24 may 2013

Madrid – Europe's second safest capital

You'll feel safe in Madrid!
So you already know where to go to enjoy the
most beautiful parks of Madrid, you've learned about our 10 low cost suggestions in Madrid, we showed you where to find the best bars of Madrid in the Cava Baja/ La Latina and even how you can enjoy your August summer holidays in Madrid. What more can we offer? So much more!

This post is about how Madrid is one of the safest cities in Europe, with crime rates well below average. In fact Madrid is the second safest capital in the European Union: due to high standard security measures preventively taken by the municipality of Madrid, the Madrileños and their visitors always feel safe in this beautiful city!

Low Crime rates in Madrid – A comparison to Europe

Studies have shown that the Madrid crime rate has fallen by 3.6% within the last year alone, proving it to be one of the safest cities in the world. According to the AUDIT commission[1], the Madrid crime rate is 34,4 for every 1.000 inhabitants, which is only slightly higher than in Vienna, the safest capital of Europe with a crime rate of 27,6. Those two leaders are followed by London (52), Budapest (67), Prague (85), Lisbon (88), Luxemburg (100), Berlin (140) and Paris (144). Brussels and Copenhagen (both 147) as well as Helsinki (152) are on top of the list. [2]

What does Madrid do to prevent crime?

Enjoy your time in Madrid!
Each year, the government of Madrid stregthens the local police force by more than 3.000 police officers from June 30th to September 30th (the main tourist season) for population safety and to fight against pick- pocketing.[3] They are primarily stationed in the most touristic areas such as: Puerta del Sol, the Plaza de Oriente, the Royal Palace, the Paseo del Prado, the Plaza Callao, the Plaza España and nearby Calle Arenal. Furthermore, the city of Madrid provides mobile assistance points (“Oficinas de Atención Móviles”) which are established in crowded areas such as the Puerta del Sol, near Carmen Street, in the Calle Bailén, close to Calle San Quintín, in Chamartín bus station, and at the exit of Terminal 4 of the airport, among other locations. This is guaranteed to make you feel safe and supported throughout your time here Madrid, as well as keeping the city crime rate low and managable.

Pick- pocketing techniques - what to look out for

Whilst it is very unlikely that you will encounter pick-pocketing in Madrid, here are some tips of tips to help spot potential pick-pockets:

1. Holding a map very close to you whilst asking for directions or asking you to sign a petition (usually pretending to be deaf).

2. Pointing at something on your clothes or shoes and then ´helping´ you to clean it.

3. Asking you a question when you are at a table in a cafe/restaurant.

4. Several people trying to surround you or paying you unusually close attention.

Tips to prevent pick- pocketing

Tips to prevent pick- pocketing.

To prevent attracting the attention of potential pick-pockets, we recommend that you:

1. Keep your bag close to you and in sight. A bag with a cross strap and zipper/magnet close is always best!

2. Hang out with the locals - bag thieves tend to find more vulnerable targets in the touristic spots, such as the very center of the city (Sol, areas near popular museums, etc).

3. Don’t hold up big maps showing everybody that you are lost. Find a quiet corner where you can keep an eye on your surroundings while you reorient yourself.

4. Look confident and dress like the locals – follow the casual Madrid dress code.

5. Don’t wear bum bags/fanny packs – they are not part of the dress code in Madrid and are a very common object of pick-pocketing

6. Make photocopies of important documents, just in case you lose one. Also carry a valid ID in case you need to pay by credit card (shops will ask for ID more often than not).

7. Keep cash to a minimum- the less you have on you the less you can lose!

Better be safe than sorry!
By following our tips, we are sure that you are going to have an exceptional and safe stay in Madrid without any pick- pocketing or disruption. Remember that you're in the second safest city in Europe and your chances of running into mischance are miniscule. Enjoy the city to its fullest and always keep in mind: better be safe than sorry!

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[1] The Audit Commission is a statutory corporation in the United Kingdom. The Commission’s primary objective is to   appoint auditors to a range of local public bodies in England, set the standards for auditors and oversee their work. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audit_Commission, 21/05/13)

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