The president of the Association of Criminal Investigation Officials (ASFIC) warned on Monday that the “stagnation” of the career of the PJ inspectors and the lack of personnel jeopardize the investigation and fight against corruption by the police.

The president of ASFIC-PJ, Ricardo Valadas, told Lusa that negotiations with the Government on the revision of the Organic Law of the PJ and its Professional Statute lasted two and a half years, with a working group presented in June a set of proposals.

However, and although the Justice Minister is committed to the approval of the diplomas, it lacks the signature of the Minister of Finance, he said.

Earlier, an ASFIC-PJ communiqué stated that investigators of the Judicial Police consider that the “Ministry of Finance is mortgaging the future of criminal investigation in Portugal”.

The association considers that the waiting time for revisions of the Organic Law of the PJ and the Professional Statute has run out, and that it is urgent to reposition the careers, a situation that, the President pointed out to Lusa, affects the work and motivation of criminal investigation inspectors.

According to Ricardo Valadas, the lack of motivation for a career that has been “stagnant for a long time” and the lack of personnel (the table foresees 2,400 inspectors and there are now only 1,100). These are at present the main problems of this police organisation who are in charge of the investigation cybercrime, organized and violent crime, organized crime and terrorism.

“It is impossible to fight corruption when a career in criminal investigation has not been corrected 20 years ago and for five years no new people have entered,” Ricardo Valadas said in a statement from ASFIC.

The president of the association claims that this is “the most neglected and neglected career in Public Administration”.

“We have been looking for a full-blown dialogue, marked by deepest negotiating loyalty, which has been a handful of intentions for 20 years. Now, after a long two-year negotiating period with this Government, we will not accept sterile updates to the organic law of the PJ and the statutory regime, “he warned.

For ASFIC, the future of the criminal investigation is undermined, which reduces the capacity to attract new inspectors and, above all, to keep the few who still fulfil the mission that they have proposed.

“Who is willing to invest years in training, to integrate a career without any prospect of progression? Who will be interested in keeping a profession with risks, without the due compensation?” Asked Ricardo Valadas, insisting on the urgency of proceed to career repositioning.

The successive governments do not want to understand that the money spent on the PJ is not a cost but an investment. The greater the activity of the PJ, the greater is also the damage of the groups that have been depleted in the state’s coffers. Organized economic crime and corruption use highly sophisticated means and investigation is undertaken with obsolete means.

Ricardo Valadas admitted to Lusa that leaving the PJ “fragile in this way”, not valuing the careers, nor filling the tables, with the opening of competitions for new candidates, is to seriously compromise the capacity and objectives of this police.