In the first several months of this year, the city of Barcelona has seen a surge in rapes and sexual assaults, as the city’s mayor plans to sign a new protocol to tackle sexual violence.
Joan Ignasi Elena, the current Interior Minister for the Spanish region of Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, commented on the rising number of rapes and sexual assaults, saying there were a number of factors at play that could explain the 31 per cent increase compared to before the Wuhan virus pandemic in 2019.
According to figures from the Local Safety Board, the number of reports of sexual abuse has also risen by around 11.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, newspaper El Mundo reports.
Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, who attended a meeting with Minister Elena this week, indicated that he would be signing a new protocol in September to increase police attention on cases of sexual violence, while Minister Elena claimed that local police solve around 80 per cent of sexual violence cases.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 11, 2022
The Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s police force, have already been involved in patrols in leisure areas in recent weeks aimed at preventing sexual violence against vulnerable people, as well as identifying and arresting those who try to perpetrate sexual assaults.
While Barcelona has seen a surge in sex attacks and rapes, overall crime has decreased in the city by around 23 per cent compared to 2019. Thefts, which make up nearly half of all criminal complaints, have decreased by 38 per cent, and street robberies have declined by 17.5 per cent.
The statistics come just a month after two Moroccan migrants were arrested in southern Spain near Alicante after being accused of sexually molesting at least eight girls, three of them minors.
The two men, aged 21 and 31, are said to have sexually assaulted their victims at a local festival.
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