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Work begins on police office for foreign tourists in Puerto Banús

Exisiting pavement is being removed for the SATE office.
Exisiting pavement is being removed for the SATE office. / J-L
  • The facility, which will be located on the south side of the main square will cost just over 100,000 euros and is expected to take 3 months to put up

In an effort to increase public safety in the area, Marbella council, in collaboration with central government's Interior ministry, is to open a new police assistance office on the south side of Plaza Antonio Banderas, the main square in the centre of Puerto Banús.

The office will house a local branch of the dedicated foreign-tourist help service of the National Police, known as SATE. It will provide fast and personalised police assistance to any international visitors that find themselves victims of crime or other misfortunes.

The works have a budget of 108,750 euros, taken from a 2016 municipal budget surplus, and are expected to take three months.

Security cameras

The plans, commissioned by Marbella council, envisage the office inside a 72-square-metre pre-assembled structure and featuring a covered entrance, waiting room with seats, an office, meeting room, air -conditioning and an accessible toilet. Some existing pavement is being removed to make way for the foundations.

The facility will also be monitoring hub for 55 security cameras which are being strategically placed in various points around Marbella, San Pedro Alcántara and Puerto Banús. "[This SATE office] won't just have the typical three security cameras to monitor its immediate area, but 55, so that the office is aware of exactly what is going on in the area," explained the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, who added that this will help to solve problems more quickly as altercations will have been captured on camera.

The government has chosen Puerto Banús to open a SATE office, which already exist in other busy tourist areas of Spain, including the Costa del Sol, due to the large number of visitors that the iconic marina and entertainment area attracts.

Staff that have been appointed to advise tourists will receive and log complaints, cancel credit cards, contact consulates and locate family members. They will also inform victims of their rights and, when necessary, issue a subpoena for a quick or immediate trial. Given the international aspect of the work, services will be offered in English, French, German and Italian.

While the SATE service is part of the National Police, town-hall-controlled Local Police will also use the office, which will be open round the clock, seven days a week.