British expat vigilante group set up in Spain to deter street crime

Published:  23 Dec at 6 PM
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Following a spate of muggings, British expats in Spain’s Costa Blanca have been forced to form a vigilante group to patrol the streets.

A number of concerned expat parents are now tackling the increasingly violent muggings in their home town by taking matters into their own hands and forming a vigilante group. The original idea came from builder Paul Canfield, who organised the group of mothers and fathers in order to protect the expat community from being robbed by gangs of thugs.
The formation of the Los Alcazares group, now named ‘Street Angels’, sparked a huge response from the community, with 500 expats immediately joining via its Facebook page and a further 1,000 pledging their support.

According to Paul, he’d been attacked a few years ago and had subsequently become vigilant on the streets of the popular expat destination. He told local media his concerns were for the vulnerable, the elderly and tourists who may lack his level of awareness and need protecting from the rising levels of street crime. Los Alcazares lies along the Spanish coastline some 90 miles south of Benidorm, with most of the muggings taking place close to the local police station.

One British expat woman told how she was attacked several weeks ago just after leaving a local hotel. She believes a gang member lurks at the top of the road and tips off the muggers when lone expats are spotted, with another female resident beaten up and robbed on her way home. Paul is now organising and coordinating street patrols of volunteers after contacting the local police and council, both of which have signalled their approval of the initiative, adding the vigilante group isn’t breaking any laws. Police are advising the volunteer vigilantes not to attempt to tackle the attackers, with a rota now set up to patrol areas most at risk, and local translators have been contacted in order to help victims explain the incidents to police.
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