The Judicial Police was created on 20 October 1945, and is dedicated to the prevention and investigation of serious crime throughout the country. It is integrated into justice system and has been designed and shaped over decades to serve justice. Managed by judicial magistrates and prosecutors and officials with legal training, the Judicial Police deals with increasingly complex criminality in areas such as: drug trafficking, cybercrime, terrorism, money laundering corruption and crimes involving firearms. It has a number of specialist crime support and investigative units including those responsible for forensic examinations and international cooperation with INTERPOL and EUROPOL.
The Judicial Police is under the Ministry of Justice and is geographically divided in four areas known as “Boards”. Its Headquarters is in Lisbon.
The powers of the Judicial Police for criminal investigation are set out in particular in arts.7.º and 8 of LOIC – Law No. 49/2008 27 August. Competence of the Judicial Police regarding responsibility for criminal investigation, includes:
- First-degree murder, provided that murderer is unknown
- Slavery, abduction, kidnapping and hostage taking;
- Counterfeit currency, securities, stamps and other similar securities;
- Hijacking, sea air or land;
- Computer crimes;
- Criminal gangs;
- Trafficking of influence, corruption, embezzlement and participation for economic business;
- Terrorists and terrorist organizations;
- Misconduct and abuse of power practiced by holders of political office;
- Bank robbery, offices of Finance Public and couriers;
- Forgery of driving licenses, registration documents, ID documents and other official documents;
- Trafficking in persons and serious drug trafficking cases;
- Cases involving the use of firearms.
- Terrorist organisations and terrorism
The full list of offences the Judicial Police investigate, can be found in Portuguese here and crimes where they have sole responsibility can be found in the download in English at the foot of this page. For more information about the Judicial Police please visit the Judicial Police website. To report serious crime in the Algarve or information about serious crime, the Judicial Police can be contacted using the contact details on the right of this page.
National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technological Crime
In February 2017 the Judicial police formed the National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technological Crime, abbreviated by the acronym UNC3T. Its main competencies are:
A) Prevention, detection, criminal investigation and assistance of judicial authorities with regard to the crimes provided for in Law 109/2009, of 15 September;
B) Prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of judicial authorities in respect of crimes committed by means of resources or by means of computerised means.
C) Prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution by the judicial authorities regarding crimes:
- Against freedom and sexual self-determination, whenever through computer systems;
- Debauchery through computer science;
- Computer fraud and communications;
- Concerning the interference and illegitimate manipulation of electronic and virtual means of payment;
- Spying, when committed in the form of any computer program designed to carry out harmful actions which constitute an advanced and permanent threat.
Its full competencies in Portuguese can be downloaded here and in English below. The contact number for the unit is 211 967 000