Madrid officially 2nd safest city in Europe
Madrid is officially the 2nd safest city in Europe,
1st is Copenhagen and 3rd is Vienna. Europol made a major statistical studies in all the European capitals to define the criminality rates. They came up with a top 10 and a worst 10 too (don’t go there!).
The parameters studied in the research are several and of many different types, if you are curious, you can find more details in the source links below.
Barcelona is often pointed out as a famous city, for pick pocketing, yes it does have this sad legend but few know that they city has made huge efforts to contrast this. One thing you should think about though, is that one type of crime is if your wallet disappears and you did not even realize, which is still horrible, I totally agree. But a way different type of criminality is if someone puts a knife at your throat and asks you to give them all you got, or even worse, if the point a gun at you and take your car, or kidnaps one of your beloved ones.
So when you hear about criminality, you distinguish these types, scams, pick-pocketing and violent armed robbery or just pure violence.
This difference is key to appreciate how different the European capitals can be in terms of safety. As you might not see a huge gap between number 1 and 7 for example, but the types of criminality that are totally absent or very frequent after number 5 in the ranking are significant.
Why is Madrid so safe then?
2004 Terrorist Attack
First of all, we must remember a very sad event on the 11th of March 2004, exactly 2 and a half years after 9/11. A terrorist cell inspired by al-Qaeda, although not directly related, placed a bomb on a train directed to the Central Train Station of Madrid and killed 191 innocents and wounded over 1800. If the tension bar was already high after what happened in 2001, this skyrocketed it to the roof as no one could even imagine why Spain could be a target, as the last frictions with the muslims go back 500 years.
Spain is officially the 3rd most visited country in the world! It even has dedicated tourist police, it almost impossible to walk in any major spanish tourist destination and not get across a policeman. Streets are literally flooded with police cars, stations and troops on bicycle, segway, motorcycle and on foot. If you are number 3 out of almost 200 countries in the world, in terms of tourist visits, trust me, you really want to stay in the podium.
So here the focus is that you go back home, a bit more tan, had a lot of paella, happy with your selfie with a bull. Apparently countries finally realized that word of mouth and long term commitments with tourists are what actually pays off.
Spanish people are Really Really Really nice! If a random pedestrian is walking in a park at night, and they see a person getting stabbed to death by a stranger with a mask, they actually will go to rescue that person! I am sure many many other nationalities would also, but I can count on my two hands many others that would actually start walking backwards in stealth to avoid getting stabbed themselves too. Many probably scared, would not even call the police perhaps.
But let’s not be negative! Spaniards, really do have a sense of community, a sense of almost catholic brotherhood. In my years in Spain, I noticed in so many different contexts how helpful Spanish really are.
Also remember that here dinner is almost always from 10pm, this means that on a friday you usually head out at midnight or 1am. And for head out, I mean, your evening starts…
You have a drink with your friends, maybe a second one in an another place, then you might even pop in a club to dance a bit. So what?
This means that on weekends and often during the week too, you see normal people walking around the streets or going back home easily at 3 or 4am. All this traffic of people, bars open or about to close, reduces those sketchy scenarios in which a burglar could target you.
The window of risk could be from 4am to 7am in which perhaps we often might just go to bed. Then it’s daytime again! Yey!
Still concerned about your safety? Travelling with a huge bag of Diamonds?
Feel free to contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org we will be happy to answer all of your questions and help you plan your trip to Spain!
Sources for this article:
–World Tourism Ranking
–Interesting Article about quality of Life in Europe, also provides criminality information
–Madrid 2nd safest city in Europe
–Criminality Stats in Spain
–Madrid 2nd safest city in Europe – 2
–Madrid 2nd safest city in Europe – 3
–Mayor of Madrid talking about safety in the Capital
–Official pictures of the moment in which Madrid was considered 2nd Safest in Europe
–2004 Madrid Train Bombings