In all, the PSP have identified about 50 people and seized 200 individual doses of laurel leaves that were being sold as fake drugs. In the year 2016, for example, there were almost 800 counts of illegal street vending in the Baixa – the other common misconduct here is misleading advertising.

According to the PSP the legal framework does not allow us to do much more than this as this activity is misdemeanour.

About 80% of what is sold on the street in Baixa is pressed laurel leaves “, explained the Commander of the 1st Division of the PSP of Lisbon, Paulo Flor, at the start of a campaign to create greater awareness of this issue; an initiative of PSP with the support of the Parish Council of Santa Maria Maior.

We have received many complaints from people complaining about insecurity and bad environment. Also because many of those individuals have aggressive behaviour, “explained Miguel Coelho, president of the parish council of Santa Maria Maior.


This is a subject that Safe Communities has raised several times with the PSP in Lisbon and Faro. In a survey undertaken by Safe Communities Algarve three years ago over half of some 135 tourists interviewed in Praia da Rocha, Algarve had been offered fake drugs. The fact that this activity is only under the law a misdemeanour, allows this to continue, as there no effect deterrent.