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Tourist police gear up for 'summer of crime'

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Tourist police gear up for 'summer of crime'
According to Spain's Interior Ministry, 57 percent of robberies in Malaga province take place during the summer months. Photo: Bengt Nyman
10:30 CEST+02:00
Over 29,000 police officers will be deployed to fight the growth in petty crime during the summer period and ensure the safety of the millions of tourists reaching Spain's shores.

Spain’s Interior Ministry has set July 1st as the start date for 'Operation Summer', which will see an increase of 1,341 new police officers across Spanish territory.

'Spain is a safe country', Francisco Martínez, Spain’s Secretary of State Security, told online daily 20 minutos.

"Ensuring tourism safety guarantees a higher quality of tourism."

But although fewer than one in every a thousand tourists visiting Spain is the victim of a crime, the number of petty thefts rises during the summer period, especially in Spain’s coastal areas.

According to Spain’s Interior Ministry, 57 percent of robberies in Malaga province take place during the summer months.

"These thieves thrive in the busy streets of the Costa del Sol during the high season," a veteran policeman told local daily La Opinion de Malaga.

"They are the same ones who prey on shoppers during Christmas or holidaymakers during Easter week."

Some of the pickpockets pass themselves off as tourists to blend in, spending a week or two in each tourist hotspot.

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