As one of Europe's tourism capitals, Barcelona has had to deal with steady increases in petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching. In recent years, it has become infamous for the sheer skill of its thieves. In many instances, victims reported only noticing they had been robbed long after the perpetrator was gone. The bad news these days is that crime is becoming far more violent in Barcelona and on Sunday night, Afghanistan's ambassador to Spain
became the latest victim of the city's growing crime wave. He was assaulted by several men who threw him to the ground, injuring his leg before stealing his watch.
Just two days earlier, a German tourist
had to be treated in hospital after being mugged in the same area. So do the numbers support growing reports of violent crime in Barcelona? Statistics published by newspaper el Periódico
show that in the first six months of 2019, incidents of violent crime were 58.6 percent higher than in 2016. There were 7,423 robberies involving violence and/or intimidation between January and June 2019 compared to 5,664 the year earlier. In 2017, there were 5,013 while in 2016, there were 4,681.