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Spain launches “Operation Summer” for safety of tourists 

PAGE 18 SPAIN

Spain has stepped up its security to ensure the safety of the millions of tourists who will be flocking into its beach hotspots and cities this summer.

Holidaymakers rate security as the second highest reason why they choose Spain as their destination and the World Economic Forum says it is the second safest country among the ten leading global tourist destinations, only behind Switzerland.

Spain’s 2017 “Safe Tourism Plan” has now swung into action, with a number of new measures being added, including more police in places with a mass influx of people.

Special help offices are also open across the country where tourists can report offences and receive advice on how to go about the formalities, such as cancelling stolen credit cards.

During last year’s campaign, 41,799 people were attended by the 24 SATEs located in the main tourist destinations in the country and 20,182 offences were reported and processed.

For the first time, there is an office in the Canary Islands, in Santiago del Teide.

Police officers have also been drafted in from other countries so they can speak to holidaymakers in their own language.

Another new feature is an updated AlertCops app for mobile phones which gives direct contact to the police to report a criminal offence either as the victim or as a witness. The chatroom is available in more than 100 languages. Tourists can even send in photos or videos of crimes.

Operation Summer will also see an increased police presence in areas with large numbers of tourists.

“Specifically, the number of reinforcements scheduled to be brought in for this summer campaign amounts to 2,639 National Police and Guardia Civil officers, which doubles the figure for last year, of 1,227, and is the highest number since 2011,” said a spokesman for the Spanish Government.

“These officers will mainly be distributed during July and August (and until the end of September in the Balearic Islands) between Madrid, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.”

Minister for Home Affairs, Juan Ignacio Zoido said: “Through all these initiatives and new features, we trust that all Spanish and foreign tourists will be able to enjoy their summer holidays in safety without having to worry about anything other than enjoying themselves and relaxing. We want to offer increased safety to tourists both during their stay in Spain and when travelling through the country”.