Safe Communities Algarve (SCA) was created by David Thomas a former Assistant Commissioner of the Hong Kong Police and consultant to INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Since 2009 he has been actively involved in promoting crime prevention in the Algarve, giving presentations to organizations such as International Rotary, British Consulate Outreach events, AFPOP Eastern Section and the public together with the GNR, PSP and other government agencies. He has visited victims of crime, assisted the police and civil authorities in the Region and helped promote and develop the GNR SRP.
In October 2011 following discussions with the GNR Faro District Commander, David created SCA as an on-line platform providing comprehensive crime prevention information and services to the community. On 2nd November 2012 SCA was registered as a non-profit Association, named “Associação Safe Communities Algarve”.
It is believe to be the first registered non-profit crime prevention association in Portugal.
Since its formation SCA has become increasing active in initiating and developing various crime prevention projects in collaboration with various authorities.
During 2013 we completed a project with the help of British Vice Consulate and with the financial support of the UK Government, in developing crime prevention stickers for the car hire industry in the Algarve. We also helped the PSP police in developing a guideline in English of the points to take into account in selecting an alarm company.
SCA also initiated and worked closely with Turismo de Portugal and the Ministry of Internal Administration in Lisbon in producing Portugal’s first Gambling Information Leaflet in English.
In December 2013 SCA organized and held its first event outside of the Algarve in the form of a Crime Prevention Seminar in Cascais for residents living in that area as well as Sintra and Lisbon.
In July 2014 the registered name of the association was changed to Associacao SCP Safe Communities Portugal to reflect its broadened responsibilities in other parts of the country.
Safe Communities Portugal was formally launched in January 2015 at a ceremony hosted by the British Ambassador Kirsty Hayes, in the presences of government officials and representatives of other overseas missions based in Portugal.
One of the highlights of 2015 was the holding of a local lodging seminar in Faro, attended by government officials including the Secretary of State for Tourism with speakers from five government departments, attended by over 300 people.
This website Safe Communities Portugal was launched in May 2015, and by December, this and our Safe Communities Algarve website had recorded over a half a million page visits.
In the New Year Honours List for 2016 Her Majesty the Queen has awarded David Thomas, as President, Safe Communities Portugal, the British Empire Medal (BEM), in recognition of his “services to crime prevention and awareness within the British and international community in Portugal”. This was presented in July 2016 at the British Embassy in Lisbon.
In August the SCP website was expanded to incorporate a section for Lisbon, where residents and visitors can find out more about police and civil protection services in the District.