Eduardo Cabrita, the minister of Internal Administration, outlined on Saturday 22nd June the program to ensure the necessary resources to guarantee public safety in the Algarve region, as well as cope with the expected fires.
“What we will have over the summer is a boost in resources that allows us to say that we are prepared for a safe Algarve. We are prepared with an additional presence of means from the PSP, the GNR and a reinforcement of the SEF presence at Faro Airport, “said Eduardo Cabrita.
Safe Communities Portugal were in attendance at the announcement made as part of the Safe Summer event held at Regional Tourism Algarve Headquarters in Faro.
Regarding Civil Protection and the protection of the forest against fires, “given the characteristics of our forest and climate change, we must be aware that risk requires that priority be given to prevention, forest clearing and in programs such as the “Safe Village, Safe Persons”.
“We will certainly have fires. What happened, especially here in the Algarve last year, is that absolute priority has been given to safeguarding human life. We have tested mechanisms to support the population, with great involvement of municipalities and all institutions in the region”, he added.
In the field of public safety, PSP and GNR, working on the ground, closer to the population, both will have a considerable reinforcements in the summer.
The PSP will be reinforced by 36 teams from the Intervention Corps of the Special Police Unit, which will include a total of 360 men. During the summer, four Prevention and Immediate Response Teams – two in Faro, two in Portimão – and mixed policing teams, made up of PSP agents and counterparts from the Spanish Police and the French National Police, will also be affected during the summer.
The GNR, meanwhile, will have about 200 soldiers for permanent reinforcement, as well as four cinotechnical teams (man and dog) and others as patrols on horseback.
There will also be 500 soldiers posted for the main summer events», with emphasis on the concentration of Faro’s Motoclube and the Candido de Oliveira Super Cup.
Also the GNR will have collaborations with security forces estarngeiras, in this case the Spanish Civil Guard, the Carabinieri of Italy and the Gendarmerie Nationale, of France.
As part of the collaboration the President of Safe Communities Portugal David Thomas and Secretary of State for Internal Administration Isabel Oneto signed a protocol at the event covering several initiatives to help maintain the Algarve as a safe destination.
In the airports there was a 40% increase in the number of staff of the Aliens and Borders Service, while negotiations were still underway between the Government and ANA Airports “to increase the electronic control points” in order to avoid congestion and long queues. Eduardo Cabrita.
Regarding thel Civil Protection Emergency Authority, the four new Permanent Intervention Teams, the fire departments of Alcoutim, Monchique and Portimão, were highlighted, increasing the number of professional teams in the Algarve to nine.
There will also will be stationed permanently in the region an Extended Attack Group, made up of 35 soldiers and seven vehicles.
Meanwhile, four aerial facilities, all of them light helicopters, are already operating in the Algarve. As of July 1, the Loulé heliport will become the temporary home of a heavy-duty helicopter.
This is the reinforcement that the region can count on this summer, although the possibility of further strengthening is open if the situation demands it.