Tourists from Barcelona who are victims of theft or loss of items may report it from their hotel without having to go to a police station.
They may do so after the agreement signed by the Director General of Police, the Barcelona Hotel Association and the Directorate General of Tourism of the Generalitat. The agreement establishes the creation of an electronic procedure that allows the victim to submit the complaint in his/her hotel, and qualified personnel of these establishments will be those who deal with it and forward complaints to the police.
From July 1st to August 31st, 18 hotels in the Les Corts district of Barcelona will take part in a pilot scheme. this area has been chosen for having a large number of average size hotels and plazas or public squares. When a tourist becomes victim of theft or loss of objects, they may be sent to a hotel worker, who will complete an act of denunciation form that is on the website of the Catalan police.
The complaint form is a bilingual document in which the main language is always Catalan and the other is Castilian, English, French, Italian, German or Japanese, which consists of two parts: reflecting the circumstances of the incident, and the other a list of the objects stolen or lost. Once completed, the worker will then telephone the Área Regional de Instrucción de Atestados y Custodia de Detenidos (ARIACD) and communicate the collection of the complaint along with the number of the attestation.
ARIACD agents will, in a maximum period of 30 minutes, retrieve, verify and validate the complaint made, print and sign the final report, scan it and finally email it back to the hotel. Once the hotel worker has the complaint sent back to him, he’ll need to print two color copies and have the complaint form signed by the tourist. One copy will be kept by the hotel staff and the other will be for the Police who will come to the hotel to pick it up.
This system will not apply in the case of violent robbery with intimidation and force. this should be dealt with by the local Police as it may be necessary to identify the attacker.
At a press conference, the deputy chief of Police Region Metropolitana de Barcelona, Antoni Verger Mayor has recognized that this procedure could provide “more complaints” from tourists who normally would not have bothered with the hassle of making a statement despite being a mugging victim in Barcelona. He said the Catalan capital recorded a daily average of 100 thefts per day between felonies and misdemeanors committed against tourists and foreign residents, a figure that represents half the total which increases in the Summer months by the arrival of more visitors to Barcelona.
Far from projecting an image that Barcelona is a place to get robbed in, Verger considered that it will “bring to light this dark figure (of complaints) that otherwise would not see the light.”