Archive for April, 2018

Safe Communities Portugal signs Protocol with the Ministry of Internal Administration

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

On 26th April 2018 Safe Communities Portugal signed a protocol with the Secretary of State for Internal Administration Isabel Oneto to help further enhance the security of foreigners in the Algarve.

The protocol includes the development of the Safe Communities Portugal Association’s website to provide advice to foreign tourists in the Algarve, produce and distribute information leaflets, the holding of seminars etc, as well as provide informational content to develop communications media, as part of crime prevention action.

These are the four areas of the Protocol of Collaboration, signed yesterday, in Lagoa, by the Secretary of State Assistant and the Internal Administration and by the President of the Association Safe Communities Portugal.

David Thomas, Founder and President of the Association speaking, at the event told Informação Sul that “the Algarve is a relatively safe region. In fact, Portugal has the lowest crime rate in Europe, but there are still small crimes and we need to educate people to be more careful about their belongings and properties. “So, “the Algarve is a very safe place, but there is always more to do to make it even safer”.

The Secretary of State Isabel Oneto said “that the objective “is to have entities that are regionally integrated and that help us with the prevention and security policies”, in the two senses in English of security and safety, that is to say, security and civil protection.

“What we ask this association, which has a strong integration with the foreign community, not only the resident in the Algarve, but also the one that visits us, is that they use their website to give advice to tourists and to foreign residents”.

David Thomas, said: “With this protocol, we can give more prominence and more publicity to these security issues and civil protection by encouraging people to follow simple advice to increase their safety “.

“We will do this by improving communication, working with the Ministry of Internal Administration and the Security Forces, seeing the best way to communicate with tourists, so as to make their stay in the Algarve and the country even safer. “

But according to Secretary of State Isabel Oneto, although the protocol talks mainly about crime prevention, civil protection issues are also be the object of the association’s work: “imagine a situation of insecurity on the beach. We can put this information on the Safe Communities website. ”

The initiative also aims to “promote collaboration with the resident foreign community in order to know what concerns them the most”, as well as to establish “a greater interaction between the association and the Ministry of Internal Administration, in order to articulate actions aimed at the foreign community.”

David Thomas, in his statements to the Informação Sul, also stressed the importance of “collaboration with PSP, GNR, SEF, INCF, Embassies, ANPC, ASAE, Municipalities”, since “working closely with these entities, it is easier to access to information and disseminate it later.

But it is not only foreigners who closely follow the work of Safe Communities: “The association is for everyone. What we do is available to all, foreigners or not. On Facebook, many of our followers are even Portuguese, “he recalled.

However, it is certain that the activity of the association is directed in particular to foreigners, residents or visitors. The site already features information in ten languages, including Chinese and Russian.

And the activity of the association, which began only in the Algarve, has already extended to Lisbon and Madeira.

The signing ceremony was also attended by the Commanders of the GNR, PSP and SEF in the Algarve.

Press article by Informação Sul

Original in Portuguese

PSP criminal investigation will receive one million euros for refurbishment of facilities

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) announced on Wednesday 25th April an investment of around one million euros in the refurbishment of two facilities of the criminal investigation area of ​​the Public Security Police.

In a note sent to the Lusa agency, the MAI said that a competition will be launched for the refurbishment contract of the Palacete das Águas Livres, in Belas, where the Department of Criminal Investigation of the National Directorate of PSP.

According to the MAI, this work, costing 800 thousand euros, is provided for in the Law on Programming Infrastructures and Equipment of Security Forces and Services.

Under the same law, the procedure for contracting the adaptation contract of the Alto do Duque Fort in Lisbon for the installation of the Criminal Investigation Division of Lisbon of the PSP, a work with a value of 180 thousand euros

The MAI expects the works to be completed within a maximum period of nine months after the tender procedure.

PJ needs 240 new inspectors to get out of “suffocation”

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

The president of the Union of Criminal Investigation Officials of the Judiciary Police (ASFIC) (PJ) on Friday 13th April, called for the admission of at least 240 inspectors by 2020, to fill the gaps and rejuvenate a picture with a “very high” average age.

Speaking to Lusa in Braga, on the side lines of the 5th Congress of Criminal Investigation, Ricardo Valadas said that the 120 inspectors who are going to enter in 2019 for the PJ are “manifestly insufficient” for what the police lost in terms of the cadre “in the last eight or nine years.”

“We needed to open another competition immediately, so that at least 120 other inspectors will enter by 2020,” he said.

According to Ricardo Valadas, “the financial restrictions of recent years have been suffocating the work of the PJ and the dynamics necessary” to maintain the security of the country.

The result, he added, is a cadre of inspectors with a “very high average age, around 48 years old.”

“There is a lot of experience, but it has to be passed on to the younger generations, and this work has to be done in a timely manner,” he emphasized.

Likewise, he said that there are facilities of the PJ “in urgent need of reforms”, due to lack of space, lack of working conditions and structural problems.

“There are departments where it is impossible to work with the minimum acceptable conditions for professionals of the PJ,” he said, pointing out as an example the facilities of Braga, but also alluding as “very problematic cases”, Ponta Delgada, Setúbal and Faro.

He admitted that there is “will” and “sensitivity” of the Ministry of Justice to solve the problems of human and material resources, but “economic constraints” have prevented the solutions from advancing.

“The Ministry of Finance cannot restrict the security of the citizen, you cannot question certain types of values ​​and security is the main value to live in freedom. You cannot cut where there must be daily investment,” he said.

Organized by the Trade Union of Criminal Investigation Officials of the PJ, the 5th Congress of Criminal Investigation has as its theme Terrorism.

Not wishing to refer to the phenomenon, particularly the threat levels in Portugal, Ricardo Valadas preferred to underline that the PJ is the “only organization” that investigates terrorism in the country and, therefore, needs to be strengthened.

“We do not like to focus on levels of threat because we do not want to cause alarm. We work every day to ensure the safety of citizens so that they feel safe without being embarrassed by security devices,” he said.

He recalled that terrorism “is not fought in the media, but in secrecy, discretion, identification of phenomena and international cooperation.”

“It is this work that is done and sometimes not understood,” he said

SEF Inspectors Union warns of “lack of control” of trafficking in human beings in Portugal

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

The union representing the SEF inspectors warned on Thursday of a “lack of control” of trafficking in human beings in Portugal due to the lack of means to prevent and combat this crime, which is increasing in the country.

“The SEF inspectors want to alert the Portuguese society, the deputies and especially the Government to the need to improve action and prevent this scourge in Portugal,” the union who are planning holding a conference on trafficking of human beings, told Lusa.

The Trade Union of the Career of Investigation and Inspection of the Aliens and Borders Service (SCIF / SEF) will hold the conference “Trafficking in human beings – the SEF and the fight against human trafficking” on April 27 in Lisbon.

Acácio Pereira said that the choice of this topic for the conference is related to “the frightening rise in recent years of trafficking in human beings in Europe, including in Portugal.”

According to the trade unionist, trafficking in human beings is “modern slavery” and constitutes a crime that “has to be fought better”.

“The inspectors of SEF feel the impotence of those who do not have the means, neither to prevent, nor to fight and to persecute most of the crimes,” he maintained, reporting data from 2017, which show that in Portugal there are tens of thousands of foreigners abused on farms. He added that the country had begun to be used as a new route of trafficking of African children.

Acácio Pereira said that these children and adolescents are used for exploitation and slavery in countries such as France or Germany, functioning Portugal as a gateway to the Schengen area.

“In most cases, African children arrive with false documents, but accompanied by adults with legal documentation, almost always from Portuguese-speaking countries,” he said. He explained that SEF inspectors “have been able to arrest traffickers and rescue some children”, but the perception is that we must “increase the resources so that most of this traffic does not continue”.

According to the SCIF / SEF, labour exploitation in agricultural areas, especially in the Alentejo, “is out of control due to lack of capacity of the SEF to control the overwhelming majority of farms where illegal workers are abused.”

“With the progressive realization of irrigation projects in the Alentejo, especially in the Alqueva and Alentejo coastal areas, there are seasonal work spikes in different cultures, which means that, throughout the year, there are always coming and going

Portugal will have 640 beaches approved for bathing this year, plus 99 against 2017

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Portugal will have 640 approved beaches, including inland waterways, for bathing this year, up from 99 in 2017, the director of the Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos (ISN) said Friday 20th April, adding that there will be 504 more certified lifeguards.

During a press conference, held at the ISN headquarters in Caxias, Oeiras municipality, José Gouveia said that during the bathing season – which starts legally on May 1 and goes until October 15 – on the along the coast there will be 387 beaches with bathing quality, 129 inland (river beaches), 70 and 54 in the islands of the Azores and Madeira, respectively.

In 2017 there were 470 beaches monitored and 226 unguarded, but for this year the director of the ISN explained that, at the moment, it is not yet possible to make an estimate, emphasizing that this is a responsibility of the municipalities and the concessionaires of beaches, who are responsible the hiring of the lifeguards.

Gouveia stated that the ISN has nothing to do with hiring these professionals, but gave a warning based, based on the experience of previous years. “It’s because there are lifeguards who take the course and then they do not undertake the work, hence the need to have as many certified swimmers as possible to guarantee that there are sufficient to go to the beaches. It is up to us to ensure they are well trained to the requirements of the law and that we are sure that those who are on the beach know what they are doing, “he says.

This year there were 23 courses for lifeguards, attended by 352 persons plus 152 requalification’s, making a total of 504. In all there are 5360 certified lifeguards.

Despite these figures, the director of the ISN acknowledges that there are still unguarded beaches. “There is always a period in the beginning of the bathing season where some beaches will not have a bathing assistance. They do not have the commitment of the municipalities, they do not have to attend to bathers. There are many beaches that have adequate signage as an unguarded beach, “says José Gouveia

Man confessed to having caused a fire on the worst day on 2017 in Oliveira de Azeméis

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

A 49-year-old man appeared in Court on Monday 23rd April accused of having caused a forest fire in Fajões, Oliveira de Azeméis, on October 15, 2017, which was considered “the worst day of the year” in terms of fires.

Before the judges’, the man confessed to the crime, but gave no justification for his conduct, merely saying that before he had been drinking “two litres of wine, more or less.”

The man also said that he only set one fire, contrary to what he told the Judiciary Police when he participated in the reconstitution of the facts.

In the first session of the trial, the court also heard a woman who claimed to have seen the defendant trying to set fire with a lighter.

“He was hiding behind a pine tree looking at the fire. He took a lighter out of his pocket and crouched in the bushes, and I said I would call the guard,” the witness said.

The individual left the place on foot, having been intercepted a few meters ahead by several members of the public who retained it until the arrival of the GNR.

According to the indictment of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP), the defendant set fire to four different ignition points in the existing undergrowth.

When he tried to carry out the fifth ignition, next to some houses, he was surprised by a resident who, when he saw the defendant with a lighter in his hand by the bush.

The fire spread to the remaining forest, consuming an area of ​​16 hectares of vegetation comprising bush, pine and eucalyptus trees.

The Prosecution stated that the flames only did not reach other assets, namely a chapel and existing dwellings, due to the prompt and effective performance of the firefighters.

October 15 was considered the “worst day of the year” in terms of forest fires, with almost 500 ignitions (forest fires and agricultural fires), according to the report of the independent technical commission on fires.

 

Five arrested for causing rural fires

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

On 22nd and 23rd April  2018 the GNR have arrested five persons in the districts of Bragança, Portalegre , Porto, Vila Real and Viseu for causing forest fires.

The suspects, two men and three women between the ages of 38 and 72, in separate incidents were burning debris, but failed to control the flames, resulting in a total burned area of about 59 000 m2 of wild pine, eucalyptus and bush.

The detainees were constituted defendants and subject pre-trial conditions.

Failing to properly control the burning of debris is one of the main causes of fires. Please download the official guide to undertake controlled burnings safely here.

Câmara de Lobos – Detention for vehicle theft and driving without legal authorisation

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

The C.ª de Lobos Police Division of the Regional Police of the Public Security Police of Madeira, through the Câmara de Lobos municipality, have arrested a person caught in the act of vehicle theft and driving without legal authorization.

From the measures taken, it was possible to associate the detainee with other thefts, and it was possible to recover a laptop that had been stolen on April 8, in the city of Funchal.

The stolen vehicle was returned to the victim, thus recovering his property that had been staken from him.

Just earlier the same Police subunit, managed to recover a cell phone belonging to a citizen who was victim of theft inside a heavy passenger vehicle. After the formalization of the Denunciation in the Camera Squad of Lobos, the police immediately located the suspect who was found to be in the possession of the stolen mobile phone.

The PSP Regional Command of Madeira requests all citizens who are victims of theft, robbery or any other crime, to contact, in the shortest possible time, any PSP Squad in order to initiate police intervention in a timely manner.

41 Detained by the PSP of Lisbon

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

The Metropolitan Command of Lisbon of the PSP, in the scope of its operational activity, continuing the prevention and deterrence of crime, in the period between 00.00 and 23H59 hrs on 20th April 2018, detained 41 citizens:

  • 16 for Narcotics Traffic
  • 10 per Arrest Warrant
  • 5 per Driving without licence
  • 4 per Driving Under influence of alcohol
  • 3 for Resistance a
  • 3 for Theft

During the same period the following seizures were made:

  • Hashish in sufficient quantity for 52,225.50 individual doses
  • Cocaine in sufficient quantity for 11,324.20 individual doses
  • Heroin in sufficient quantity for 1,005.84 individual doses

More than 100,000 doses of heroin and cocaine seized by PSP in Porto

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

The Metropolitan Command of the PSP of Porto announced on 20th April the arrest of 19 people and the seizure of more than 100 thousand doses of heroin and cocaine and 40 thousand euros.

This operation of the Criminal Investigation Division, held on Thursday, included 27 home searches.

In a statement, PSP said that it was a “large-scale police operation aimed at a broad range of individuals who organized drug trafficking in the metropolitan area of ​​Oporto.”

PSP later refers to other details that involved this police operation.