20% of arsonists detained this year were repeat offenders. What is failing in control?

Of the 54 arsonists held by the PJ until the end of last week, 11 of them were repeat offenders. In 2018 the government announced a program to rehabilitate convicts, but it was no more than a pilot project

Unemployed, 45 years old, he set fire to 13 different sites in the municipality of Tondela, for more than two weeks, until he was detained by GNR and PJ on 19 June. It burned an entire forested area next to houses and, according to the PJ, “the fires would have had more serious proportions had there not been a rapid intervention by firefighters and aerial means”.

Earlier in the year, this man “had already been investigated and charged with the crime of forest fire”

At the beginning of the year, this man “had already been investigated and accused of the crime of forest fire”, emphasizes the Directorate of the Centre of this police.

In the same municipality, in May, another 51-year-old unemployed man, suspected of having set a fire in the region, had also been arrested. The latter, according to investigators from the Judiciary, “in the past he has already been convicted of the crime of forest fire”.

On August 6, another man, this 30-year-old man, was caught by popular people who alerted the GNR. He was arrested and, according to the criminal investigation department of PJ de Averie, “he is already a repeat offender for the same type of crime and has even been convicted and served a preventive prison sentence”.

The next day, a 59-year-old pastor, suspected of having started three fires, was arrested in Gouveia. He tells PJ that, “using the direct flame, making use of the lighter he was carrying and which was seized, putting fire on pasture and undergrowth, in three different points”. He also had a record for the same type of crime.

On August 17, a statement from the Northern Directorate of the PJ reported the arrest of a “presumed author” of three forest fires “in the Santo Tirso area. “According to this police, the 53-year-old man” has a history of two previous fire crimes “.

These five cases of recidivism are part of a total of 11 that the DN identified in the official communications of the PJ regarding the 54 arsonists detained from May to 27 August.

These five cases of recidivism are part of a total of 11 that the DN identified in the official communications of the PJ regarding the 54 arsonists detained from May to the 27th of August.

There are 20% of the group of detainees, a percentage that confirms that recidivism in this crime is increasing: the average between 1997 and 2018 was 17%, according to a study by the Office of Psychology and Selection (GPS) of the PJ.

But, last year , according to the data that was forwarded to the DN by Jorge Leitão , a public prosecutor , responsible for the Permanent Office of Monitoring and Support ( GPAA ) of the PJ, which coordinates all the prevention and investigation of fire crimes. , the number of recurrent arsonists reached 35% of the total.


Sign up for Newsletter

Please enter your email address