Spain: Barcelona grapples with 28 pct increase in violent crime

A 26-year-old Spanish woman was stabbed to death in a popular tourist area of Barcelona in an incident which highlights the increase in violent crime in the city in recent months.

The woman was killed and a security guard injured at a nightclub in the Port Olimpic district of the city at around 3 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

According to reports, the woman told the guard that her mobile phone had been stolen and when the guard attempted to apprehend the thief, he drew a knife and stabbed both of them before running away.

Both victims were taken to the nearby Hospital del Mar, but the woman died from a wound in her chest.

Her death takes the number of confirmed violent deaths in Barcelona to 13 for this year, with the deaths of an elderly couple inside their home still being investigated by the police.

Over 49,000 crime cases were reported in the city, which is a popular tourist destination, in the first three months of the year. However, the most worrying thing is a 28 percent increase in violent crimes, with police blaming organized youth gangs for the problem.

Two recent cases highlighted the increased risk of crime in the city. A 65-year-old South Korean government official died after hitting her head on the floor during a violent robbery on June 24 in the popular Poble Nou district. Meanwhile, the Afghan ambassador to Spain was violently attacked by a gang of youths, who stole his watch in another popular tourist area known as El Born.

On Aug. 21, the U.S. Embassy in Spain issued a warning about the risk of crime in Barcelona, which read: “the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens of an increase in violent crime in the city of Barcelona in the summer of 2019, specifically in popular tourist areas.”

“Local authorities have reported a significant increase in the number of petty theft schemes that have included acts of violence, such as aggressive thefts of jewelry, watches, and purses. In some cases, these incidents have resulted in injury.”