Catalonia, like much of Western Europe, is having difficulties with its “unaccompanied foreign minors”. The following article describes the problems experienced by towns in Maresme Province that have local contingents of Puir Wee Bairns living in nearby refugee facilities.
Many thanks to Pampasnasturtium for translating this article from the Catalonian daily La Vanguardia:
Neighbors restless in Canet over the deeds of ‘unaccompanied foreign minors’
A group of youngsters hosted in a summer camp hostel perpetrates burglaries, thefts and harassment of female teenagers
Caption for photo [not shown]: A meeting of the Canet de Mar’s town council security commission (Source: Twitter).
The neighbors of Canet de Mar’s Can Salat Busquets borough, the newest area of the town, have instituted a community platform to look for solutions to the high number of crimes committed in the area by a group of unaccompanied foreign minors [‘menas‘: ‘menores extranjeros no acompañados‘] hosted in the Can Brugarola summer camp villa, owned by the mayoress, Blanca Arbell [her political party: ERC — ‘Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya‘, Republican Left of Catalonia].
Last Friday some fifty neighbors gathered to decide on the public demonstrations to be held after a considerable number of robberies by a group of seven to ten of these youngsters. ‘We know it’s them because we’ve caught them stealing inside our houses, and they have threatened us,’ the neighbors explain. ‘They’ve stolen from or broken into all of the houses.’
‘We’ve seen them jumping fences from one garden into the next,’ they confirm. The feeling of insecurity can be felt on the upper area of Canet. The actions of these minors has also terrorized teenagers. ‘They molest us and they follow us home as they stalk us’, explained a [female] teenager to the community platform. In other situations they surround their victims to steal their mobile phones. ‘Three times we’ve reported to the police the sexual harassment of our daughters, but reports result in nothing,’ a family complained.
Police, as acknowledged by the mayoress, who showed up at the neighbors’ meeting to try to convince them that crime has gone down, are overwhelmed. ‘At night, in Canet there are only three policemen to patrol a town of 14,000 inhabitants.’
Police refer to delinquent unaccompanied foreign minors hosted on the mayoress’ summer-camp villa as ‘shortbread’ [‘polvorones‘]. ‘With the profit obtained from hosting them she should be paying for private security for us,’ some of the neighbors insisted.
Canet’s problem is common to all the towns and cities of Maresme Province that host unaccompanied foreign minors. Arenys de Mar, Cabrera de Mar, Dosrius, El Masnou, Llavaneres, Caldetes, Mataró and Montgat also have them. In the adjacent Arenys de Mar, the town council has set up patrols of civic agents to reinforce police action during the time periods these groups habitually act.
‘They’re minors who come from Canet,’ states the mayoress, Annabel Moreno. They used to steal from elderly people via muggings, which creates a high sense of insecurity. Such is the level of worry about the actions of these teenagers that some mayors have required the presence of the board of directors of the regional government’s Infancy and Adolescence Affairs Department [‘DGAIA‘: ‘Atenció a la Infància i l’Adolescència‘] during a meeting that all of the affected town councils summoned to demand solutions.