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The surroundings of the Palau de Congressos, the main focus of insecurity in the downtown area of ​​TGN

The roof of the Palau de Congressos and the parking lot of La Pedrera have become a nightmare for residents and shopkeepers. Groups of young people, between 13 and 20 years old, have definitely taken over the place and, every evening, starting at eight o’clock, they gather at that point to drink, smoke and generate insecurity in the environment. The situation has reached such a limit that those affected met two weeks ago with representatives of the City Council and the Guàrdia Urbana, in order to find solutions. Neighbors ask to improve the lighting and install security cameras.

One of the main victims is Moha Quach, owner of the El Terrat restaurant, located on Carrer de Pons d’Icart. “The roof of the Palau de Congressos is the meeting point for these young people, who dedicate themselves, day after day, to carrying out acts of vandalism, such as painting walls or breaking furniture,” explains Quach, who adds that “this is not pleasant situation for customers. The young people arrive at the place from eight in the evening and stay there until well into the morning. Some drink alcohol, while others use drugs. «It is fair to explain that every time we call the Guàrdia Urbana, which are many, they send a patrol and manage to disperse the adolescents. But after a while, they come back”, says the restaurateur.

On Carrer del Arquitecte Rovira –next to the Palau de Congressos–, there is an exhibition hall. Its owner explains that “sometime they have entered the interior of the premises and I have felt intimidated.” There are many merchants and neighbors who feel insecure. “The noise they generate is brutal. Things got worse with the pandemic. They made bottles until the wee hours of the morning. We were hoping that things would stop with the end of the restrictions. But no. It seems that it will never end”, says Ignasi Oriol, a neighbor.

One of the clear objectives for these groups of young people is the La Pedrera car park facilities. Quach, from the El Terrat restaurant, explains that “almost none of my clients parks there anymore.”

Two parking workers relate to perfection what they live day to day. “They use the parking lot to piss, they break the elevator, they take the fire extinguishers and turn them on, they intimidate the customers and they paint the walls,” explains one of them. Those responsible for the car park have been forced to shield the intercoms. “But it’s the same. We change them and they destroy them again. Now they spray paint them,” says the worker, who adds that “at Christmas they fired 12 fire extinguishers.” The company has tried to put in place measures to put an end to incivility, such as installing cameras inside the car park, and also reinforcing security.

In fact, as an example, while yesterday the Diari was interviewing the workers, a young man known as Rata entered the car park. «He enters taking advantage of the exit of some user, and dedicates himself to painting our facilities. We know that his nickname is Rat because that’s how he signs all his graffiti. We don’t even know what to do anymore,” explains one of the employees, desperate with the issue.

For all these reasons, the residents and merchants around the Palau de Congressos met two weeks ago with the Councilor for Citizen Security, Cristina Guzmán, to convey their discomfort. “We believe that a solution would be to improve the lighting, since it is a very dark space, and install a video surveillance camera, as there are in some points of the Part Baixa”, says Quach.

For his part, Guzmán assured the Diari that “services are being planned in the area, with the aim of reducing acts of vandalism.”

The Bermuda Triangle

There are neighbors who assure that the Palau de Congressos is one of the vertices of what they know as “the Bermuda Triangle”. The zone of insecurity is complemented by the surroundings of Unió, Reding and Governador González streets. “It is no coincidence that the three most important events that have taken place this year in the city have occurred in this framework,” Eulàlia Lozano, a resident of the downtown area, assured yesterday, who refers, among other episodes, to what happened During the early hours of last Saturday, when a 13-year-old adolescent sexually assaulted another minor on public roads. Lozano assures that these streets become unsafe, especially when it gets dark. «We are tired of seeing bizarre shows in the wee hours of the morning, when the bars close. The downtown area is degrading, “concludes Lozano.

  • Palace of Congresses
  • Tarragona
  • unsafety

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