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Barcelona is one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations and with good reason – it combines incomparable cultural and architectural attractions with beautiful beaches and reliable sunshine. However, there is a dark side to the city. Pick-pocketing and other forms of street crime are unfortunately very common.

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Date: 15/06/2012

Top tips to keep your belongings safe

Barcelona is one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations and with good reason – it combines incomparable cultural and architectural attractions with beautiful beaches and reliable sunshine. However, there is a dark side to the city. Pick-pocketing and other forms of street crime are unfortunately very common.

There are, though, ways to protect yourself. Here is a brief guide to avoiding becoming a victim of crime while on holiday.

Keep valuables safe

Don't flash valuable items of jewellery or expensive watches when you're out and about, you could become the target of thieves.  Think about whether you really need to wear them all the time while you are away. If you don’t, then keep them locked in your accommodations safe.

Night and day

Most holiday destinations are relatively safe during the day but they can become a magnet for thieves and muggers at night. Try to avoid going off the beaten track at night, stick to well light and popular places, be aware of what is going on around you and if you’re not sure where you’re going, avoid getting lost and take a bus or taxi instead.

Bags

A favourite trick of thieves is to cut the straps of bags carried by tourists. This can mean that you don't even realise it's gone until it's too late. If you do have a bag with long straps, carry it in front or at your side rather than behind your back. 

Distraction techniques

Another method used by thieves is for one person to distract you while the other picks your pocket or takes something from your bag. Always be wary of strangers engaging you in conversation on the street and keep a close eye on who else may be around and where your personal possessions are. 

Wear a money belt

A good way to keep your money and documents safe is to use a money belt rather than a bag, especially when you are travelling to your holiday destination.  They are readily available and comfortable to wear and make you much less of a target for criminals.

Remember, if you are leaving money and important documents in your accommodation, make sure they are in your safe.

If the worst happens

If you do fall prey to thieves, you can ensure that the loss is not permanent by having good insurance cover in place. Most travel insurance policies will cover you against theft and will provide you with the replacement cost of anything stolen. The cost of the premium is a small price to pay for peace of mind.


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