Saturday 31 January 2015

Third of Irish holidaymakers fall victim to crime in Spain

Sam Griffin

Published 28/07/2014 | 02:30

Thinkstock Images
Thinkstock Images

IF your pocket is picked on holidays this summer, you may only have yourself to blame.

A new study shows that one in every three Irish people robbed while on a foreign getaway believe they, or a travelling companion, "looked like a tourist" when targeted by thieves.

Men are more likely to be robbed with a map in hand or camera around their neck with 33pc of those targeted admitting they were an obvious target for opportunistic thieves, compared to 25pc of women.

Overall more than one in every 10 Irish people (12pc) admitted to being robbed while on their holidays in the study by AA Ireland.

Men are more commonly targeted than their female counterparts while abroad.

Spain is the holiday destination where most Irish people are robbed with a third of those surveyed revealing they had been robbed there, followed by France and Italy – three of the most popular places for Irish people to holiday.

Of the 3,000 holidaymakers surveyed, more than one in every 10 (12pc) said they had been pick pocketed while only slightly less (10pc) said they had items stolen from their accommodation.

Another one in 10 had their bank card stolen while the same number revealed they were targeted on public transport.

Only 3pc said they were mugged or had their passport or bags stolen.

Nearly three out of four (72pc) reported they have never been targeted by thieves while on holidays.

AA Ireland spokesperson Miriam O'Neill said it was important to "blend in" with the locals as much as possible to avoid being targeted.

"It's a question of being conscious of your surroundings and making you and your belongings as inaccessible as possible. I'd always advise travellers to know what's covered in their travel insurance too," she said.

The majority of robberies are opportunistic, the survey reveals.

However, one couple were raided after culprits punctured their tyre then posed as good Samaritans before robbing them.

Another person said they were almost robbed by a woman with a baby strapped to a fake arm, leaving her actual hand free to pick pocket.

Irish Independent

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