Is it a lot of crime in Javea?

Thinking of moving to Javea? It’s likely crime is a factor pushing you to leave the place you’re currently living.

Hundreds of families move to Javea every year because they can let their children safely play in the quiet streets and beaches. Javea has not recorded any homicides or kidnappings in years. Sexual assault crimes have almost become non-existent after Javea’s Guardia Civil acquired two dedicated specialists in 2013 as part of a nationwide crack down on sexual violence.

Before that, between 2005 and 2013 Javea was consistently the town with the lowest incidence of criminality in the 28 largest towns in the province of Alicante.

But what about crime in Javea today? Is Javea still a safe place to live?

The truth is crime in Javea has spiked in two areas since the COVID-19 pandemic. Find all you need to know below.

The two crimes that increased 100% between 2021-2022 in Javea

According to data from Spain’s Ministry of the Interior (which oversees policing) crime in Javea spiked 34.7% from 2021 to 2022. The spike in crime was seen across Spain as during 2020-2021 most of the country was under COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. (Data at time of writing was only available for January-September.)

But just two crimes in particular contributed to Javea’s rise in crime:

  • Burglaries – 104% rise from 101 in 2021 to 206 in 2022
  • Robberies in homes, buildings and other establishments – 98.3% rise from 116 in 2021 to 230 in 2022

One of Javea’s main problems is the number of second homes or holiday homes. There are 25,278 registered properties in Javea and 52% of these (13,038) are second homes according to Spain’s national institute of statistics (INE). 

Of these second homes some 5,326 are classed as ‘empty’.

These empty homes became a target for burglaries and theft in 2022 after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Javea’s Guardia Civil started operation Hambilina in the summer of 2022 and caught an offender accused of at least 17 robberies specifically in second homes.

The accused stole jewellery, technological equipment, bicycles and even underwear to sell on the black market for cash. The accused had spent a year in Javea moving from empty house to empty house.

What does this mean for anyone wishing to move to Javea?

If you will leave your property empty for a few weeks or months every year, you must consider securing your home while you’re away. There are many companies specialising in alarms and video cameras which can alert you to any break-in attempt and contact the relevant police force on your behalf.

The 1 other crime to watch out for in Javea

There was another crime which rose 33% from 2021 to 2022 in Javea. This was the crime of robbery with violence or intimidation, which rose to 28 official reports from 21.

Local news has often reported on a particular group of criminals commonly called ‘hugger muggers’.

The perpetrators are predominantly women, who approached people in town asking for directions or complaining of a particular issue. During the conversation the woman will lean in for a ‘hug’ and aim to remove a watch or item of jewellery from the victim.

There’s usually a getaway driver hanging nearby and ready to speed off.

Criminals target elderly residents in Javea with a high value watch or jewellery on show. However, it doesn’t mean that Javea residents walk around in fear. Just by being aware of the hugger mugger method you can avoid a disgrace and proudly wear your luxury items without worry.

How does crime in Javea compare with other towns?

The spike in burglaries in Javea pushed the rate of criminality up to 51 infractions per 1,000 population based on data for January-September in 2022.

The rate of crime in Javea is higher than in neighbouring Denia (46 infractions per 1,000 population) largely due to higher numbers of burglaries in Javea.

Javea nevertheless has a lower crime rate than Benidorm with 53 infractions per 1,000 population. Benidorm has a high number of thefts reported due to pickpockets and street con artists. Benidorm also has an elevated rate of sexual assault and similar crimes as it’s a popular nightlife spot with many nightclubs and people out late after hours.