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Reports of sexual crimes in Malaga continue to climb
Crime

Reports of sexual crimes in Malaga continue to climb

Spain's ministry of interior has released the latest crime stats for the province in the first three months of the year

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Friday, 24 May 2024, 15:52

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The escalation of sexual crimes continues to be a worrying reality in the province of Malaga, where there are an average of two cases per day.

According to the latest crime balance report, made public by Spain's ministry of interior, the police have investigated up to 172 acts against sexual freedom in the first three months of this year. This is the highest number recorded between January and March since 2017, when these types of crime began to be reflected in quarterly crime reports. Beyond the numbers, the reality is that sexual crimes, which tend to target women and are often traumatic, have continued to grow year on year - especially in the first quarter of 2023 - albeit gradually.

According to the report, the first few months of this year have seen an increase of 14 per cent, with 21 more complaints than in the same period last year. However, when compared with the figure for the first quarter of seven years ago, the increase rises to 52.21 per cent, as there were 113 cases then.

There was only one year in which these crimes decreased, in 2020, which coincided with the mandatory confinement due to the pandemic, which began on 15 March. The following year, in 2021, they increased again, albeit slightly, with four more cases.

The trickle of complaints and interventions related to these crimes continued to grow, reaching a total of 132 in the first quarter of 2022 and 20 more cases in the same period of the following year, when there were 151 cases in the province. According to the figures, within these types of crime there were 34 cases in which the victim suffered penetration. Sexual assaults with this aggravating factor decreased, albeit slightly, in relation to those registered from January to March 2023, when there were five more crimes. According to the latest data, an average of one rape occurs every three days in Malaga.

Sexual assaults have also been gradually but significantly increasing in the first quarter of each year. From 12 cases in 2017, the number of the latest report has risen to almost three times that amount. The years in which there were more crimes of sexual assault with penetration between January and March were 2023 and 2024.

More complaints

The increase in the number of crimes against sexual freedom does not only affect Malaga, but is also a situation that occurs at a national level, where these crimes have experienced an increase of 6.4 per cent in relation to the same period of the previous year.

As explained in the report, when analysing this increase, it must be taken into account that there is a "greater willingness of victims to report them and to put their cases in the hands of the authorities, which reduces the existing levels of under-reporting in relation to these types of criminal offences". Likewise, this figure leaves out those cases that have been reported telematically.

Data from the ministry of interior reflect a new rise in crime in Malaga, which has had an impact on several types of crime. In total, from January to March, 23,224 crimes were recorded, 5.8 percent more than in the same months of 2023 (when there were 1,265 fewer).

Thefts continue to be the most frequent criminal conduct - with 5,460 cases - in the province, although these have experienced a drop of 3.2 per cent in relation to the first quarter of the previous year, when 183 more cases were recorded in the same period.

The second most common type of crime in Malaga is cybercrime, which has increased by 23.4 per cent year-on-year from January to March. According to the various police forces, 4,890 offences of this type have been recorded during this time, 927 more than in the same months last year. Among these, the most prevalent are computer scams, which are constantly evolving and finding new ways to capture victims. In the province, an average of 47 complaints were registered for this reason, with a total of 4,313 cyber frauds from January to March. This was 22 per cent higher than the previous year, when 3,536 web scams were reported to the police.

Violent crime

Violent crime has remained almost the same as a year ago, according to the quarterly balance sheet. In these first months there have been five homicides and murders - one less than in the previous year - and another twelve attempted murder cases, also one less than in 2023.

Kidnappings have also fallen in Malaga during this time, with two cases reported to the police, compared to six last year during the period analysed. Minor injuries and quarrels have also remained at a similar level, with 241 cases, four less than in the previous year.

However, crimes of robbery with violence and intimidation have increased, although the rise has not been drastic. In the first quarter of this year, 490 violent assaults have been recorded, 30 cases more than a year ago. There has also been an increase in robberies in homes and businesses, from 1,080 to 1,144.

In percentage terms, the crime that has increased the most is vehicle theft, with an increase of 32.1 per cent, with almost 500 cases compared to 371 the previous year. In contrast, data from the ministry of interior show that drug trafficking offences have fallen by 10.7 per cent in Malaga, with 275 offences.

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