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On These Beaches, Cops Hand Out 'Robbery Kits'

Barcelona beaches have a crime problem—and a solution
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2019 3:15 PM CDT
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A police boat works in the background while people sunbathe on an open part of a beach in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday Aug. 25, 2019.   (AP Photo/Ignacio Murillo)
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(Newser) – Going to the beaches of Barcelona? The bad news is that bathers are finding their clothes have been stolen while they're swimming. The good news: Police are handing out so-called "robbery kits" containing a metro ticket, flip-flops, and a pair of shorts to people who find themselves exposed, the Guardian reports. So far cops have handed out 174 kits to bathers this season along the city's three miles of beaches—where, sadly, 853 thefts have been reported during the same period. Gentrification and a stunning rise in tourism are considered culprits behind Barcelona's rising crime rates, CityLab reports. France24 says the city of 1.6 million has seen a 28% rise in thefts and violent robberies between 2016 and 2018. (Read more tourism stories.)

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