The GNR created in 1911, is a paramilitary security force organised into a Special Corps of Troops. In peacetime, it is dependent upon the Ministry of Internal Affairs, for the purposes of recruitment, administration and performance of duties arising from its general mission, and on the National Ministry of Defence, for the purposes of standardisation and regulation of the military doctrine, arms and equipment. The GNR’s missions are: to guarantee, within the scope of its responsibility, the maintenance of public order, within its area of jurisdiction exercised mainly through the policing of all areas in the country except for the larger cities which come under the jurisdiction of the PSP.

In addition to its Specialised, Representation, Intervention and Reserve Units, the GNR’s structure additionally comprises 20 Territorial Commands (one in each of mainland Portugal’s 18 Districts, and one each in Madeira and the Azores.

In the performance of its duties, the GNR strives to promote a policy of Proximity Policing, which is based on:

  • Promoting an integrated policy of crime prevention and containment.
  • Strengthening local partnerships with government bodies, local authorities and civil society, particularly non-governmental organisations, private initiatives, foundations, businesses and others, with a view to taking a more effective approach to the specific needs of each community.
  • Coordinating joint and effective action by all the Ministry of the Interior’s bodies and institutions aimed at the implementation of the various partnership programmes.
  • Fostering citizens’ responsibility and participation.

It was with this in mind that a variety of programmes have been put into practice, including: Safe Residence; Safety for the Elderly; Safety for Schools and Safety for Shops and Businesses.

The Safe Residence Program is mainly practiced in the Algarve where over 6000 households are registered. If you live in a remote area the SRP is therefor you. Details of the program and how to join are here.

To see and learn about the GNR in action, please download their very interesting 5 minute video here.

For more information please click on the GNR logo to visit their website.