Originally promised last Easter, then postponed to summer 2017, at long last the new SATE Office in the Rincon de Loix has finally opened. There was meant to be a grand opening ceremony this morning, with the Interior Minister present but mysteriously it was cancelled and the office just opened unannounced! Not even the British Consulate was aware or in fact, invited!
Located on Calle Derramador, directly opposite the Flash Hotel (at the beginning of Calle Gerona) it is also home to the Tourist Information Office. SATE stands for “El Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero” which roughly translated means the Foreign Tourist Assistance Office… the place to go to report a crime!
Work began back in October 2016, with promises that it would be operational last Spring, but was plagued by numerous delays. There was much criticism when the original SATE office opened in the old town, with virtually everyone in agreement that it was located in the wrong place.
Since then, The British Business Association has been constantly campaigning to have it moved to the Rincon area, with the full support of the British Consul, Sarah-Jane Morris... and now, at long last all that effort has finally paid off!
The SATE Office is where you must go to file a ‘denuncia’ – a crime report if you are in the unfortunate situation of being a victim of crime. It is imperative that any crime, no matter how small is reported here – so if you have been pick pocketed, mugged or had your passport stolen, please ensure you report it.
It is manned by the National Police and they have a translator on hand to help British holidaymakers. You will be given a crime report and number, which is essential if you are going to make a claim on your travel insurance.
Many see it as hard work to file a report, which when the office was located on the other side of the resort, understandable. Now it is in the heart of the Rincon, where most Brits come on holiday and if there is a long queue,then pop across the road to the Flash Tavern for a drink while you wait! Currently only open until 3pm but from May it will be open from 9am until 9pm.
The town hall quote and publish these ‘official figures’ which we all know are inaccurate – as most do not bother, but please help us to help you.
Yesterday evening two key spokespersons for the British Business Association were invited onto National Spanish television to highlight the need of an initiative they are trying to set up – “Street Smart”… supported by the British Consulate but opposed by the council here.
The well-being of both locals and holidaymakers is paramount for the positive image of the resort and with this in mind the concept of Street Wise was suggested and put forward. Many reports of muggings occur late at night, in badly lit streets, often when groups have inadvertently lost one another, have had too much to drink, become disorientated and alone, therefore easy prey.
The concept of Street Wise is for identifiable volunteers to patrol the streets around the main nightlife area in the Rincon district, to help those that may be vulnerable get back to their accommodation or assist those that are lost. The volunteers will patrol on foot in groups, a mix of men and women with ideally a Spanish speaker in each.
Similar schemes such as Street Angels already successfully exist in the UK and there is certainly a need for one here. If we do not protect our much needed tourists then they will simply stop coming… something the Brits here realize but authorities, for some reason, choose not to!