Stay Safe advice

The main focus of our work is crime prevention aimed at residents as well as tourists. Although crime, especially violent crime, has decreased a great deal over the last 5 years, it is important that we keep it that way.

Over the last two years we have produced in liaison with the police over 70 items of crime prevention advice which is on both our websites. Some of these items are comprehensive and others are simple tips.

To highlight in a concise way and to improve accessibility to website visitors, we have taken the main pieces of advice and complied a “Stay Safe” series of crime prevention leaflets accessible on this page. These are easy and quick to read tips ranging from safe use to ATMs to alcohol abuse and are listed below with a short introduction.

These are available for Download in both Portuguese and English.

  • Alcohol- Álcool

    For many being on holiday, means relaxing with a cool beer or a glass of local wine. However it is important, not only for your health but in terms of safety, to drink in moderation. In Portugal there are strict laws and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately in some of the tourist areas especially in the summer season there are a number of crimes resulting from excess consumption of alcohol. Our Stay Safe guide will help you have a safe holiday.


  • ATMs - Multibancos

    Having access to cash and undertaking banking operations is a daily feature of our lives. Unfortunately criminals realise that this is also an opportunity to obtain cash at your expense. Being aware of of how ATMs can be tampered with as well as the environment around you when you are withdrawing cash, can help prevent these types of crime. Our Stay Safe guide list those things to look out for.


  • Beaches - Praias

    Portugal has some of the best beaches in the world. Some are isolated whereas other can be crowded in the summer. Although compared with many other resorts in other countries, crime committed against beach goers is low, it is sensible to take precautions to ensure it remains that way. In particular it is important to look after your property in beach car parks. Our Stay Safe guide provides you with tips on having a great day at the beach.


  • Crowded Places and Transport - Transportes Públicos e Locais de Grande Afluência de Pessoas

    In most countries in crowded places and on transport there are pickpockets often targeting tourists. In crowded areas such as Lisbon and in some parts of the Algarve, pickpockets do operate even though police have recently been successful at apprehending those involved. Be particularly careful in getting on and off the metro and trams used by tourists in Lisbon. By taking simple precautions outlined in our guide this is a simple crime to prevent.


  • Driving and Car Parks - Condução e Parques de Estacionamento

    Theft from vehicles is the most common crime in Portugal. Often this is made easy for criminals by people leaving their car windows open, doors unlocked and leaving valuables on display. Criminals often working in pairs monitor car parks especially those in popular tourist areas on the look out for likely targets. Hire cars with commercial stickers and foreign vehicles are often favoured by criminals. Our Stay Safe Guide lists simple crime prevention tips to reduce the risk of this happening to you.


  • Homes and Holiday Accommodation - Residência e Casas de Férias

    Whether you own a home or are renting holiday accommodation it is important to take simple steps to protect the property and its contents. Burglary is one of the most common crimes in any country, and is favoured by criminals because detection rates by police are often low compared to other crimes. Our guide outlines steps to take when you leave the property as well ensuring that valuables are not left on display on terraces for example whilst you pop inside.


  • In the street - Na Via Pública

    Portugal is one of the safest countries in Europe when it comes to walking in the streets. There are however certain things and places to be aware of as there are in any country. For instance displaying expensive jewellery or carrying an expensive camera in certain areas certainly increases the risk of becoming a victim of crime, as would flashing a wallet full of money where it can be easily seen. Our Stay Safe advice provides useful tips on this subject.


  • Night Life and Entertainment - Entretenimento e Vida Noturna

    Along the coastal areas there are a number of towns which have an active night life and places of entertainment. These may be frequented by tourists including "Stag" groups and "Hen" parties. Whatever the activity you may be engaged in it is important to respect local culture. Celebrate in moderation, avoid binge drinking and you will still have an enjoyable time. Alcohol abuse can put you on the wrong side of the law as well as making you unpopular with others.


  • Villa Letting - Fraudulent Websites - Locations de Vacances – Gare aux arnaques sur le web

    Cybercrime and associated fraud is globally the fasted growing crime. One of the areas targeted by criminals is on-line holiday villa scams.This often involves the creation of fraudulent websites advertising villas which either do not exist or are not available for rent. This results in holidaymakers losing their money and arriving to find there is no accommodation available. Learn how to avoid this by viewing our Stay Safe download on this subject and have an enjoyable holiday. English and French


  • Distraction Crime

    Distraction crime usually involves two or more culprits, but can be one. The modus operandi (MO) is to distract you and whilst distracted your property is stolen. This can take place anywhere but reports received are more often in supermarket car parks, but can be in street or in coffee shop terraces. They can also take place by unknown persons calling at your front door asking for water.


  • Avoiding Airline Ticket Fraud

    The majority of air travellers book tickets on-line. In the vast majority of cases this is trouble free. However the selling of fake airline tickets on line is one of the fastest growing frauds. Our stay Safe Guide has put together a number of useful tips to help avoid you becoming a victim of this sort of crime.


  • Gambling

    The laws on gambling maybe very different than your home country. There are licensed Casinos where you can gamble, but otherwise gambling is illegal. Games of chance such as bingo can only take place in licensed premises. Police do enforce these laws and it should be noted that being in a premises where gambling is taking place is illegal. Read our guide and stay on the right side of the law.


  • Fake travel sickness claims

    This is fast becoming one of the major frauds committed by travellers to various destinations, either initiated by the visitors themselves, or by touts in the destinations concerned. Although this is not yet common in Portugal, it is a problem elsewhere so be alert to this. Note it is a criminal offence to make a false claim both in the UK and Portugal.