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    Guide to reporting crime in Tenerife

    Guide to Reporting Crime in Tenerife:

    Ensure you have plenty of credit on your mobile phone before you start reporting bank card losses to UK numbers - I drained £15+ on two calls to the UK.

    Don’t waste your time visiting the Local Municipal or National Police Stations first, as I did, as you will be sent away to ring a central telephone number to report the crime: 902 102 112

    Allow for the fact that reporting a crime in Tenerife via the central number 902 102 112 will take 20 minutes but only when you get through to Option 2: English and someone eventually answers. I tried a few times on my mobile thinking it would be a quick process but, fortunately as it turned out, I failed to get through - it was lunch hours.

    Use a local landline, have plenty of change and avoid lunch hours!

    Have your passport number/details handy.

    Be prepared to use the phonetic alphabet to spell your mother/father’s name (even if long deceased!), full postal address in the UK etc etc.

    Be patient as the telephonist slowly takes down your statement of facts regarding the crime and also has to cope with your unfamiliar sounding names and addresses.

    At the end of this phone call reporting your loss/theft you will be given a reference number (NOT the crime number) that you must take to the National Police - Las Americas for those of us in Los Cristianos - within 48 hours.

    Present yourself to the National Police reception, explain you want to report a crime and as they tell you to ring 902 102 112, confirm you have already done so and quote the reference number you were given over the phone. You will then be given a slip of paper with another number, your number in the queue to see a police officer (mine was number 9 at 10.30am).

    Be prepared for a long wait.

    Note there is no access to toilets - a sign in the Las Americas National Police Station quotes security concerns as the reason for the lack of provision of toilets.
    Hope/pray that people in queue ahead of you get bored, have crossed legs, or in my case had a plane to catch and give up waiting, leaving you (and me) with only an hour and a half to wait.

    After the wait allow another half hour for the officer to retrieve the statement on-line and to correct the details you have already provided over the phone. Then, sign the statement (all in Spanish) and hope it describes accurately what you have told the officer. You are then given a copy of the statement which has the all-important crime reference number (Atestado xxxx/13) if you are claiming for losses from an insurance company.

    I requested and was promised an electronic copy of my statement to forward to my UK bank’s anti-fraud department. I left my email address with the police officer but, in spite of an email reminder to them, I have received nothing to date!

    In my case I was the victim of a pick-pocket who managed, one handed as he had a phone in the other, to open a zipped pocket in my shorts (at thigh level) and remove a small wallet of bank cards, membership cards etc.

    Fortunately the bank stopped two transactions within a few minutes of the theft of my cards but there seems to be a singular lack of interest by the Spanish Police (& my UK bank) to catch or deter the criminal who stole my bank cards, leaving them free to continue preying on tourists.

    In conclusion, I met plenty of police officers (all with guns & smart uniforms) who were willing to act as clerks, sitting in comfortable offices filling in forms, but with no real interest in catching or deterring the criminals who do so much to lower the reputation of Tenerife as a safe and secure place for tourists to visit.
    Last edited by slodgedad; 19-02-2013 at 21:07. Reason: Tidied up

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