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Identified and captured an exhibitionist who persecuted pilgrims on the Portuguese Way in Teo

2020 Camino Guides

arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Camino(s) past & future
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
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CAJohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
Tourists (and pilgrims) do not always report crimes to the police when traveling. Criminals know this and exploit it. I have reported things that have happened to me in foreign countries (luckily never was physically harmed) and the police actually caught the perpetrators in at least half the cases. I have generally found the police in various European countries to be responsive, concerned and willing to take the situation seriously. The German police in Berlin told me that they want tourists to complain about harassing behavior, because that is the only way they can do anything.

So report, report, report. And download AlertCops App. One thing about that app is that you can send your exact location even if you couldn't otherwise well describe were you are. I could see that being very useful in the event of a medical emergency.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Tourists (and pilgrims) do not always report crimes to the police
When I was robbed in the Philippines, the perps were caught. The police told me that I would have to stay there for six months to prosecute. If I left that country, charges would be dropped.

The ability to actually prosecute depends on each country's laws. It is good to report it, though. It allows law enforcement to build a prosecution. In my case, the criminals were at the top of the police list and easy to identify, so it was a matter of waiting until they "mugged" a GI who was based there and would be around for a few months for a prosecution! Justice may grind slowly.
 

Sho

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
Does Alert Cops require cellular service, or will it work with WiFi only?
 

RumAndChupacabras

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
@Sho, I tried it at my location (Nevada USA) and it worked. My guess is wifi.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
When I was robbed in the Philippines, the perps were caught. The police told me that I would have to stay there for six months to prosecute. If I left that country, charges would be dropped.
Unfortunately criminals know this and selectively select tourist as victims worldwide.
 

TheSparrow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019) Walked Tomar to Coimbra - Porto to Ponte Vedra - Spiritual Variant to Santiago
Here is a translation of the story - neighbors were also helpful in the identification of this man! There are always many people to help you if you encounter a troubling person in a town or village and you need help - you can knock at a door or ask someone at a cafe to lend assistance.


The Local Police of Teo and the investigation group of the Civil Guard of the main post of Milladoiro have managed to identify a man who persecuted pilgrims showing off and even masturbating in front of them. The facts were happening in the section of the Portuguese Way as it passed through the teense concello and the security forces had been trying for days to locate the man and surprise him so that he could take legal action against him, as he will do now. Finally, the operation has been successful, thanks in large part to the neighborhood collaboration. From the Local Police of Teo thank the neighbors and ask that they do not hesitate to give notice of any other incident that may occur.
 

Nick B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - May/June 2018
Portugese - (2019)
Norte - (2020)
Was that the chubby fiddler mentioned on here somewhere ?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF August to September 2016
Here is a translation of the story - neighbors were also helpful in the identification of this man! There are always many people to help you if you encounter a troubling person in a town or village and you need help - you can knock at a door or ask someone at a cafe to lend assistance.


The Local Police of Teo and the investigation group of the Civil Guard of the main post of Milladoiro have managed to identify a man who persecuted pilgrims showing off and even masturbating in front of them. The facts were happening in the section of the Portuguese Way as it passed through the teense concello and the security forces had been trying for days to locate the man and surprise him so that he could take legal action against him, as he will do now. Finally, the operation has been successful, thanks in large part to the neighborhood collaboration. From the Local Police of Teo thank the neighbors and ask that they do not hesitate to give notice of any other incident that may occur.
Thank you so much for translating!
 

formysons

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles - Santiago 2009; Portuguese, Ingles, Finesterre and Muxia - 2019.
Good new, seeing that I am walking that route in August. I will download AlertCops onto my cellphone when I get to Porto. Thank you !!!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Good new, seeing that I am walking that route in August. I will download AlertCops onto my cellphone when I get to Porto. Thank you !!!
As I understand it, AlertCops is a Spanish App. If you are walking in Portugal, you might be better to dial 112 on your phone, which will connect you to a communications service which provides extensive contacts in various languages in the wider EU.
 

formysons

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles - Santiago 2009; Portuguese, Ingles, Finesterre and Muxia - 2019.
As I understand it, AlertCops is a Spanish App. If you are walking in Portugal, you might be better to dial 112 on your phone, which will connect you to a communications service which provides extensive contacts in various languages in the wider EU.
Thank you, 112 it is then.
 

elleley

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (16); Leon-Sarria, Ourense-SdC (17), Burgos-Leon (17), Porto-SdC (18), SalvadorPrimitivo(19)
Awesome! Best news!
I will take the opportunity to remind you all of an app called Alert Cops, that allows you to get in touch with the police instantly.
Hola! I am preparing to walk the Primitivo this September with my sister and downloaded the Alert Cops app. They ask for your passport number for ID. Is there any danger of identity theft by giving out the number. I realize we give it at every albergue along the Way, but thought I'd ask. Any concerns?
Thanks! Ultreia!!
elle
 

TheSparrow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019) Walked Tomar to Coimbra - Porto to Ponte Vedra - Spiritual Variant to Santiago
Hola! I am preparing to walk the Primitivo this September with my sister and downloaded the Alert Cops app. They ask for your passport number for ID. Is there any danger of identity theft by giving out the number. I realize we give it at every albergue along the Way, but thought I'd ask. Any concerns?
Thanks! Ultreia!!
elle
Hello Ultreia,
I can appreciate your concern with that. It looks like Alert Cops is a Spanish app that can be hacked like any other app - unlikely but possible. As folks have said here, the European emergency number is 112 - and they can speak English and other languages. I wonder if one should call 112 for just ambulance needs and other dire emergencies? In the grand scale of things . . . idk, maybe AlertCops is best for these kinds of public nuisance events (I am not trying to diminish the crime or its effects here) but it only works for Spain.
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
I've entered my passport number to airline apps (e.g. Ryanair), accommodation apps (e.g. Airbnb), ride-sharing apps (e.g. Blablacar), visa application websites (e.g. the agencies that processes visa applications for Russia, China, Nigeria, Vietnam etc.), and car rental websites. I've written it in big books that could be scanned by anyone who arrives at an albergue with a smart phone. And I've shown my passport to countless airline check-in agents, hotel receptionists, post office clerks and so on - some of whom have taken the passport away and made a copy of it.

From that list, the ones that worry me the most are the visa application agencies. They collected a ton of information and I paid with a credit card ... and in the case of the agency that processes Russian visas, I worry that they might have connections to organized crime, and I know they have connections with the Russian state, which is basically the same thing.

All of which is a long pre-amble for a few thoughts:

1) It does seem kind of excessive to require a passport number to use an app
2) If criminals could commit identity fraud with just a name and passport number, I think it would be big news.
3) I trust the security of the Alert Cops app against hackers at least as much as I trust my airline's app
4) Maybe you can enter a false number and the app will work?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
downloaded the Alert Cops app. They ask for your passport number for ID. Is there any danger of identity theft by giving out the number.
It does seem kind of excessive to require a passport number to use an app
Just for info: the AlertCops app is developed by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior ("Home affairs"). It has not been specifically developed for pilgrims or tourists, it's for the Spanish population. Of course anyone who visits Spain can also use it and this is recommended. It has useful features for any visitor anywhere in Spain. And yes, the app will work if you enter a made up passport number from your foreign country to identify yourself ... the app will not check whether it is an actual passport number. For you to decide how useful and sensible that is ...

I know - obviously - that one can hack databases and that one can even intercept data flows. I'm not sure how apps are hacked. We are notoriously bad at assessing risks. Is the risk that someone will get my passport number somehow when I type it into the AlertCop app and then do something really detrimental to me with it greater than the risk that I might need to get in touch with police or emergency services for myself or a friend or family member or receive useful information from them and how beneficial is it to me if I don't have that option during my stay in Spain? I don't have the answer, you need to work it out for yourself.

This is what we are talking about: https://alertcops.ses.mir.es/mialertcops/en/index.html. There's a photo of the graphic interface; it makes it obvious what you can use the app for and there is some additional information on this website provided by the Spanish Ministry.
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Just for info: the AlertCops app is developed by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior ("Home affairs"). It has not been specifically developed for pilgrims or tourists, it's for the Spanish population.
It does have an English interface, though, for non-spanish speakers.

I know - obviously - that one can hack databases and that one can even intercept data flows. I'm not sure how apps are hacked.
In the case of the recent British Airways data theft, security specialists have speculated that hackers added some malicious code to the British Airways website, to harvest data that customers entered. (I am not sure that I understand the details - I think the malicious code diverted customers to a fake page)
To pull off a hack like this, I guess that the criminals had someone on the inside - working for BA or its systems integration partners - who was able to add lines of malicious code to web pages or apps.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
It does have an English interface, though, for non-spanish speakers.
Not only English ☺: Spanish, German, Basque, French, English, Italian and Russian. They know what their market is and what languages their potential clients mostly speak. ☺

According to the conditions of use to which one has agreed, the personal data is stored in an automated file and kept by a "State Secretariat for Security". The app uses secure communication protocols (SSL, TLS ...). It's all spelled out in the conditions of use to which one agrees right at the beginning. I personally would not worry about it all.

PS: If we over here worry about something, it's about those who listen into our mobile phone conversations and I won't name the country on whose behalf they work. We can be just as irrational and paranoid as anyone else. 😂
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
If I remember correctly, passport numbers or other EU identification numbers are required to be given by persons signing in to overnight accommodation in Spain. If I want the assistance of the Spanish police, I would want them to have enough information to find me or to trace where I have been, or where my documents are being used, if I disappear when calling for their help. If I don't turn up for my flight home, if my family are searching for me, I want the police to have somewhere to start, besides a name which I may choose to use when signing up for the app.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
If I want the assistance of the Spanish police, I would want them to have enough information to find me ...
Well, I don't disagree and I don't have any problem sharing my location and identity with the modern-day Guardia Civil when I'm walking the Camino.
But just throwing ideas into the pot here: There can be situations when people want to submit information to the police anonymously - The neighbor who hears a couple arguing and fighting violently next door. The person who learns that a relative is planning an act of terrorism. If you put them off by requiring a piece of information that makes them nervous, you lose valuable information. I expect the app designers considered the tradeoffs...
 

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