Unfortunately, crime is a fact of life, no matter where in the world you live. Hopefully, you’ll never have to go through the process of filing a complaint (denuncia), but if you do, this post will walk you through the steps.
What is a Denuncia?
A denuncia is a private complaint (criminal or civil) allegation against an individual, company or another legal body. A denuncia can also be made and served on a person by the Police, Guardia Civil or state authority. The denuncia is a statement (police report), that can be made by anyone to the local authorities. There are administrative (denuncias administrativas) and criminal complaints (denuncias penales). Once it has been made, it is sent to the appropriate agency for processing, investigation or resolution.
In other words, it is a testimony that you provide to the police to report a criminal event such as theft, assault, fraud, threats, etc. or to government officials to denounce administrative matters.
When to report a Crime
If you feel you have been a victim of a crime, it should be reported right away. If this is an on-going criminal activity call the emergency hotline (similar to 911 in the U.S.) number 112. This is a Spanish-speaking service, so ask if they have someone who speaks English. If they don’t, and if you’re not fluent in Spanish, it’s better to have someone who is fluent do the reporting. At the very least, you can safely observe and report your findings later.
There is an English-speaking service (it is not toll-free) that is referenced further down.
How to make a Crime Report (Denuncia)
You may report a crime in person, online or via the telephone (in English). Below we have detailed information on each method or reporting.
All steps and options by the national police.
Reporting a crime via telephone
English- speaking Police telephone number to call in a crime report.
The following crimes may be reported by telephone:
- Burglary and theft of vehicle, documents, items
- Burglary and theft at your home, residence, hotel
- Loss of documents and /or items
Telephone: +34 902 102 112 or 092 (within Spain in English)
- Toll charges will apply.
- Reports can be made daily 09:00 – 21:00 via the telephone.
- There is a recording. Press X for German Press X for language Y, etc. Eventually Press X for English.
- Please be aware, the above telephone line cannot be used to make a new denuncia if you have left Spain. It can only be used to make a new denuncia when you are actually in Spain.
Reporting a crime online
Internet-based complaint service of the Spanish National Police. Online complaint service.
This service may NOT be used for:
- A complaint with PHYSICAL VIOLENCE OR INTIMIDATION.
- When you know the PERPETRATOR / PERPETRATORS, or if you could physically recognize them.
- If you are aware of the presence of any WITNESSES who might have watched the crime.
- For those under 18 years of age.
- If the crime is being committed “IN FRAGANTI” at this moment, you must report it immediately by using phone numbers 091 or 112. *VIOLENT OR SEXUAL CRIMES cannot be reported through this means either.
48 Hour Follow-up
After you have made your report online or via the telephone or internet, a police officer will visit you at the Spanish address provided in the report. They will verify the information and then provide you with the actual police report. This is a final verification step, to avoid fraudulent reports.
Reporting a crime in Person
Here is a link to the directory of Police stations in Spain. You will need to find one located near you or scroll down and we have a custom map showing those in the Costa Tropical. It is not likely English will be spoken at the local police station, so you should bring a translator with you. Perhaps hire a local gestor or ask someone at your hotel or residence.
In Almuñécar & La Herradura, it is preferred to report your crime in person at the Guardia Civil, location here.
You must report in person if:
- You’ve been a victim of a violent or sexual crime;
- You know the perpetrator;
- When you are under 18;
- If you know or are aware of a witness to the crime;
Foreign Tourists Complaint Reporting
Here is a complete list in each province, we have highlighted Granada and Málaga below. These offices are Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero or SATE.
Calle Cárcel Baja, 3. Next to the Cathedral of Granada 18001 Granada
- Summer: March 1 to October 31.
Monday – Friday 09:00 – 20:00
Saturdays from 10:00 – 14:30
- Winter: November 1 to February 28.
Monday – Friday 09:00 – 19:00
Saturdays from 10:00 – 14:30
Tel .: 958 278 816
SATE OF MÁLAGA
Plaza de la Marina 11 29001 – Málaga
- Summer: April to September
Daily 09:00 – 20:00
- Winter: October to March
Daily 09:00 – 18:00
Tel .: 951 926 161 or 951 999 818
Police and Civil Guard Map for the Costa Tropical
Please refer to our business directory for more of the local law enforcement bodies.
If you find any of this to be inaccurate, out of date, or additional information, please contact us to make updates.