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The Real Spanish Police.
Posted: 19 June 2007 11:44 AM   [ # 16 ]  
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JeremyLee - 18 June 2007 08:12 PM

Hi

We are planning to come to Spain in the next 2 or 3 months but I have reservations. When I read this story I was horrified and I now have severe reservations. Is this a relatively isolated incident or are there more. I would like to hear from anyone with similar issues. I have just returned from our latest trip to Murcia and I did get the impression that we are merely tolerated by the Spanish and there is a lot of resentment aimed at Brits. Is this true?

After all the bad press we are not investing yet but renting for a while but I am now wondering wether to rethink the entire move.

I would like to see this story in the media as I think its extremely newsworthy. Cant think why our press think otherwise.

I don’t want t put you off coming to Spain but it’s only fair that you know the facts. Here are a few more to consider.

I work in Benidorm and in a predominately British part of Benidorm and have mentioned to over 40 people that work near me about the police situation and it seems that a good 30 of those told have either experienced the same or similar or know someone that has. Nobody seems shocked by it anymore! This is a disturbing situation as far as those figures suggest. I have heard of one person recently whom was arrested on his “week long stag night” and spent 5 days locked up and missed his flight back home and his wedding!! What was his crime? He got tied up to a palm tree in Benidorm dressed in a monkey outfit. Hardly worth arresting someone for is it!

I don’t know whether this is unique to benidorm or not, but there does tend to be lively spirits here with quite a few drunks at 4 to 5 am in the morning but from my research it doesn’t appear to be those that are in the majority that are being arrested.

I think a new era dawned in Spain with their EU funding taken away from them. From that moment on they have doubled the traffic police on the roads and I for one am sick of it. This to me is an indirect taxation on drivers, just fining people for next to nothing, or in many cases nothing!

My wife also runs a seperate business in Benidorm and she tells me, that on average of all the people she speaks to that have actually lived in Spain for longer than 7 years most of them are wanting to leave. The reasons given are the crime rate and that the police force have very little interest in pursuing the real crooks, the excessive police presence on the roads, the very high cost of living since joining the Euro currency (which may not be a problem for those that have large incomes), the very high costs to own a business in Spain, the excessive bureacracy, the fact that if you have to deal with any Spaniards in business you are ripped off, and many other complaints.

For example in the last year alone my accountants bill has gone up 50%, my landlord on my business premises has put the rent up 35%, the social security payments have gone up in recent years and currently stand at ?238.40 a month whether you earn money or not. My business has to earn ?2000 a month just to break even, many businesses surrounding me are losing money.

On top of all that is the high cost of property ownership. My actual trade is a (proper qualified) builder and I gave this up 3 years ago due to various factors but the main ones were the utter greed by the Spanish in all aspects of the building trade. Such as the land is vastly overpriced to the foreigners, the building materials are upto double to the foreigners, they have this unique system in Spain of letting everyone know you are foreign by placing and X at the start of the NIF number, which forewarns anyone you require an invoice from that they are dealing with a foreigner. I know there are 2 different prices for materials because I used to (on occasions) use a friend (Spaniard) to order stuff for me. This situation appears to be mainly confined to coastal areas where the vast majority of foreigners live. If you go inland for building materials then you can save upto double the price and there is less racism.

Another thing is you need to remember that Spanish men are all spoilt brats and mummies boys, that’s how there are brought up here, and that is a bad thing because they always want their own way. Just watch the tantrums when you manage to get to the traffic lights before them, they just hate being second (a good recent event on this is the formula one racing in which Fernando Alonso has spit his dummy out because his English team mate is winning, it must be hell for poor Alonso having to follow in second place). A humourous way of using an example but thats how there are on the road here.

The problem also is Spain is now a very expensive country whilst still hanging on to their third world attitudes, in the past (just to give an example) such things as excess bureacracy was deemed to be a pain but put up with because the country was cheap, but now given the cost of living and the meagre wages they still get here it means that in Spain you are no better off than living in the UK. The only thing this country has going for it nowadays is the sun.

Then there is the corruption. I just happen to live in the village that has hit the headlines in the Costa Blanca news recently over various matters. A quick list of the corruption in this village is:  A whole urbanisation has been built with now permissions to build it, the previous mayor took a backhander and vanished, a new apartment block has been built in the same manner with no permissions. The local council elections recently have just been nulled due to corruption, and now there is no councillors to represent us (not that they ever do) and on a more personal note…My house was built by myself and finished 6 years ago, I still await the final paperwork because of council and architect incompetence. A set of plans that cot me ?20,000 and they still can’t get it right! Another reason I packed up building.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 12:13 PM   [ # 17 ]  
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When asked, many people offering a view are telling me they are leaving Spain to live in Turkey, Cyprus or Bulgaria.

My house is for sale and my businesses because I am leaving Spain, the reason is the first posting on this topic. I have actually had my house for sale for 2 years now, they all tell me that an average of 2 to 3 years is now the norm to sell a house.

The reason is the property is too expensive! Who has created this price explosion? Well it seems the builders are taking a large portion of blame but who is allowing it to overheat and continue unabated? The government that’s who!

My house is 257 square metres. The government tell us the value is ?2,200 per square metre in my area, this presents a problem as a lot of people get mistaken with these valuations as they tend to come with the idea that the value of ?2,200 is the entire value of the property when in fact is is just the house only.  On top of that is the land value and any other additional construction (walls, swimming pools, etc). The latest cost to build a house on the Costa Blanca is (ball park figure) ?1800 per sq metre + IVA (?2,088/sq mt) + land + taxes to buy the land, + architects plans + building licences + water connection + electric connection etc, it all mounts up nowadays.

If anyone can get a house built for less then all I can say is you builder may be using substandard materials as there are various grades, depending on the type of construction.

When I first came to Spain (20 years ago) a set of plans for a house cost 150,000 pesetas (?900) today the same sized house is ?20,000. Is there any justification to charge this difference? i don’t think so. OK the statndard of construction is a little better and a few more additions are added to houses these days but not to justify these prices. But then that’s life today isn’t it. Make you think you have a lot of money in property value when the government are just using the valuse to artificially tax you on the vslue of your property. Try selling it for their valuation and see how far you get!

As an example, using the governments version of valuation my house it is worth ?750,000 (my architect valued it at ?675,000) I have it for sale at ?550,000 and still no one is interested, of course the looming housing recession wont help. Too many properties on sale and too many still being built is the cause of the low values.

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Posted: 28 June 2007 11:35 AM   [ # 18 ]  
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Hi Cbram

Many thanks for the reply. It certainly gives me cause for thought. I have discounted buying at this stage and still considering wether to move at all.

Cheers
Jeremy

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Posted: 01 July 2007 03:56 PM   [ # 19 ]  
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I have to admit to being surprised by all the postings to date.  We live In Carboneras nr Almeria and we do not have any of the issues stated here.  Yes there are more traffic police these days but we have none of the high levels of crime (by the police) mentioned here. 

The people including the local police are very nice.  Yes they treat you like a tourist when you first arrive but after a month or so when they realise you live here they are great.  They help you out and readily give you advice on anything you need.  Our landlord is spanish and he and his wife have been superb in introducing us to the local population.

Living in Spain can be and is still a superb life but obviously you have to take your time to look around the country,  which is lets face it massive,  for the area that suits you!

Good luck with your search and dont be put off.

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Posted: 02 July 2007 10:59 AM   [ # 20 ]  
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The local policeman in my village is so friendly he’s like a brother, but it didn’t stop me getting my head kicked in at Benidorm by the human rights abusers AKA National Police!

20 years in Spain and prior to the last years or so I’ve had no complaints either. For the record I’m leaving Spain ASAP, just got to wait an eternity for my house to sell due to their overbuilding thus killing the market off. No I’m not going back to the Uk either before you ask.

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Posted: 02 July 2007 11:55 AM   [ # 21 ]  
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Where are you off to?  We have friends all over europe now and Im always interested to hear of peoples plans!

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Posted: 02 July 2007 02:26 PM   [ # 22 ]  
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min200 - 02 July 2007 11:55 AM

Where are you off to?  We have friends all over europe now and Im always interested to hear of peoples plans!

Don’t know yet.

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Posted: 12 July 2007 02:44 PM   [ # 23 ]  
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cbram - 03 May 2007 12:41 PM
The Expatriator - 02 May 2007 11:28 PM

Have you talked to the media yet?

Not had chance yet but it is on the agenda for this week.

To date I have reported this to the British Consul and Amnesty International, so far I’ve had no response from them.

That story is an absolute shocker.  I’m planning on leaving the UK in the next 2 years and Spain was top of the list but this changes everything.  Your sense of injustice must be unbearable.

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Posted: 12 July 2007 04:30 PM   [ # 24 ]  
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My sense of injustice is unbearable, it really annoys me that these people can continue to get away with this abuse.

On a seperate note, for the record, in the last two weeks there have been two murders in Benidorm, both with the same (or similar) circumstances.

The first….........  http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_11275.shtml
The second…..... http://www.costablanca-news.com/news/frontnorth.htm


I daren’t say anymore.

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Posted: 12 July 2007 09:48 PM   [ # 25 ]  
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FYI, 90% of the time when there are Brits involved in violent altercations in Spain there’s been a lot of alcohol involved. From what I hear this isn’t too different than back in the UK. In fact if you look at the numbers, Spain is still (probably) much safer.

cbram: I’d imagine this wasn’t the case in your situation of course.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 04:09 AM   [ # 26 ]  
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Greetings to all you nice people. I must say this is a shocking thread! Do these police activities occur in Barcelona or in Villafranca?
What do the police in Spain think of US cops that relocate?

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Posted: 13 July 2007 11:45 AM   [ # 27 ]  
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The Expatriator - 12 July 2007 09:48 PM

FYI, 90% of the time when there are Brits involved in violent altercations in Spain there’s been a lot of alcohol involved. From what I hear this isn’t too different than back in the UK. In fact if you look at the numbers, Spain is still (probably) much safer.

cbram: I’d imagine this wasn’t the case in your situation of course.

I was indeed very much sober at the time. Yes you are correct with the alcohol situation with many cases. When I was arrested with my son we shared a cell with two people who had committed the crimes of…

1. Had dared to chastise his daughter for wanting to roam around Benidorm in the early hours. He was beaten up and arrested on the pavement outside his own pub in Benidorm. No alcohol was involved here.

2. Had been in Benidorm for a week for his stag party, was tied to a palm tree in a fancy dress costume and left there by his “mates”, he was subsequently arrested beaten up and spent 3 days in the cells in which he missed his flight and failed to get to the church for his own marriage!

I’d tend to start and disagree with the comment that Spain is still much safer. I know I haven’t lived in the Uk for 20 years but when I came to Spain then it was utopia for many years in so much as everyone (99%) was friendly towards us (Brits), yes I saw crime (petty crime), such as handbag snatching, heard of stories such as anyone molesting a child was strung up the nearest tree etc. But in the end it was a lot better and safer to live here. I never locked my doors and felt I lived in a safe environment.

As I live in Alicante Province I can only really give views on this area as I saw it then and see it now. It seemed to change in this area with the arrival of the ferry service from Africa to Alicante Port (this being only part of the problem), then with the ferry came mountains of crime, the type of crime that brought a certain amount of violence with it. Then later arrived the Eastern Europeans in their droves (many of which are law abiding) but this also gave way to an era of a different kind of Spain, violence was becoming the norm from these people and also they operate in gangs so you have no chance against them when confronted.

Now I’m not a racist but I do have a chip on my shoulder towards races that cannot behave themselves, whereever they come from.

I have myself been subjected to several incidents in Spain, all of which have occurred in the last 5 years, in the previous 15 years there were no such problems. I have suffered my car being broken into (by a Spaniard) and I caught him in the act. The police arrived and asked if I wished to prosecute him for breaking in my car, the police then told me it would be a waste of time as they had arrested the same man 30 (yes 30) times the same month for doing the same thing and the judges just kept letting him go!!!!!!

I had 20,000 euros worth of solar panel stolen from my house, the police didn’t even come out to look at the situation, I took the tools they had used to the police station, made a statement etc. I was foolish enough to ask what they’d do about the tools and suggested they finger print them. This was met with derogatory comments and laughs, one comment was I watch too many movies and finger printing is a waste of time (yeah right)!

For the record these solar panels had a special insurance to cover all events, they never paid out…Don’t insure with the C.A.M Bank!!!!!!!

After a prolonged argument with the bank and many letters to the body that regulates them (can’t remember their name) in order to get a payment from them I got nowhere. Subsequently I cancelled the insurance and took out another special insurance for solar panels with Knights (well known in this area)

One year to the day after this first solar panel theft I had an exact repeat of the situation except I caught them in the act, 6 North Africans, (the solar panels had only been replaced the week before so I came to the conclusion my house was under surveilance) the police were called whilst they were in the act, and after a slanging match with them (because they flatly refused to come out, even though the crooks were still visible) I told them to “go forth and multiply”. I and my son were then in a situation of having to prevent the theft of another 20,000 euros. We crept outside and attempted to catch them, they scattered in all directions and I came within a foot of catching one of them but fell over at the crucial time as I was chasing him. My son would have caught one had I not called him back, as at that point it came to me they could have weapons.

Anyway, these North Africans were seen hanging around the immediate area, trying to regroup I assume, for a further 30 minutes. At which time a police car with two police in it arrived, much to my shock. I immediately pointed out the silhouettes of two of them standing on the hill side. They shone their torches right into the Africans faces in the distance, shrugged their shoulders and did NOTHING! They refused to go after them even though I repeatedly asked. No statement taken from me and they just left. Why bother coming?

The result this time was 8 panels removed, and 4 damaged. Result of the insurance claim? No payout… don’t insure with Knights!!!

Currently, I have no insurance as I cannot get any (save the planet with solar power, there is no hope for this planet)! Anyway, my next move was to buy a German Shepherd dog, THE BEST INSURANCE I’VE EVER HAD.

Soon after aquiring the dog an intruder was lurking outside my bedroom window, the dog went mad, I looked out the window and saw him running off. I got dressed and chased him up the road in my car, he managed to escape in the countryside.

Continued on the next post as I have run out of room…..


Next incident

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Posted: 13 July 2007 12:18 PM   [ # 28 ]  
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Prior to the police arriving I took the car documents from the offending car which was unlocked. It was an English car that had apparently been reported stolen! So they tell me. Result of all this was again nothing.

Next incident was 3 North Africans got into my house whilst I was away and my wife was on her own, she let the dog out to relive herself, upon re-entering the bedroom she saw these 3 Africans and they immediately started to climb back out of the window, however, the dog grabbed one of them and took a chunk out of his hand (good dog), but they managed to get away. Result of this incident, my wife gets a serious talking to for not having the dog muzzled. There is now way this dog is going to be muzzled when it’s in it’s own home, no matter how many times the police say it should be. If my dog attacks someone that shouldn’t be there then tough!

So at the end of the day the only real police involvement I have ever experienced in Spain that has been in anyway effective has been the 2,000 euro fine and the kicking my son and i received a couple of months ago. They ARE NOT interested in solving crime, they don’t have the skills to catch anyone because they don’t want to! They only get lucky by a tip off from the public when they do catch anyone. In fact the only people they can catch is motorists! because the lucrative fine awaits for catching motorists.

Do I have respect for the police? Well I grew up with respect for them but today I’d cross the road if I saw one getting stabbed to death! What a sad thing to have to say but ultimately they bring this on themselves. This in turn makes me a sad person to have to think like this, but hey I’m not going to put my life at risk to help a copper when all the thanks I get from them is a good beating in the police cells!

The real victims of crime in Spain don’t get justice.

Hence as soon as my house sells I am off to another country. Now I am a six foot tall muscle bound bloke that has spent 30 years in the building industry, I no longer feel safe here and I feel more vulnerable ever year (comes with getting older).

The police in Spain are just tax collectors! When you want or need them they are not there. I live in a small village not 10 kilometres from a major town with a large Guardia Civil police station, I see them pulling people over on the country roads regularly, I also see them frequenting the local bars resting several times a week. I’ve even seen them dealing cocaaine 15 years ago in a different areaq I used to live in. But where are they when you need them….of course they are kicking peoples heads in that did nothing wrong, as this is more lucrative to them, you see collecting 2,000 euros in fines and the obvious enjoyment of half killing someone in the process is infinately better than tackling the real criminals.

If this sounds like I have a chip on my shoulder I do! Is it any wonder given the crap I’ve put up with.

I would consider myself to be a model citizen, never taken drugs, only drink on occasions and never too much, never hit my wife, never done anything to warrant any police attention, never committed any serious road offences, only ever driven under the influence once when I was a stupid kid,  was a good helpful person to my friends and neighbours, would do anything for anyone. Today I won’t do anything for anyone sad really since as this is as it’s not the real me. But where does my niceness get me? Taken advantage of, even my ex-best mate screwed me for 40,000 euros 4 years ago. So yes I’m going to walk away from all this and start a new life and hope the bitterness of the last 5 years in Spain become a memory I can forget.

I think this posting addresses some of the safety issues in modern Spain.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 11:54 PM   [ # 29 ]  
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<quote>I think this posting addresses some of the safety issues in modern Spain.</quote>
Ha! cbram, at least you still have a sense of humour! :D

I finally spent a few minutes to read through your last few posts here and, wow, that IS some serious shit you’ve been through and you have my sincere best wishes for a better future.

As someone on the younger side (than apparently yourself), I gotta ask why you haven’t considered getting into politics? It sounds like there are a ton of expats who would jump at the opportunity to displace the power structure in which they’ve found themselves to be victims. I haven’t heard of any expats getting elected in Spain as yet, but why not? There are enough of us concentrated in some areas to make some serious headway I believe. It sounds like there are some very important issues you could rally around. Your thoughts on that?

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Posted: 14 July 2007 11:19 AM   [ # 30 ]  
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Funny you should mention that (and it feels uncanny) because I was only thinking the same thing a couple of weeks ago.

I actually live in a village that has been in the spotlight recently for numerous reasons, from corrupt politicians, vote rigging, people on the padron entitled to vote when they don’t exist, illegal building etc etc. The reason behind this publicity is that a new political party has been formed with foreigners in it (I think some Spanish maybe in it too), and they are the type of people I am, sick of all the corruption etc.

Personally I think the whole system in Spain is corrupt from the lowest politician to the highest (obviously not all of them are but it is a lage problem),

Being in the building industry you tend to see a lot of this happen and there seems to be very few of us that have morals. I’ve been asked to “contribute” to the system in the past and refused, (if you get what I mean) this was evidently the wrong thing to do as it brings an unending amount of interest from the local authorities when you are a builder, fines for this, fines for that, persecution all the time. I’ve never let them grind me down though but at certain times I’ve come very close to throwing in the towel.

I’ve seen builders working on properties just up the road from me that have enjoyed the luxury of no police or local council involvement in their constructions, just because they are drinking buddies with the local mayor. It took me around 5 years to win over their acceptance to the point of them leaving me alone to let me do my job without the aggravation, because I wouldn’t let them grind me down.

The place I live now which is different from the one I have just mentioned is so corrupt it’s beginning to receive attention within the EU departments. This town is no better than the previous one, I’ve even been fined for raking lumps of stone off my driveway as they inform me I should have had a permit to do so. Just to mention my drive way is a disused donkey track that used to be the main road to the next village decades ago but the council still own 50 metres of my 100 metre driveway so they think they can do what they like. Another point is they have tar sealed every road in this village in the last 5 years except for the part leading to my driveway. My house was built in the year 2000 by myself, all perfectly legally and to a high standard and yet I’m still awaiting the final paperwork for it. Not that I care that much as there is no rates to pay until they do. They think it’ll stop me obtaining such things as water and electric etc but it doesn’t because I have used solar power for 10years now and wouldn’t ever have the main electric even if it was on my doorstep (which it is). I also have a massive water deposit which is cheaper to fill by tanker than mains water.

As for me going into politics, well my intention is to leave Spain as I’ve mentioned but apartfrom that I think I’d find it very hard to work with people whose objectives were immoral. Anyway it would be a shock to them having efficiency around them!

Just a footnote to anyone reading this that is considering solar power….. Buy it as the government pays for half of it, you never get a bill and never need to run a generator ever (if you buy the system the size you need) and you can sit and enjoy it all year even when the rest of the village has YET ANOTHER power cut. These systems are so advanced nowadays I don’t understand why more people don’t have them. My system has 24 panels, 10 kilowatt inverter and batteries large enough to store 4 days of electric, they even charge in dull light. I have a generator which is never used to charge the system as it’s not really required I only use it for running a massive welder I have.

Funny really, Spain is the sunniest country on earth (so they say), largest manufacturer of solar panels, the most expensive electric in the world, a backward electric company that won’t willingly supply electric to anyone 2 inches beyond their nearest pole yet very little use of solar power. Wierd.

Well I could ramble on forever so I’ll stop now.

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