BEFORE THE TRIP
Catalonia is a European country that has achieved high levels of peaceful coexistence, constituting itself as a safe society where all citizens can fully enjoy the free exercise of their rights.
Ensuring a welcoming and peaceful society is a shared responsibility between institutions and citizens, that in a cooperative way, favors the configuration of a free and comfortable society for everyone.
Given that individual participation in the management of safety, we recommend that you follow the basic tips that are exposed here and which will provide the appropriate means and resources to give you solutions to problems that may arise over your visit to our country.
Moreover, before starting a journey, it is advisable to collect the information that may become relevant. So, it is desirable that you record addresses, phone numbers of institutions and services that in certain situations can be very helpful.
EMBASSY OR CONSULATE
Your embassy or consulate becomes crucial when solving any problem you may have, that is why you should know its location and phone number. Bear in mind also that in some consulates schedules are limited and, sometimes, on weekends or evenings are closed.
CANCELLATION OF CREDIT CARDS AND SIM CARDS FOR MOBILE PHONES
While travelling, the attention is dispersed in many new things, which means that we low the control over our belongings favoring loss or possible theft.
In the case of credit cards, it is advisable that you write down the number to which you need to call to cancel it and that usually appears printed on the card.
In relation to mobile phones, it is important to know the IMEI number, which is usually printed inside the phone, where the battery is removed from. You can also easily obtain it by dialing the following sequence: * # 06 #.
This number identifies your mobile phone and, therefore, in the case of loss or theft, can help you to get it back.
To cancel your mobile phone SIM card, it is advisable to know the phone number where you will have to call to block or terminate your contract.
Our country has a wide network of services through which to make a safe and reliable currency exchange. You should avoid the exchange on unauthorized places, this way you will save trouble.
DURING YOUR STAY
Our country has a variety of accommodation supply that allows visitors to reside temporarily in the best conditions and with maximum comfort. Although this, it is advisable to take certain preventive measures.
It is convenient to manage the contracting of accommodation services through Barcelona Centre Universitari (www.bcu.cat), which provides a guarantee of quality, safety and hygiene in all apartments and rooms.
Once you have hired accommodation, whether a hotel room, an apartment or house, it is important to adopt behaviors that promote the safety of home. Thus:
• Do not do anything that you would not do at your place, as letting in strangers, even those that claim to be employees of a company if they do not identify themselves as such.
• When you leave home, it is advisable to close the doors and entrances to the home. If you are not at home for some days, avoid leaving visible signs that show it.
When travelling on public transport, always remember to validate transport tickets, and do not lose sight of your luggage, especially where there are crowds of people.
When you travel with your vehicle, consider the traffic rules, and do not stop at the request of strangers. When parking, try to do it in places with light and try not to leave valuable objects in sight.
If you use bike, it is better that you lock it at least by the frame, even within community parkings. It is also advisable to write down the serial number, if available. If it does not have one, you can record on the frame your ID number, NIE, etc.
LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
Catalonia has an important historical and cultural legacy that is evident, among others, in its architectural heritage and in important cultural and entertainment activities of all kinds.
This variety becomes every year claim to a high volume of passengers and is in such situations where you should take particular care.
USE OF STREETS
First, if you plan to go somewhere that may be crowded, it is desirable that the bags and / or cameras are crossed and in front of you, never at your back. It is also important that you use a secure closure, including locks, zippers, etc., ensuring that they are always properly closed.
You may also find people in the street that will propose you to participate in gambling which seems a priori easy to hit and win. Remember that these people are involved “professionally” and that its aim is to make money thanks to you, cheating during the game. Such activity is illegal and is prosecuted by the police as a fraud.
In addition, we must not forget that these situations are exploited by certain people to divert your attention and take over your belongings. It is also likely, in crowded places, to find people who want to divert your attention with several excuses: alerting you that you have a stain on clothes, trying to sell flowers (carnations) or asking your signature to support any cause. Try to avoid them because they usually use these excuses to approach to you and take your phone or wallet.
USE OF BEACH AND GREEN SPACES
On the beaches it is essential to respect the indications of flags that show the status of the sea and let you know the degree of safety. Red flag means that bathing is forbidden; yellow flag means that it is dangerous and you need to exercise extreme caution and green flag means that conditions are safe for swimming.
If you want to enjoy a pleasant stay without having to worry about your belongings, you should carry with you only what is strictly necessary.
Barcelona is known for having a very wide opening hours, so some bars and restaurants are open until midnight. Bars, terraces, restaurants etc., are places to eat while enjoying the city.
Requesting menu and drinks menu before ordering will avoid misunderstandings and surprises when you pay. It is also highly recommended and useful to take a small amount of cash that will allow you to make payments easily and to avoid flaunting the money that you bear.
Furthermore, the purchase and illegal sale of any product on the street seriously harm the commercial net of the city. In addition, there is no sanitary control that certifies the safety of these products. Thus, you should not buy cans, CDs, handbags, etc. at unauthorized places.
In Catalonia, there are many shows and sporting events. In this sense, the only guarantee you have to know that tickets are appropriate is to purchase them at the box office and authorized places, and not through the sale by an individual on the street, sometimes with seemingly interesting discounts.
Bear in mind that there are certain antisocial behaviors that are covered by the laws and a fine can be applied.
You should also know that for your safety is not advisable to sleep on the beach or in public spaces or squares.
Despite the weather, these practices, along with others, such as moderating the volume of electronic devices (TV, radio), the songs, etc., are necessary to guarantee the tranquility and the resting of our neighbors.
ATTENDANCE AT CONGRESSES
Catalonia is also characterized by hosting and organising lots of events like the Mobile World Congress, the International Book Fair, the Fair of the ecological culture of Girona, the Congress of Booksellers in Catalan of Tarragona, or the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair of Lleida, among others.
These are usually more or less controlled situations in which there is a preventive police action. However, it is important that you take the same precautions you would take when visiting any large city, including:
• It is better not to bring outside the accreditation in order not to attract too much attention.
• It is important that you are attentive to your personal belongings and not leave the bag on the floor or unattended while you are busy doing other things.
• When arriving or leaving the congress we recommend that you inform yourself before on how to get to places, so as not to convey the feeling you do not know the city.
• It is also important to carry an accreditation and a card with the hotel or the indications of where you are staying.
In Catalonia you can find different police forces according to the tasks carried out or matter in which they are competent. Thus, concerning public safety you can contact the Police of the Catalan Government – Mossos d’Esquadra or the Local Police/Guàrdia Urbana. You will be able to identify them by the shield on their uniform, that in the case of the Police of the Catalan Government-Mossos d’Esquadra is:
Often these police officers work in plain clothes (with street clothes). However, you will be able to identify them thanks to the credential that is like the one in the picture. If you have any doubts, you can call to 112 emergencies telephone number.
If you need any police presence, you can call 112, 24 hours a day. This phone is unique for all emergency services and so you can call to request police, ambulance or firemen. In addition, this phone is free and can be called whenever there is coverage of some telephone operator, though not the one you have hired.
Free emergency application 112 Accessible. It allows communication with the 112 emergency telephone number through pictograms, videos in sign language in Catalan and Spanish, and a geolocation service. You can request this service at Federació de Persones Sordes de Catalunya (FESOCA) → and Associació Provincial de Laringectomitzats de Lleida → Android → IOS →
MAKE A COMPLAINT
If you want to complain, you can do it in two ways:
- In the host country: you can go to any of the police stations in the city 24 hours a day every day of the year. In these police stations you will find translators / interpreters that can help you if you don’t speak the local language. In the 012 telephone number for citizens you can be informed about the nearest. You will also find this information via the website: mossos.cat →
- When you arrive in your country: you can go to the Spanish embassy or consulate. If this option is not possible, you can trust someone who lives in the host country that can go to any police station instead of you, but later you will have to ratify the facts to the court in person.
After filing the complaint, and if there is any news about it, the police will contact you on the data you will have provided. If any of the stolen documents is recovered they will be sent to you through your embassy.
You must also know that our country has a special attention to gender equality, so any attack suffered by a woman should be reported and is therefore a comprehensive monitoring and care in her treatment. If you find yourself in this situation or know someone who may suffer it you can go to any police station, call 112 or look for information at mossos.cat →
To finish, another issue that deserves particular consideration is referred to the homophobic attacks or transphobia. In our country the expression of individual freedom is important, so you can report any breach of your rights because of your sexual identity, gender or affective relation to our police stations, where specialist officers will help you and give you advice on anything you need.