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“Be vigilant” alert as CCTV cameras considered for crime hotspots 

Surveillance security cameras could be fitted in blackspot areas in Santiago del Teide in a bid to curb a wave of petty theft and crime.

The move comes after the Mayor, Emilio Navarro met Jesús Nieto, sub-Inspector of the private security task force of the national police in Tenerife.

During the meeting, attended by the city security council councillor, Guillermo Évora and the officer-head of local police, Juan Agustín Martin, plans were discussed for a dossier to tackle the issues.

Meantime , tourists and locals are being urged to stay vigilant and alert when visiting Los Gigantes and surrounding areas.

A rash of pickpocketing has caused problems at Crab Island, a select development on the fringe of Los Gigantes.

The area is a gateway for visitors and takes in a raft of steps and a viewing area with stunning views over the village, coast and sea.

Comments on social media highlight thefts and worries with reports of thieving by gangs of up to four men and women.

The cool headed thieves use distraction techniques to steal cash and other valuable from unsuspecting passers-by, including clothing and handbags.

Locals say gangs have been working the viewing point area and in one case visitors staying in an apartment had their rucksack taken which contained the keys to the apartment.

Businesses in the village itself fear the upsetting spike of robberies could impact on tourists coming to the area.

One claimed thieves were becoming more blatant in their swoops and there was a report of a couple being jostled and by four men who a stole wallet with cash and bank cards.

In another incident a shopkeeper said:”An elderly couple came in my shop and said they’d be robbed. They were in a state of shock and they were new to the resort. Its so upsetting for everyone.”

A British couple revealed one technique used by pickpockets is to ask tourists to take a photograph of them.

“While we were being shown what to do, the other person tried to pick my hus-band’s pockets. But unfor-tunately they came of worst as we were both ex-cops,” they said.

´Another regular British visitor, who had his wallet stolen, said: “There is definitely less police presence around the area than in previous years and I can only see the crime increasing in the same way as it has in Los Cristianos and Americas if nothing is done to stop it.”

Now the Canaries first ever Foreign Tourist Attention Service (oficina del Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero – SATE) is open, and it’s in the municipality of Santiago del Teide.

SATE is upstairs in the Policia Local station near the new Mercadona in Puerto Santiago, and has one police officer and an interpreter available for tourists from Monday to Friday, 12 noon to 6pm, for information, complaints, denuncias, etc.

Any tourists who need to involve the police for any reason can now do so in a dedicated space with guaranteed trans-lation.