British Foreign Office Minister awards Malaga tourist police office Certificate of Excellence


UK Foreign Office Minister Grant Shapps visited the SATE (Servicio al Atencion Turista Extranjera) office in Malaga on Wednesday July 29 to award the office the Certificate of Excellence. The award recognises the excellent quality of the work that the Malaga office carries out in supporting British nationals in the event of being a victim of a crime while in Spain.
SATE offices are located in several towns across Spain, including Malaga, Benalmádena, Mijas, Marbella and Estepona, and there are also offices in Granada and Sevilla.
Mr Shapps gave thanks to the police authorities for the valuable work they do assisting British visitors in Malaga and across Spain, saying:
“We are immensely grateful for the English-language service provided by SATE, which takes pressure off our own consular staff. British visitors can avoid the need for translation help and can obtain the correct Spanish paperwork straight away, if they then need to turn to the Consulate for further help.”
As well as providing help and support in the English language, the tourist police office can help tourists to complete any necessary documents, such as police reports, and provide general assistance to victims of crime, helping ease the stress of dealing with an already difficult situation in a foreign country.
Visitors who have been robbed can get help in making phone calls to cancel their credit cards, contact their insurance companies, or get help arranging to have money transferred and when necessary, get emergency medical attention.
The minister was introduced to staff in the office and also met the Chief of Police in Malaga, Pedro Garijo Torres, presenting him with a formal certificate recognising the excellent support given by SATE officers to tourists in their own languages. In turn, the Chief of Police presented the Foreign Office Minister with an engraved plaque from the police as a souvenir of his visit.
The Chief of Police expressed the aims of the SATE office in supporting visitors to the area: “SATE is a positive way of tackling a negative holiday experience that can happen to a very small minority of holidaymakers. We want tourists to leave Malaga with great memories, and we are delighted to receive this certificate of thanks which reflects the very positive feedback that we get from British users of our service.”
In total, the SATE office in Malaga has helped 852 people of all nationalities in the first six months of 2015. Around half (423) of these visitors came to the SATE office to make a police report on a minor theft or loss of belongings.
Relatively few Brits reported a crime at SATE as just 63 (6.7 per cent) of all visitors who had reported a crime were British nationals. Those who did so were pleased with the service they received. According to SATE’s customer feedback survey, British customers rated the service at 4.95 out of a maximum of five points.
Asked about how safe Spain actually was for those visiting the country, especially in light of the recent tourist attacks in Tunisia, the minister expressed his confidence in Spain’s security, saying, “I think it is extremely safe,” and he pointed out that the level of security put in place by the Spanish authorities was of “the highest calibre.”
On the question of why Malaga in particular should be given such an honour, he said that it provided “an exceptional level of service,” and, as well as providing much needed information to tourists, it was a place where visitors could receive help with so many other matters, such as reporting crimes to police. He also added that the exchange of information and the level of cooperation between the British Consul and the Spanish authorities was excellent.
The SATE office is located at Plaza de la Marina, 11, in Malaga’s city centre with summer opening hours (April to September) from 9am – 8pm seven days a week, and winter opening hours (also daily) of 9am – 6pm. They can be contacted by Tel: 951 926 161 or 951 999 818 or by email on [email protected]


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