The following is an extract of a speech given by the National Director of the Judicial Police to mark its 69th Anniversary that took place on 20th October 2014
“We celebrate the 69th anniversary of the Judicial Police, this magnificent complex of buildings, which now houses the majority of services based in Lisbon. But if modernity and functionality of this new headquarters building lead reflect the present and the future, the symbology the ephemeris leads us to revisit an honourable legacy of nearly seven decades of serving the citizens and justice, which became the Judicial Police and one of the most prestigious institutions of our country.
The Judicial Police was created on 20 October 1945, through publication of Decree No. 35042, with the dedication to the prevention and investigation of crime, adjusting the investigative mechanisms, grounded in science and law, the new Code of Criminal Procedure which was approved seven days before, by Decree 35007, 13 October.
These two structural diplomas indelibly marked the nature, mission and tasks of the new criminal investigation police, which was integrated in the justice system and, hence, designated “Judicial Police”. Designed and shaped over decades to serve justice, managed by judicial magistrates and prosecutors and officials with legal training, equipped with technically well prepared and frames with high spirit of mission, the Judicial Police always responded promptly and efficiently to all types of criminality and social changes which have become increasingly complex and sophisticated.
Consider, in this regard, that we are now installed in a building designed and built to serve the modern criminal investigation. We are proud of this and our prestige internationally. This was only possible thanks to the fellowship of principles and concerted efforts towards a common goal, pursued by three constitutional governments, supported by different political parties. And is this what we should be emphasizing and should be pursued in the development and adoption of legal instruments, which we consider essential to the realization of an absolutely free criminal background and only the service of the democratic rule of law and the realization of justice.
Finally, allow me to provide public accounts, listing some of the operating results, achieved thanks to the actions of the meritorious and committed researchers in the Judicial Police. Hence, in the space of one year, 1696 people were arrested for serious crimes, with around 40% being placed under remand.
Of those arrested, 197 are suspected murderers, 235 armed robbers, 75 kidnappers 75, 113 arsonists, 196 rapists and child abusers, 258 drug dealers, 13 human traffickers. During the same period we seized 909 firearms, 3241 pounds of cocaine, more than 2466 kilograms of hashish and 204 kilograms of gold, whose values, in the illicit market, surpass, by far, the budget of the Judicial Police. 104 properties were seized and other property derived from the commission of crimes, including 409 financial instruments, whose total value is around EUR 38 million. Over € 11 million in cash were seized.
Moreover, it was ordered the suspension of 47 banking operations, whose aggregate amounts exceed EUR 40 million. We seized 365 cars automobiles, many of which are of high value as well as eight vessels used in international drug trafficking. By way of example, the newly created Office of Asset Recovery, under the Judicial Police, was responsible for the seizure of assets that loss to the State, valued at over 26 million.
During the same period, 28 209 surveys were completed, 32,463 laboratory tests were conducted, 343 financial-accounting skills and 7021 computer checks undertaken.
Minister of Justice, at a time of public spending restraint and when they require great sacrifices the Portuguese, we faced difficulties in implementing the budget, of course, difficult to solve some problems and the materialization of some investment projects.
However, I must acknowledge publicly that despite these demands to curb public expenditure we have benefited from the peerless support Your Excellency, that the Judicial Police were granted an operating budget that would allow us to fulfil our mission.
Also, we have an excellent institutional relationship with the PGR, with the judiciary, with our internal and external partners, with the services of the Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, Finance, Health, Social Security, the Bank of Portugal, as well as unsurpassed support, expertise and availability of the Navy and Air Force.
For our part, thanks to the courage, the knowledge, the dedication, the commitment, the willingness and spirit of dedication and sacrifice of our researchers, we have lived up to our traditions, we honoured our good name and showed, once again, that the Judicial Police has ensured a return on investment”.