Crime in Spain is combated by Spain's law enforcement agencies. Spain’s crime rate is 18% higher than England’s crime rate, due to knife crimes and burglaries. The highest rate of crime mostly occurs in Marbella and/or Torrevieja.

Crime by type


In 2012, Spain had a murder rate of 0.8 per 100,000 population. There were a total of 364 murders in Spain in 2012. Many terrorist attacks have occurred in Spain, the most deadly of which was the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

Drug-related crime

Spain is the principal route of entry of drugs and narcotics into the European Union. Indeed, about half of the cocaine found by law enforcement agencies in Europe is found by Spanish police. Spain has a high number of drug users, leading the table of cocaine users in Europe.

Cocaine importation

Cocaine usage in Spain is high by world standards. Spain is a major transit point for cocaine entering Europe. After arrival in Spain, much of the cocaine is then trafficked to other countries. In 2005, over 50% of the cocaine found by police in Europe was found by Spanish police. The so-called Galician mafia is the main trafficker of cocaine into Spain and to European countries such as the United Kingdom.

Background level of crime against tourists

The US Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs advised travellers in 2011 that Spain had a "moderate rate of crime". Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas. Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of "pick-pocketing, mugging, and occasional violent attacks". In Madrid, incidents have been reported in "all major tourist areas, including the area near the Prado Museum, near Atocha train station, in Retiro Park, in areas of old Madrid including near the Royal Palace, and in Plaza Mayor". In Barcelona, the largest number of incidents reported also occurred in major tourist areas. Embassy of the United States in Spain issued a warning to its nationals against the increasing violent crime in Barcelona. The embassy highlighted crimes, which were recently committed in the most popular tourist places, such as, the theft of jewelry, money and watches. These offenses have physically harmed the victims in some cases.

Crime statistics

Crime statistics for Spain are published annually by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Different agencies of Spain and the European Union conduct analysis of the crime data in Spain. Statistics show Spain is one of the European countries with the lowest crime rate, according to a 2005 Gallop Europe research study. The rate of misdemeanours and crimes in Spain was 46 per 1,000 people in 2009. In 2013 Spain had one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. La criminalidad en España cada 1000 habitantes (entre enero y mayo 2014)


External links

Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK. Travel and Living Abroad - Spain

United Nations Seventh Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000

* ttp://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Crime_statistics European Commission - Eurostat: Crime statistics {{Crime in Europe