Am going for my birthday weekend on October 6th and am concerned about the rise in local crime. I was thinking of going to barcelona in stead but the crime there seems even worse!
I was in Madrid 3 years ago and my friends had a camera pickpocketed and a bag slashed & credit cards stolen on the metro.
Last weekend another 2 female friends stayed at Hotel De Las Letras (where Im staying) and one girl had her handbag taken from down the side of her chair (between the chair & her leg!) whilst having a meal in the hotel's restaurant. The hotel staff didnt seem at all concerned when she reported it, nor did the police the next morning, when they waited 2 hrs to report it & get a crime number for their insurance claim.
They also saw a 12 yr old boy try to take someone's phone in a cafe by putting anewspaper over it before he snatched it, luckily a waiter saw him and grabbed his wrist before he could run off!
Third horror story - all in the same weekend was from a british female who they met in the hotel bar. She had been into a sandwich shop, was paying for her sandwich, put her purse down on the counter and held out the money and in a split second, when she went to pick up her purse again it had gone!
Dont know if anyone else has had any negative experiences & its not going to put me off - but I guess we all have to be extra vigilant and keep hold of our valuables and leave anything unecessary in the hotel safe.
Hope these cautionary tales help to keep you aware, its a pity that selfish, greedy people the world over, wnat to spoil it for us tourists.