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What is a Denuncia?

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When I first arrived in Spain, one of the more common words that I often heard being bandied around was the word, ‘Denuncia.’ Usually the word was uttered as a major threat at a time of great anger and stress and usually the recipient was likely to be builders, property developers and Movistar – not necessarily in that order! When the word was used, one was expected to look suitably impressed and feel comforted that this magic process would solve the problem – any problem. How wrong I was…

Firstly, let’s have a closer look at the word ‘Denuncia’. It sounds much like the English “to denounce’ and could be regarded as being a very unpleasant thing to be involved in. The Spanish word really means only ‘to report’ or ‘to declare’; in other words, it is a police report. If you have property stolen you will need to make a report – a ‘Denuncia’. If your neighbour threatens to “denounce” you, it only means that they are going to report you – you are not likely to be pilloried in the nearby shopping centre. Well, maybe not today anyway. Frankly, unless you scare easily, despite its threatening nature, it is usually nothing to get too worried about, but do take advice. These things are never pleasant and much really does depend upon how naughty you have been.

You can make a ‘Denuncia’ at your local Guardia Civil police station. If you do not speak Spanish it would be wise to take an interpreter with you. Alternatively, you can telephone the police on 902 102 112 and ask them to help you do this in English. You will need to give the details slowly and carefully and you will then be given a reference number for you to take to your nearest police station within 48 hours – where you will be asked to sign the statement. Denuncias can be made on the Internet in Spanish at - but you will need some grasp of Spanish for this.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at Barrie’s websites: and or read his latest book, ‘Footprints in the Sand’ (ISBN: 9780995602717). Available in paperback, as well as Kindle editions. Protection Status © Barrie Mahoney