Spain European leader in number of installed alarms

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installed alarms

Spain takes the lead in Europe regarding the number of installed alarms in homes and businesses. The figures point to between 2.7 and 2.8 million systems. At the same time, the country has one of the lowest crime rates.

This is all related to the problematic practice of squatting. In Spain, there is growing concern about squatters. The process of evicting squatters from homes is extremely challenging. The security industry has responded well to this concern. According to Aproser, the Spanish Association of Professional Security Companies, the alarm sector generates approximately €2 billion annually. Moreover, the demand has been consistently increasing since 2020. Securitas Direct, a Swedish company operating in Spain since 1993, dominates the market with 1.8 million installed alarms. The company points to ongoing growth potential in this sector.

Faster eviction procedure

In response to growing concerns about the difficult situation regarding home squatting, the Spanish Senate has recently given the green light for the consideration of a bill. This proposal, initiated by the PP party, aims for stricter penalties for squatting and a faster eviction procedure. It focuses on combating criminal organisations contributing to an “industry of crime” throughout the country.

Low crime, high alarm installation

The paradox of a country with a low crime rate and a high number of installed alarms has surprised analysts. Data from the Ministry of the Interior shows that concern about home occupation is a significant factor in the increase in the number of installed alarm systems, despite a decrease in the number of burglaries and thefts. Squatters mainly occupy homes owned by banks or investment funds. The phenomenon has led to an increase of more than 40% in complaints about occupation since 2015.

Alarmism in media and politics

The increase in the installation of alarm systems can partly be attributed to the alarming tone in media coverage of squatters and political rhetoric about home occupation. Statements such as those from Madrid’s regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso about the risks of going on vacation and the potential occupation of vacant houses have contributed to an atmosphere of unrest.

Especially owners of second homes in Spain, who often leave them empty, fear that their homes will be occupied during their absence. Once squatters are in, it is not easy and often a months-long or even years-long process to evict them. This has further fueled the demand for security systems, much to the delight of the companies selling these products.

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