlining a series of safety guidelines for enjoying a safe summer via its profiles on the social networks.

1. Watch over your valuables at typically summer venues and occasions (festivals, large-scale events, beaches, terraces, beach bars, etc.) to ensure they are not stolen by opportunists or pick-pockets. Install a tracking app on your smartphone in case it disappears.

2. Ensure that any concert, festival or event you attend complies with all compulsory safety measures. Avoid risks at any large-scale event and call 112 if you become aware of an emergency situation.

3. Only swim in authorised areas. Follow the rules and instructions given by lifeguards. Take care in the water… and don’t be too trusting with your belongings!

4. When in swimming areas with small children, watch them very carefully and set strict rules on going near the water. Make sure to tell older children who know how to swim that they should not be over-confident and that they should always follow the rules and basic safety guidelines.

5. The consumption of alcohol on the street is prohibited (except in certain very specific situations) and may lead to significant fines. Excessive alcohol consumption can damage your health. For your own safety and the safety of others, never drive if you have been drinking alcohol. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence.

6. Stay away from drugs. They are harmful to your health in the short term and can kill in the long term. If you see signs of drug trafficking, report it to us at antidroga@policia.es with full anonymity and confidentiality.

7. We all like to take – and share via the social networks – pretty or impressive photographs. However, never jeopardise anyone’s safety (neither photographer nor subject) or break the rules. Before sharing your photographs on the social networks, instant messaging services or email, ensure that they respect others and will not cause harm to anyone either at the time or in the future.

8. The purchase of items away from regulated establishments means you will be beyond the scope of health & hygiene controls with no consumer rights. You will also be putting yourself at risk of fraud and forgery. Take extreme care with all food, drink, medicine and cosmetic products and all products that could affect your health.

9. If you intend to enjoy risky sports and/or recreational activities, make sure to inform yourself of the rules to be followed, the safety and basic prevention measures to be applied, that the activity in question has been authorised and the steps to take in the event of an emergency. There is no excuse for the absence of helmets or other protection.

10. When attending an outdoor gathering, do not make a barbecue or build a fire in unauthorised camping areas and take extreme caution when doing so at home.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44225/

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