A fairly small news short this morning caught my attention, re-affirming the incredible stupidity of the laws regarding petty crime here. I know I've complained about this in the past so forgive me for going over old ground, but it really annoys me.
The news story reports nothing new - that one of the hot spots for pickpockets in the city is around the Magic Fountains of Montjuic. I've blogged before about my aunt being robbed on the metro just after going to the fountains. This morning's news bulletin details an operation by the Mossos to round up some of the theives targeting tourists while they watch the show. Funny that they've waited until a Thursday evening in September to try this rather than the height of summer when you generally have busloads ( or coach loads literally) of tourists happily distracted by the jets and flumes of the fountain.
Yes, unless any thief is caught red-handed (like these were) with MORE THAN 400 EUROS ON THEM, then they are simply given a stern talking to by the police. It's no wonder they laugh in their faces. Of course, they'll be back tomorrow night and will likely recognise the undercover cops now, so it's just become even easier! I mean, who carries 400 Euros around with them?! And even if it's accumulative over various robberies, I've seen footage of thieves immediately dropping any booty in plant pots and the like, for another person to come along and collect, ensuring they never have anything on them other than loose change.
It's the system that's to blame, and what gets Barcelona such a terrible reputation online - something that I think is greatly over exaggerated. There are even metro vigilantes taking things into their own hands (hat tip to robbed in barcelona for that one), however, until there's a radical shake-up in the laws, it's just going to keep happening. Don't worry, this is not me gettng political on the blog or wanting to start petitions and the like cos I don't even think it would do any good. Just me venting a bit of public frustration...comments welcome as always guys...
Barcelona is a great city to visit, and I don't want people to be put off by my posts like these. If you're thinking of visitinjg soon, check out BCN Rentals for some accommodation tips.