Oviedo and the rest of Asturias enjoy a reputation as one of the safest, most crime-free sections of Spain, a country that is itself quite free of violence. In fact, Gijón and Oviedo recently ranked #2 and #3 respectively in a list of safest Spanish cities (#1 was Pamplona).
So, it’s all the more shocking when a brutal crime does occur. One month into our stay, a man slit his girlfriend’s throat, and set their apartment on fire, just a few blocks away from our place. He was arrested the next evening in Gijón. Both victim and perpetrator were from Ecuador, making the crime sadly typical: much of the violence in Spain occurs within immigrant communities, and far too much is chauvinist aggression against women.
But the shock of the murder only underscores how safe Oviedo truly is. In a city of over 200,000, homicide is an extremely rare occurrence. I bought the paper every day and, before this, the worst crime I’d read about was a drunk guy from Greece who stabbed himself. He lived. I’ve never felt unsafe in this city; even petty crimes like pickpocketing are rare in Oviedo.
Maybe it’s the mild climate that keeps everyone cool-headed here. I’m not sure… what’s the reason for Oviedo and Asturias being so safe? Leave a comment with your theories!