A 26-year-old resident of Mogán has accused two security guards of brutally beating him last Friday at the Yumbo Shopping Centre, in Playa del Inglés, in an unprovoked attack that he has reported in a denuncia complaint to the Guardia Civil.

Image of alleged victim’s injuries, courtesy of El Digital Sur GC

The complainant says he was having drinks at the well known leisure centre with a friend, before noticing that two of the centre’s security officers were looking in his direction quite frequently. At around 02:30 he said goodbye to his friend and decided to go to a nearby food outlet to eat, where he asked to charge his mobile phone, which was turned off. As he left the premises, he met the two security agents again, and they demanded to see his phone and watch, which he handed to them, and although he assured them that they were his possessions, they did not return the items to him, and instead took him to the ground floor of centre, where he was allegedly beaten up, leaving him semi-conscious.

The man, who lives and works in Tauro, had to be transferred by ambulance, initially to Hospital San Roque, Meloneras, and then to the Insular Hospital, in the capital. In addition to apparent blows received to various areas of his body, he suffered large bruises to his left eye and a fractured bone, meaning he will have to return to the hospital for a medical check-up on Wednesday. The Communidad of Owners at El Yumbo Shopping Centre, according to reports from El Digital Sur Gran Canaria, informed the man this morning that the belongings seized by the security agents had been handed over to the Guardia Civil, they assured him that they do not have his mobile telephone and that it is not on the premises of the shopping centre.

The Guardia Civil are investigating the facts, as in the area where the attack is said to have occurred there are security cameras that should confirm the version of events reported by the apparent victim. The telephone and the watch were a gift from his boss, who also still has the purchase receipts which should help to corroborate the victim’s story.

Editor’s comment:

It is well known that some private security guards at shopping and leisure centres have been known to turn a blind eye to undesirable behaviour, and even, in some cases, have been accused of being complicit in clear criminal activity.

There have been increasing numbers of reports from tourists complaining that many of these private security agents ignore drug dealers and bullies operating openly in some of the shopping centres in resort areas, including Puerto Rico and Playa del Inglés.

There have even been reports of threatening behaviour and clear homophobia unquestioned not only by security, but also by some Policia Local; and what is worse, is that some of these reports have come directly from the Yumbo Centre,  a place well known for its thriving LGBTQIA+ community.  A place long heralded as a haven for diversity.

This is, however, the first time that we have heard of an alleged robbery and brutal violence perpetrated by the very security guards tasked with ensuring everyone’s safety.

For the moment it is still very early days for this particular investigation, with a number of the reported facts seeming disjointed.  Nonetheless, you can be sure, the Guardia Civil will be working to uncover the truth and clarify the facts, and then appropriate action can be expected.

In the mean time it is very important that everyone feel safe in our leisure centres, and recognise that violent, threatening or openly illegal behaviour must be reported, as it tarnishes our image and endangers our tourism.

If you find yourself in, or witnessing, an emergency situation, please call the main 112 emergency services number and report what is happening.  They speak your language.