Barcelona residents organize “ROAR” to battle thieves, pickpockets in public transport

Members of ROAR or Residents Organization Against Robbery pose for a photo with Eagle News Spain correspondent Lyn Tumbaga Diez


By Lyn Tumbaga Diez
EBC Spain correspondent
Eagle News Service

BARCELONA, Spain (Eagle News) — Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destination. It has so much to offer in terms of arts, sports, beaches and authentic paellas.

But how safe is Barcelona for tourists and the residents?

The many cases of robbery and pick pocketing especially in public transportation led members of the community to form ROAR or Residents Organization Against Robbery.

A sign alerting commuters against possible pickpockets lurking around public transport. (Photo grabbed from video provided by Alex Clavijo to Eagle News Spain correspondent Lyn Tumbaga Diez/ Courtesy Alex Clavijo)

The battle of ROAR continues against carteristas and ladrones — the Spanish terms for pickpockets and thieves respectively.

ROAR is an organization that aims to stop or prevent robbery and pick pocketing in metro stations and streets in Barcelona.

They have volunteers that patrol the train stations and warn other commuters against pickpockets and thieves.

They blow whistles to the pickpockets and ask them to leave the train station right away.

ROAR volunteers in action as they alert commuters against thieves and pickpockets. ( (Photo grabbed from video provided by Alex Clavijo to Eagle News Spain correspondent Lyn Tumbaga Diez/Courtesy Alex Clavijo)

They are also optimistic that through public awareness and empowerment, the rate of pickpocketing will be lessened.

“People are very empowered now,” said one of the founders of ROAR, who goes by the name Gaffer, for security reasons.

“Before this, people just accept that they were robbed, and were very passive when they see a crime.  But now thanks to the patrol , the people feel now that can do something,” he said.

“They can say, ‘Hey! why are you stealing from me?’  We outnumber the thieves so we should not be afraid and by this we should be able to stop robbery” Gaffer added.

(Eagle News Service)