Fines for illegal massages on Barcelona’s beaches increase sevenfold

The police have started an initiative to crack down on illegal services on Barcelona’s beaches, visited by 3.5 million people last summer. Between June and July, the police have dealt with nearly 4,500 complaints concerning street vendors, 93% more than in 2011. The operations have a dedicated unit of 70 officers to enforce the regulations on the beaches, working both in uniform and in plain clothes.

CNA / Anna Verge / David Tuxworth

August 2, 2012 07:59 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Between June and July, the police in Barcelona imposed nearly 900 fines for illegal massages on the beach, seven times more than in the same period last year. Furthermore, there were 4,435 complaints concerning street vendors selling food and beverages, a 93% increase compared to the same period last year. The drive this year has included pursing the ‘lookouts’ which warn the vendors when the police approach, explained Barcelona Deputy Mayor, Joaquim Forn this Thursday. As part of the summer operations, there is a local unit of 70 officers, including uniformed and plain clothed police, who enforce the regulations on the beaches of Barcelona. Barcelona’s seafront has 10 beaches that were visited by 3.5 million people last summer.

The team on the beaches is composed of about 70 officers, mostly in uniform. The Deputy Mayor said that “the success of this operation is due to the officers working in plain clothes”. The group has already started its activities on the ten beaches that make up Barcelona’s seafront.

Joaquim Forn assured that “this group of police will continue to achieve these good results that have been obtained so far”. The figures show that they are doing a “good job”. “We have to continue to monitor the beaches” because it isn’t a place “where you can do whatever you want.” Forn also explained that the Barcelona local police has a new boat to watch for the dangerous activities of some bathers.  

“Unhygienic massages”

In addition, the President of the Professional Association of Physiotherapists of Catalonia, Manuel Domingi, has highlighted the hygiene problems and physical complications of the illegal massages. For example, he pointed out that “from person to person the beach masseurs do not wash their hands, which can cause skin problems and fungi can be transmitted between people”. He also added that “on the sand they can cause muscle and bone injuries in the areas treated”.

The Sergeant in charge of the local police team on the beaches, José Luis Campos, said that the offenders are “usually recurrent and we have to persist pursuing them until they quit”. He also stressed that the police presence has caused them to be more discreet and they take advantage of “the afternoon or evening”, when there is less police presence.