Local crime rate doubles
Break-ins on homes and business premises in Ontinyent doubled in number in the first half of 2018 sparking concerns among residents and police.
BREAK-INS on homes and business premises in Ontinyent doubled in number in the first half of 2018 – the most recent period for which data are available – sparking concerns among residents and police.
A total of 80 residential properties were burgled between January and June, compared with fewer than 40 in the same period in 2017.
Overall, 91 premises were broken into – 50 more than in the previous year, representing a hike of 122%.
Crime in general in the Vall d'Albaida district capital has shot up by 31.6%, with 425 offences recorded in the first half of 2018, of which nine involved sexual harassment or assault – something no reports were re- ceived of at all in 2017.
Muggings and intimidating behaviour towards individuals in the street also doubled during the months reported – with four cases registered compared with two in the same period the year before.
They include three counts of brawls or physical assault.
Three car thefts and 64 cases of petty theft were reported, or a hike of 16.1% on the same few months in 2017.
A sense of insecurity is particularly strong in the rural outskirts of Ontinyent, sparking a protest by a group of residents.
They have started a petition calling for more police presence, netting over 300 signatures.
Ontinyent town council has applied to the government for more resources, but is still waiting.
Overall, national crime went up by 1.6% in the first half of last year, but the province of Valencia saw a below-average rise of 1.1%.
Spain's interior ministry only includes towns of at least 30,000 inhabitants in its twice-yearly crime rate report, and even though offences have rocketed in Ontinyent, its overall number is still among the lowest in the province.
Alzira (Ribera Alta) is statistically the worst, with 1,103 crimes reported between January and June 2018, followed by Manises (L'Horta Oest) at 765, Burjassot (L'Horta Nord) at 551, and Manises' neighbour Mislata at 472.
Data for July to December 2018 inclusive have not yet been published.