Tourists will be able to report thefts from their hotels without going to a police station
A pilot programme set up by the Catalan Police in one of Barcelona’s districts will enable tourists to report minor thefts on city streets from their hotels, without needing to go to a police station. The programme will be in place on a trial basis in July and August in 18 hotels. If successful, it could be applied to all Barcelona hotels.
Barcelona (ACN).- A pilot programme has been set up to facilitate tourists formally reporting minor thefts they have suffered on Barcelona streets. Tourists would not need to go to a police station and would be able to report the theft from their hotels. The objective is to help tourists file their complaint as well as encouraging tourists reporting minor thefts by easing a process that might be perceived as a burden. The pilot programme is an initiative from the Catalan Police, Barcelona Hotel Guild and the Catalan Government\u2019s Tourism General Direction. The programme will be in place in July and August in 18 hotels from Barcelona\u2019s Les Corts district. Qualified hotel staff are already being trained to fill in a report form that will be sent via email to the police. If the programme is found to be successful, the programme could be extended to all city hotels.
A tourist having suffered a minor theft or having lost a belonging will be able to contact via the hotel desk with a staff member having received the specific training in order to file a report. The \u201Cqualified employee\u201D will fill in the form, by asking the victim questions about the theft, and once completed the report form will be sent to the police. The document will be bilingual, the main language will be Catalan and then the victim can choose the second language to be Spanish, French, Italian, English, German or Japanese. It will have two parts: a first part to compile the victim\u2019s data and his or her narration of the facts, and a second part to list the objects stolen or lost. Besides sending the form via Internet, the hotel staff will contact the Catalan Police by phone. A special phone line has been opened to ease communication between the Catalan Police and hotels. The protocol fixes that half an hour after the phone call, the police will have to retrieve, check and validate the report, and the police officer in charge will have to print it out, sign it, scan it and send it as a PDF document back to the hotel. Once received, the hotel \u201Cqualified staff\u201D will have to print out two colour copies, ask the victim to sign them, give one copy to the victim and keep the other for the police, who will periodically pass by hotels and will pick up the copies.
This system will not be used for all sorts of crimes or situations. It will only be applicable for minor thefts or losses of objects, whose total value is worth less than 10,000 euros. Therefore robberies with intimidation are excluded. The victim must also be 18 or older. In addition, if the victim can describe the thief, provide any specific detail about the thief or recognise him or her via file photos, then the victim will have to go to a police station to file the complaint. The expected crimes to be reported via this mechanism are typically pick-pocketing and hand-bag robbery.