Every day twelve homes are burgled across Malaga province. In the first three months of this year, the number of domestic break-ins shot up across the area, especially in certain parts of the Costa.
The news of the worrying increase came with last week’s publication of the latest three-monthly crime statistics from the national interior ministry.
From January to March there were 1,161 domestic burglaries in Malaga province and the Costa del Sol, compared to 920 in the same period last year, an increase of 26.2 per cent.
Malaga is the only province in Andalucía where the number of robberies of this type increased, despite a number of recent high-profile police operations to dismantle organised gangs who have been targeting homes.
The coastal resorts in particular have seen the highest increase. Most affected include Fuengirola (which saw an increase of 200 per cent), Rincón de la Victoria (where there was a 357 per cent increase), and Vélez-Málaga municipality (an increase of 71.4 per cent). Inland, Ronda increased by 200 per cent.
Crime overall has increased in Malaga and the Costa del Sol by almost six per cent, rising from 17,349 recorded offences in the first three months of 2016 to 18,366 in the same period of this year.
Crimes such as drug offences (up 24.1 per cent) or violent robbery (up 12.3 per cent) contributed to the overall rise. The number of sexual offences also increased, by 14.1 per cent.
The only two real pieces of good news in the latest Malaga province figures published by the government are a fall in common theft (by 2.4 per cent) and homicide (by 42.9 per cent).
The rise in crime levels in Malaga province was only exceeded in the Andalucía region by Seville province (an increase of 10.1 per cent) and Granada province (an increase of 7.6 per cent).
The biggest fall was in Jaén province, where reported crime dropped eight per cent, followed by Almeria (down 3.4 per cent), Huelva (down 3.1 per cent), Cadiz ( down 1.3 per cent) and Cordoba, where there was no change.
Overall in Andalucía, crime increased 3.3 per cent in the first three months of 2017.
At a national level, crime rose 1.7 per cent compared to the first three months of 2016, reaching 496,307 reported criminal offences.
Among the biggest percentage increases in the number of offences at a national level was for intentional homicides, up 6.8 per cent compared to 2016, with 78 reported offences.