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Alert Walking into Logroño

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My husband and I are currently on the Camino Frances and just finished our walk for today into Logrono. A Peregrina ran up to us right after Viana visibly shaken. An elderly white haired man with a big walking stick , began to talk to her then kissed her and attempted to grope her chest. Our cell service was weak so she said she would report it when she got to Logrono, and I’m letting everyone on this Forum know as well. Apparently, the woman belongs to Camigas on Facebook and another woman posted yesterday that she was accosted by a man in the same vicinity, between Viana and Logrono.
 
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dougfitz

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That must have been horrible. If members do find themselves in this situation, remember that for the police to take any action against the individual, the victim has to have sought medical attention and then taken a medical report with them when they are reporting the incident. Otherwise, as I understand the Spanish laws relating to this, the key elements of an 'offence' are missing, and they are powerless to proceed formally against the individual.

It would probably pay to have a somewhat better description of the alleged offender. Others avoiding every elderly white haired man with a big stick would see me in Coventry!
 
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Rebekah Scott

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there is a 24-hour Guardia Civil post in Logrono. The victim needs to go THERE, NOT to the Policia Local, and talk with an agent dedicated to Camino patrols. Most Guardia have a bit of English. They take these things seriously, unless of course you wait 10 days and 100 kilometers to report it.
 

C clearly

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for the police to take any action against the individual, the victim has to have sought medical attention and then taken a medical report with them when they are reporting the incident. Otherwise, as I understand the Spanish laws relating to this, the key elements of an 'offence' are missing, and they are powerless to proceed formally against the individual.
As I understand it, that is true, but women should not be discouraged from reporting this type of physical-contact incident. The police need to be made aware of the situation, and they can put at least put informal pressure on the individuals and ensure that the community is aware.
 
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dick bird

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As I understand it, that is true, but women should not be discouraged from reporting this type of physical-contact incident. The police need to be made aware of the situation, and they can put at least put informal pressure on the individuals and ensure that the community is aware.
This is a valid point. Even the Guardia Civil would find it difficult to accumulate enough evidence for a successful criminal prosecution (but one should still report it to them anyway so that they are aware of the problem). The local police may find it worth their while to make sure it doesn't happen again.
 

dougfitz

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As I understand it, that is true, but women should not be discouraged from reporting this type of physical-contact incident. The police need to be made aware of the situation, and they can put at least put informal pressure on the individuals and ensure that the community is aware.
I agree, and never intended my post to discourage anyone from reporting an incident, or using AlertCops to notify police that something is or has just happened that might allow them to respond to the scene of the incident while a perpetrator might not have gone too far.

What I am conscious of is that over the years we have seen much wailing, hand wringing and gnashing of teeth when members have found the police apparently unwilling to pursue a complaint like this. If the police need certain evidence, like a medical report following an assault, and that is not provided, what are they do do? We haven't helped them help us in that circumstance, and all the complaining we might do won't make that any better.

As for putting informal pressure on the individuals, this sounds good, but even in a small community where there might be a quite limited range of individuals the police might suspect, is that sufficient to justify them paying a visit to those individuals with a warning about their alleged behaviour? I think there are limits here that the police might be reluctant to breach.

That said, it appeared to me this year that there were more police patrols along the CP in both Portugal and Spain than I had previously seen walking in Spain. If incidents are reported, it does give the police a better idea about where more frequent patrolling might be useful in protecting pilgrims.
 
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C clearly

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What I am conscious of is that over the years we have seen much wailing, hand wringing and gnashing of teeth when members have found the police apparently unwilling to pursue a complaint like this.
Unfortunately, this sentence is loaded with emotional words that may detract from objective and rational discussion of an emotional topic.

It is important to provide the police with whatever relevant information we can, using the reporting tools and procedures that they have indicated that we should use. They will then need to do their jobs, however they are defined.

If incidents are reported, it does give the police a better idea about where more frequent patrolling might be useful in protecting pilgrims.
So we are in agreement. :)
 
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It is important to provide the police with whatever relevant information we can, using the reporting tools and procedures that they have indicated that we should use. They will then need to do their jobs, however they are defined.
And cutting through the handwaving to bump Reb's post:
there is a 24-hour Guardia Civil post in Logrono. The victim needs to go THERE, NOT to the Policia Local, and talk with an agent dedicated to Camino patrols. Most Guardia have a bit of English. They take these things seriously, unless of course you wait 10 days and 100 kilometers to report it.
Reb, do you know where this is exactly? I went to the GC website and was flummoxed by the many possibilities. Is it this?:
Guarda CIvil C.O.S.
Calle Duques de Nájera, 147,
26005 Logroño

Edit - I just saw a PDF the the GC put out, encouraging tourists (us, IOW) to use AlertCops - that directs to the GC.
 
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dick bird

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That must have been horrible. If members do find themselves in this situation, remember that for the police to take any action against the individual, the victim has to have sought medical attention and then taken a medical report with them when they are reporting the incident. Otherwise, as I understand the Spanish laws relating to this, the key elements of an 'offence' are missing, and they are powerless to proceed formally against the individual.

It would probably pay to have a somewhat better description of the alleged offender. Others avoiding every elderly white haired man with a big stick would see me in Coventry!
Police 'action' does not necessarily have to be making a criminal charge, and for the victim in this case that would be of little or no value. The purpose of reporting is so that the police are aware of the problem, cannot deny the existence of the problem and may eventually be motivated to do something about it e.g. deter any actual or potential offenders. For this purpose the location is as important as an accurate description of the offender. The Guardia Civil have definitely become more active (and proactive) about camino safety in recent years. Reporting will do no harm and may eventually do some good. Maybe we can leave it at that and close this thread now?
 
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That must have been horrible. If members do find themselves in this situation, remember that for the police to take any action against the individual, the victim has to have sought medical attention and then taken a medical report with them when they are reporting the incident. Otherwise, as I understand the Spanish laws relating to this, the key elements of an 'offence' are missing, and they are powerless to proceed formally against the individual.

It would probably pay to have a somewhat better description of the alleged offender. Others avoiding every elderly white haired man with a big stick would see me in Coventry!
We passed him yesterday as well ( before the altercation). He was about 5’10”, slender build, 170 lbs. He was sun tanned, clean shaven, groomed, combed shorter straight white hair wore gold chains ( carried a finished, tall, darker colored walking stick). This location is where another peregrina from Camigas reported her assault the day before yesterday. It happened on the street Acequia de Nopedron about halfway between Viana and Ermita de La Virgen de Cuevas.
 

Kanga

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We passed him yesterday as well ( before the altercation). He was about 5’10”, slender build, 170 lbs. He was sun tanned, clean shaven, groomed, combed shorter straight white hair wore gold chains ( carried a finished, tall, darker colored walking stick). This location is where another peregrina from Camigas reported her assault the day before yesterday. It happened on the street Acequia de Nopedron about halfway between Viana and Ermita de La Virgen de Cuevas.

This is an excellent description and would be very useful for the police to identify the person. Accordingly I do hope you can take the time to pass it on to the Guardia Civil in Logroño.
 
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This is an excellent description and would be very useful for the police to identify the person. Accordingly I do hope you can take the time to pass it on to the Guardia Civil in Logroño.
We will. The Camino is an amazing experience filled with spirituality, love, culture, adventure and physical challenge. We are loving our experience. This does not taint my view… it’s an alert for women to be aware.
 

Roland49

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Sad to hear that you have encountered such horrible incident on your pilgrimage.
Even as a male I had the AlertCop-App on my phone. You never know, if you need it someday.

Hope your experience will not suffer from that incident.
 
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Sad to hear that you have encountered such horrible incident on your pilgrimage.
Even as a male I had the AlertCop-App on my phone. You never know, if you need it someday.

Hope your experience will not suffer from that incident.
We just went to the Police Station in Logrono and filed a detailed report. Now we continue on our Camino.
 
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We just went to the Police Station in Logrono and filed a detailed report. Now we continue on our Camino.
Rebecca, who lives in Spain and runs an albergue on the Camino has given this excellent advice, which I hope you took:

there is a 24-hour Guardia Civil post in Logrono. The victim needs to go THERE, NOT to the Policia Local, and talk with an agent dedicated to Camino patrols. Most Guardia have a bit of English. They take these things seriously, unless of course you wait 10 days and 100 kilometers to report it.
 

Meggins

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Camino Frances - One complete St.J.P.P to Santiago plus twice more for 500km each time.
someone try to get a photo and 'mke him famous'
 
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Wanderingfriend

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2018
My husband and I are currently on the Camino Frances and just finished our walk for today into Logrono. A Peregrina ran up to us right after Viana visibly shaken. An elderly white haired man with a big walking stick , began to talk to her then kissed her and attempted to grope her chest. Our cell service was weak so she said she would report it when she got to Logrono, and I’m letting everyone on this Forum know as well. Apparently, the woman belongs to Camigas on Facebook and another woman posted yesterday that she was accosted by a man in the same vicinity, between Viana and Logrono.
What is going on? There are too many of these reports? I am beginning to wonder if the Camino isn’t as safe as it use to be.
 
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What is going on? There are too many of these reports? I am beginning to wonder if the Camino isn’t as safe as it use to be.
We are currently on the Camino and always feel safe. This is an incident to pay attention to , and to be aware of, but we are so happy and thankful to be here and are loving all parts of it. This could happen anywhere in the world. The good people in this world far outnumber the bad.
 

Rebekah Scott

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The Camino is still one of the safest places in the whole damn world.
"The authorities," such as they are, have made big efforts to make it easy for pilgrims to report these sorts of things, as well as illegal dumping, stolen goods, and suspicious "fundraisers" and "petitions" along the Camino. It's an App called AlertCops, it is free to download, free of bugs and viruses, and connects you directly to the authority you need to talk to when something bad happens, in your native language.
Larger towns all along the trail have 24 hour Guardia posts. (Local police forces are pretty much dedicated to traffic control, domestic complaints, and parking tickets.)
 
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The Camino is still one of the safest places in the whole damn world.
"The authorities," such as they are, have made big efforts to make it easy for pilgrims to report these sorts of things, as well as illegal dumping, stolen goods, and suspicious "fundraisers" and "petitions" along the Camino. It's an App called AlertCops, it is free to download, free of bugs and viruses, and connects you directly to the authority you need to talk to when something bad happens, in your native language.
Larger towns all along the trail have 24 hour Guardia posts. (Local police forces are pretty much dedicated to traffic control, domestic complaints, and parking tickets.)
That’s awesome!! I just installed it on my phone.
 
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Jaujauzimbo

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We are currently on the Camino and always feel safe. This is an incident to pay attention to , and to be aware of, but we are so happy and thankful to be here and are loving all parts of it. This could happen anywhere in the world. The good people in this world far outnumber the bad.
Well said lvf !!!
 

Ivan_Prada

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Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes)??
Attached is a screenshot of the AlertCops App.

It gives at least nine possible ways the report an incident; I think is the best tool we have in our hands to report incidents as discussed on this and other threads with the same problems.

Just enjoy Camino and aware of your surroundings.
 

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dougfitz

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"Complaining" as you put it, helps shift cultural norms of violence against women and sexual assault.
Taking that one word out of the context is hardly a basis for making any reasonable commentary. I have suggested there are actions that can be taken to ensure the police have a reasonable basis for formal action against someone who commits an assault. Airing ones grievances about police inaction, not something that the OP did in this case, but has been a regular feature of similar posts in the past, is not one of those actions.

The advice given here on this forum has been consistent over time. When members post here to inform members that there is an issue about some places or individuals, they are encouraged to report that. Today, they are encouraged to use the AlertCops app if they are in Spain.

Where an assault has left them feeling distressed, or even worse, resulted in physical injury, they should seek medical assistance. If they want formal action taken against an alleged assailant, it appears that a medical report is a critical component for the Spanish police that allows them to initiate formal action. As travellers from outside Spain, most of us will never understand all the nuances of these things, but I think we can help women by informing them about those we know about.

These are distressing events. Perhaps not as much for the OP personally in this instance, who was reporting someone else's experience to inform others here about the issue, but clearly for the woman who experienced it and any other person this might happen to. Unfortunately, it seems that many perpetrators will go unpunished when sexual assaults are not reported in a manner that allows police to take formal action. I don't think this is the place to go into the myriad reasons this happens, but I see it here in Australia, and I presume it happens elsewhere as well.

That said, if someone does want to see a matter like this pursued formally, I can only imagine the added distress of finding out they haven't done something that is required under Spanish law that would allow the police to do that, and that this cannot be rectified. I think we can do better than that, and offered at least some advice on how that might happen.

@truenorthpilgrim, circling back to your comment, I am prepared to have my views on this and other matters challenged, but I don't think that taking one word from a sentence or a post and presenting it out of context is any reasonable way to do that. Whether your point is reasonable or not is a quite separate discussion, but not one I think I need to pursue at the moment.
 
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Lindsay53

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I may be misinterpreting the posts here, but the impression I am getting is that people are saying the police will not take action about any sort of incident unless a physical assault supported by a medical report has taken place. While I am not familiar with the details of law enforcement in Spain, surely someone exposing themselves or giving other unwanted attention like groping or forcing a kiss should not require a medical report for the police to take action?
 

dougfitz

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I may be misinterpreting the posts here, but the impression I am getting is that people are saying the police will not take action about any sort of incident unless a physical assault supported by a medical report has taken place. While I am not familiar with the details of law enforcement in Spain, surely someone exposing themselves or giving other unwanted attention like groping or forcing a kiss should not require a medical report for the police to take action?
It's not my understanding that the police will only address instances where there is physical injury. Emotional or psychological injury appears to be contemplated as well. It appears the requirement to seek medical assistance and present a medical report is the same irrespective of the nature of the injury. It's not clear why you would expect different procedures and standards to apply in one case compared to the other. That makes no sense to me.
 

dick bird

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I think we need a Spanish legal expert to answer these questions as the issue relates to what is or is not a criminal offence under Spanish law and therefore prosecutable by the police.I am not a Spanish legal expert.
 
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Yeah, @dick bird, very true, I don't think any of us are.
Pragmatically all we can do is report report report - and hope it makes a difference sooner rather than later.

So it's very good that you did that @lvf - every drop counts. That peregrina is fortunate you were there when you were, and that you did the right things.
Buen camino to you and to her!
 
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peregrina2000

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I think it is helpful for people to understand the basics of Spanish criminal law when it comes to flashing and other forms of sexual harassment that do not involve touching. A post of mine from a few years ago described what were then recent changes to the law. Forum members may remember @Sara_Dhooma’s awful experience on the Salvador, and how the authorities were able to expedite the administrative complaint process.

Whether we understand the intricacies of the Spanish criminal code is less important, I think, than the “report report report“ mantra. Law-enforcement has many “soft“ methods of dealing with local problems. In many places, particularly small places where “ everyone knows everyone”, informal visits from law enforcement may be very helpful.

I remember once such specific instance a few years ago on the Olvidado. No formal action was taken, but the perp was well known as a young man with serious psychiatric problems. He is no longer left to wander on his own and the problem has not been reported since.

I am sorry for all women who experience this. Having had six or seven experiences like this over the years, I know that it is hard to get rid of the sense of repulsion. Good company and good conversation can help. Buen camino
 
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