Safe Communities Portugal receives daily enquires from residents seeking advice on a broad range of crime prevention issues as well as policing and related subjects. This page has therefore been created to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions that we receive.


Q: What is the main difference between the PSP police and GNR?

The main difference is that the PSP is a civilian police force which is responsible for policing the cities in Portugal and the larger towns. The GNR is a military force which carries out policing duties in the rural areas and smaller towns. The GNR covers approximately 96% of the land area of Portugal and the remainder covered by the PSP.

Q: Do I need to visit a police station to report a crime where I am the victim?

If you are a victim of a crime in the home such as a robbery or burglary, you should telephone 112 if an emergency or your local police station. Police will attend as soon as possible in case of emergency or for a non-emergency as soon as they can in accordance with other priorities. It will normally be necessary to subsequently attend the station to make out a report and for an insurance claim. It is also possible to report certain crimes online, but you will still need to go to a police station to verify your identification within 48 hrs Our Online Report page on this website provides details.

Alarm Companies

Q:Where can I seek independent advice concerning the purchasing of household alarms and about alarm companies?

The PSP are the legal authority for the licensing and regulation of alarm companies. Advice concerning the requirements for alarm companies produced by the PSP, as well as independent advice on points to consider when choosing an alarm company can be found on the Crime Prevention Advice section of this website and click on “community” box.

Q: Is there a list somewhere of alarm companies that are licensed to operate in Portugal?

The licensing conditions for alarm companies and security companies were amended in 2013. The up to date list is available from visiting the following section on the PSP website You will need to enter the name of the company to check it is licensed.

Other matters

The PSP police are the authority for the licensing of firearms for specific purposes such as hunting. To obtain information about this and the requirements, then visit the PSP website