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Is Spain safe? The crime rate in the South Costa Blanca

THE LOCAL CRIME RATE is often the subject of debate within the La Zenia Community Group – to the point that many members question whether the Costa Blanca is a safe place to live or a visit for holidays.

As with any populated area worldwide, concerns about safety and crime rates naturally arise. But despite moderate rises in the rate of crime throughout the country, Spain remains a remarkably safe place to live.

Nationwide, reported crime over the last year increased by 5.7%, with technology-related cybercrime and computer fraud showing the most significant quantitive increase in the country.

Nonetheless, Spain maintains a low annual crime rate, and the latest official data from the Spanish Government notes that there were 48.8 reported crimes per 1,000 people throughout the country in 2022.

By comparison, Germany recorded 60.7 criminal offences per 1,000 inhabitants during the same period, Belgium reported 74.8 crimes, and the United Kingdom noted 79.5 offences using the same international metric.

The crime rate in Costa Blanca, Spain

South Costa Blanca, one of the lowest crime rates in Europe

Spain's crime rate compares well with other countries in the Europe, but local crime rates are somewhat lower. The crime rate in the municipality of Orihuela is 24.8 offences per 1,000 people – almost half of the national average crime rate and comparable to the country or Ireland.

Our closest city, Torrevieja, also maintains a crime rate below the national average, recording 41.7 reported crimes per 1,000 residents. And the provincial capital city of Alicante reports a crime rate of 29.0 during the 2022 year.

Local and national crime rate data is collected and published by the Ministry of the Interior in Spain. The Government body produces a Crime Balance report at the end of each year, and publishes statistical indicators of crime used by the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT).

In 2022 (the most recent complete year of data), most recorded crimes in the Orihuela municipality were minor offences. There were 59 reported incidences of robbery in 2022 and 611 reports of home burglary.

Residents were more likely to be victims of technology-related crimes than house thefts, with 378 incidences of cybercrime and 333 instances of computer fraud recorded during the year. 69 vehicle thefts were reported, and serious assaults accounted for 52 cases.

The crime rate in Costa Blanca, Spain

Low crime rates in Orihuela Costa and Torrevieja

In the neighbouring city of Torrevieja, minor offences also represent the majority of recorded crime. From January to December 2022, there were 160 reported incidences of robbery and 1,148 reports of home burglary. 108 vehicle thefts and 104 cases of serious assault were reported during the year.

Overall, Orihuela Costa and South Costa Blanca maintain a relatively low crime rate compared to many other regions. But like many popular destinations in Spain, the area can experience instances of theft and burglary, particularly during the busy summer holiday season.

Residents and visitors must remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to safeguard themselves and their belongings, just as they would at home or in any other part of the world.

The Costa Blanca boasts a relatively low crime rate, making it a desirable place to live and visit. While no location is entirely free from criminal activity, the area benefits from a proactive Police presence and a vibrant, safe community.

Looking for holiday ideas and travel inspiration? Find out more about our favourite recommended things to do on the Orihuela Costa or join the La Zenia community Facebook group and find out what's going on in the local area.

Photo credit: LaZenia.com

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Alexander Pichlmayr
Alexander Pichlmayrhttp://www.lazenia.com
Originally from Germany, Alexander has lived in Spain over 28 years. Graduated as MBA, he combines his enthusiasm for marketing with a deep expertise in the Spanish Real Estate and Tourism Industry.


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