Archive for March, 2019

Brexit promotes reinforcement of SEF inspectors at Lisbon, Faro and Funchal airports

Monday, March 25th, 2019

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, said that from April onwards there will be a reinforcement of the number of inspectors of the Foreigners and Borders Service at the airports of Lisbon, Faro and Funchal as part of the contingency plan for leaving the Union of the United Kingdom European Union.

In the European Affairs Committee at the Parliament, the Minister stressed that Lisbon will have 22 more inspectors, while the reinforcement in Faro will be ten new elements. This trend has continued to increase, after two groups of 45 inspectors took office in 2018 and 70 more elements are expected to enter 2019 through an internal competition.

By June another 100 inspectors will also have to enter, as the external competition opened in 2017 is already in the selection phase. The Minister also added that 116 technical assistants were being recruited and 16 were in the IT area.

Eduardo Cabrita also said that the embassy of Portugal and the consulates in the United Kingdom will be reinforced by the placement of four officials: “The SEF will put a liaison officer at the embassy in London and three officials in the documentary area.”

British tourists will continue to be able to enter Portuguese airports through the Automatic Identification of Identified Passengers system.

Person wanted in Germany detained by SEF at Porto airport

Monday, March 25th, 2019

A 26-year-old man, considered violent and wanted by the German authorities, was detained by the SEF at Porto airport.

The arrest was followed by a European arrest warrant for extradition issued by Germany.

The individual is indicted in that country for the crimes of robbery and fraud of telecommunications companies.

“He was arrested at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport this morning and present to the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Oporto Court of Appeal. The court applied the preventive custody measure in order to await possible extradition,” the SEF said in a statement

Rural Fire Warning: preventive measures and operational deployments

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Following the worsening of the predicted meteorological conditions for the coming days, namely the rise in temperature, with levels ​​above normal for this time of year, the reduction of relative humidity and the occurrence of moderate and strong winds, there will be an increase of the risk of fire between Saturday and Monday, to high and very high levels, in several districts.

Considering the operational situation, the ANPC determined the reinforcement and pre-positioning of the Special Firefighting Force in:  Guimarães, Trancoso, Proença-a-Nova, Almeirim, Portale, Montijo and Estremoz;

There will also be a reinforcement and prepositioning of GNR resources with an Extended Attack Company  in Vila Real and Viseu, as well as a terrestrial team with ITA capacity for patrol in all air centres.

 

ANPC sends Joint Operational Force to Mozambique

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

On 22nd March at 2100 hrs the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) sent a joint operational force with search, rescue, protection and rescue capacity in complex emergency situations to Mozambique.

This force is made up of operatives of the Special Firefighters Force (10 elements), Firefighters Volunteers of several corporations of the district of Santarém (19 elements), National Republican Guard (18 elements) and National Institute of Medical Emergency (1 element) , who will support the Mozambican authorities in the relief operations for the victims of the cyclone Idai that has lashed out at the country.

This operation, coordinated by ANPC, departed on a commercial plane from AT1 (Figo Maduro military airport). Aboard is diverse medical material of support to the Hospital of Beira. These elements will join the advanced multidisciplinary civil protection team that was sent on March 21st.

National support comes as a result of the request for international assistance to support the relief operations presented by the Mozambican authorities under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Arrest for Television “Card sharing”

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

The Judicial Police, through the Criminal Investigation Department of Aveiro, have identified and detained an individual aged 40 for aggravated computer crime, illegitimate access, possession and sale of protected equipment, copyright infringement and tax fraud, committed through the “cardharing” method.

The detainee maintained an unlawful structure for the provision of the protected TV services, recruiting customers, selling specially tampered equipment to receive the coded signal, making the access available and receiving the agreed payments. For this purpose the structure comprised servers installed outside the national territory in Germany and Italy.

With this procedure, about four hundred customers illegitimately had access to the paid TV signal without the operators receiving the price due, to the detriment of these and the Public Treasury for the non-settlement of the corresponding tax revenues.

In the course of the searches carried out, relevant evidence was detected, notably a computer system dedicated to the control of the accesses made by the “customers” to the servers dedicated to “Cardsharing” and about three dozen “set-top-boxes”,  of receiving the satellite signal, tampered with to provide access to the protected signal.

The detainee was present to the Judicial Authorities, in the Region of Aveiro, for first judicial interrogation and determination of the appropriate measures of coercion.

Portuguese citizen wins top UK nursing award

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

Portugal’s Sílvia Nunes was awarded the UK Care Awards in the category of best nurse for innovation, creativity and attention at work, the organizers announced today.

“Silvia represents the best of nursing in a home environment. She is innovative, creative, and passionate and does everything for the residents, families, and her team. Promoting high quality nursing within their team is a prime example, “Care England said.

National awards were awarded at a ceremony on Friday with more than a thousand nursing and health care professionals in Birmingham who had been winners in their respective regions.

“I did not want to believe when I heard my name, but I felt a huge pride. This award recognizes all the work that I have been developing as a nurse since I arrived in England,” she told Lusa news agency.

The 33-year-old Portuguese nurse from Vila do Conte arrived in the UK in 2014 to look for work in her area because she could not find a job as a nurse in Portugal.

In spite of the initial difficulties with the English language, at the end of about a year the clinical director was promoted and in September of 2016 the assistant director of the home Ford Place, specialized in palliative care.

Last year he was a non-winning finalist for the second consecutive year of the National Care Awards, also from the UK

 

PSP arrested more than 500 people in the Safe Carnival operation

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

More than 500 people were detained by the PSP during the “Carnival in Security 2019” operation, which ended on Tuesday and led to the seizure of more than 2,800 pyrotechnic articles.

According to the final figures of the operation, 501 people were arrested by the PSP, 165 of them for driving under an excess of alcohol, 94 for lack of driving license, 80 for drug trafficking and 78 for through enforcement of arrest warrants.

In a statement, PSP also indicates that during the operation, which ran from 7 am on February 26 to 24 hours on Tuesday, they arrested 19 people for theft, 13 for disobedience and four for assaults at police.

The operation “Carnival in Security 2019” aimed to reduce risk behaviour, strengthen road safety and prevent and suppress the illicit marketing of pyrotechnic articles.

According to the PSP statement, 16 firearms, eight blank weapons, 2841 pyrotechnic articles and 594 rounds of ammunition of various calibre were seized , as well as 2336 doses of various types of drugs.

The PSP identified 829 people for various reasons, 93 of them for drug use.

In the eight days of the operation, 699 road surveillance operations were carried out, 51 establishments were monitored in the context of private security activity and 234 other enforcement actions were undertaken, mostly in the area of ​​prevention of the sale of pyrotechnic articles and weapons / explosives.

In the field of road safety, 27,132 vehicles were inspected and 6092 road traffic violations were registered and assessed. In addition, 881 vehicles were detected for speeding, resulting in 169 minor, 661 serious and 61 very serious traffic offenses.

6,564 drivers were also tested at the blood alcohol level, and 133 were charged for having a higher rate than the legal minimum of 1.2g/l.

During the eight days of the operation “Carnival in Security 2019” PSP mobilized 7104 police, 1876 vehicles and 1689 other equipment.

Portugal in fourth place in the seizure of hashish in Europe

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

In 2017, 14.8 tonnes of hashish were seized in Portugal. The International Narcotics Control Board warns that ill-regulated cannabis programs for therapeutic use can lead to increased consumption

Portugal was the fourth European country with the highest amount of hashish seized in 2017, according to an international report released on Tuesday 4th March 2019 warning of the dangers of poor cannabis regulation for medicinal purposes.

The cannabis remains as the “most widely used” drug in Europe, accounting for 38% of the illicit drug market in the European Union (EU), the report of the International Council of Narcotics Control. Data from 2016 indicate that more than 760,000 cannabis seizures were carried out in the EU, 420,000 of cannabis in grass, 22,000 seizures of plants and more than 300,000 of cannabisresin (hashish).

Portugal appears as the fourth country in Europe that in 2017 seized more hashish, with 14.8 tons. Spain, as the main entry point for cannabis resin produced in Morocco, is the country with the most seized product, with 333 tonnes, followed by France with 57 tonnes and Italy with 18.7 tonnes.

After the fourth place in Portugal, Greece appears with 6.3 tons and the United Kingdom 6.3 tons. All other countries reported less than three tonnes of hash seized in 2017, including Sweden, Norway, Poland or Russia.

In the report released on Tuesday, the International Narcotics Control Board warns that ill-regulated cannabis programs for therapeutic use may lead to increased use of recreational cannabis. The United Nations agency also expresses its concern about the creation of legislation on non-medicinal use of cannabis that is contrary to drug control conventions and may endanger public health.

Government released on 28th February 2019, The Centre for Studies on Forest Fires Report into the Fires that resulted in the death of 51 people in October 2017

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

The 15th October 2017 fires were  completely  exceptional. The country was experiencing a prolonged drought, a period when  the operational structure was already partially demobilised, a very unusual meteorological phenomenon –  the Hurricane Ophelia – that was  felt  throughout  the country, but especially in  the central  region, very strong and dry winds  that boosted the hundreds of ignitions that occurred on that day, producing several fires that together destroyed more than 220 thousand hectares in less than 24 hours, which is a record for Portugal. This resulted in seven major fires five of them together caused 51 fatalities and all produced an environmental and property devastation.

Some of the findings and highlights of the report are:

The strict definition of fire risk periods, based on calendar dates, without taking into account the seasonal changes  in  the  weather  and  a  concern  with  the  containment  of  expenditure,  led  to  a  reduction  of  the operational structure, without paying due attention to the extreme fire risk that was forecasted a few days in advance. This lack of resources was felt especially in the absence of more vigilance, which could have reduced the number of ignitions, at least on the 15th, which led to the registration of 517 occurrences.

The task of defending people and property was limited by the difficulty of managing resources and placing them where they were required, because of the infeasibility of many paths.

The fact that in these fires we had relatively less people dying on the run, or away from home, certainly due to the perception, by the population of the message that our team has been spreading ‐ reinforced by PG experience ‐ that one should not leave the house at the last minute and with the fire nearby. In these cases, with respect to the authorities’ indications, it is preferable to remain at home and seek to defend it as long as it is safe. It is also important to identify in advance, in each village or town, safe places or homes that can serve as a refuge or shelter for residents or visitors during a fire event.

The practice, which has been implemented by the authorities, of ordering massive evacuations of threatened villages and  places, while  it may  be justifiable  in a  life‐saving  perspective, may  be wrong  if  it  is  not well planned  and  not  executed  well  in  advance.  On the other  hand,  the  option  to  allow  properly  identified members of the population to remain in the places where they live, in an organized and supported way, can greatly  contribute  to  the  safeguarding  of  assets  and  consequently  to  reduce  the  pressure  on  operating entities.

We cannot fail to reaffirm our position regarding the failure of the ICNF as a fundamental pillar of the whole DFCI  system,  in  the  protection  of  the  national  forest,  in  the  promotion  of  awareness  campaigns,  in  the management  of  fuel  discontinuities  and  in  the  protection  of  forestry  areas  that  are  in  its  charge.  The destruction of an important part of the historical Leiria pine forest, which was under the management of the ICNF, constituted the corollary of the abandonment to which its management had been voted over the last decades.

There was again a need for the country to have a wider range of professional and qualified firefighters to ensure a more permanent availability, independent of the calendar dates, to support the population in crises situations such as the fires of October 15th.

GNR Road Safety Operation “Carnival 2019”

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

The GNR commenced on 1st March an operation of intensified patrolling and road surveillance throughout the country. This operation, which ends on the 5th of March, is focused along the routes leading to the areas where carnivals are taking place, aimed at combating road accidents, regulating traffic and ensure support to all road users.

During the operation, the GNR, through the national transit unit and territorial commands, will undertake surveillance to detect the following infractions:
–  driving under the influence of alcohol and psychotropic substances;
– lack of legal license;
–  dangerous driving, especially with regard to overtaking, change of direction etc;
– not using the safety belt and / or retention systems;
– excess of capacity;
– anomalies in lighting and signalling systems;
– use of mobile phone during driving;
– lack of periodic inspection;
– lack of civil liability insurance.