Tourist hotspot Barcelona sees a spike in muggings

August 22, 2019 - 7:54 am

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Police officials in Spain say that robberies employing violence or intimidation have spiked sharply in Barcelona, one of Europe's most attractive summer vacation destinations.

Officials from the regional police force for Catalonia say muggings or street robberies that include the threat of violence have increased 30% since the beginning of the year compared to the same period in 2018 in the popular Mediterranean city that draws nearly 16 million visitors a year.

Those apparently indiscriminate attacks targeting tourists have sometimes hit foreign officials.

This week the Afghan ambassador to Spain was knocked to the ground by a group of thieves who took his watch, injuring his leg. Also this month a FBI agent on vacation had his watch stolen in the center of Barcelona.