Meet the Team

Safe Communities Portugal is a registered non-profit association run by volunteers. The elected officials for 2017-20 are:

  • David Thomas – Board President

    David Thomas served in the Hong Kong Police from 1974 retiring as an Assistant Commissioner in 2005. During this period he gained command experience in training, strategic planning, administration, operational policing, security, confidential investigations and traffic policing. He commanded the VIP Protection Unit, was a Deputy Regional Commander serving a population of 1.4 million and before retirement, was Head of Training for 33,000 police officers. He then worked for 4 years as a full time consultant to INTERPOL and in 2010 acted as a consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Bangkok. He has vast experience in national and international policing matters and has made many presentations internationally. In the New Year Honours List for 2016 Her Majesty the Queen has awarded him as President, Safe Communities Portugal, the British Empire Medal (BEM), in recognition of his “services to crime prevention and awareness within the British and international community in Portugal”. Gazette notice here.

  • Dra. Ana Silva – Member

    Ana Isabel Sebastião Dias da Silva, was born in November 1975. Since a young girl she wanted to treat and protect animals, so decided to be a Veterinarian. She graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 1999, she holds a Masters in Veterinary Public Health since 2002 and completed an MBA in 2016. Ana has considerable experience working in Veterinary Medicine Clinics, first in Lisbon and since 2004 in Monchique, in her own veterinary clinic. Had also worked in Sonae in Quality Control at a fish market, from 1999 to 2001 and in Alicontrol in projects on the fish market, from 2001 to 2004. Since 2014 is also working on Municipio de Monchique, coordinating the department of Veterinary and Public Health, where is developing projects on the animal welfare, especially concerning cats. She advises SCP on animal matters, including animal cruelty issues, and helps with communication.


  • Chris Stretton

    Chris moved to the Algarve after 25 years service with the UK Royal Air Force Police which included two senior appointments with NATO, the last as Head of Security for Allied Command Operations. This was followed by six years with a UN agency –  the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) –  where he was the Head of Security and the Organisation’s Principal Security Advisor. It was during his time that he and his security management team were contributing members of the OPCW 2013 Nobel Peace Prize winning team that successfully delivered the complete elimination of chemical weapons in war-torn Syria.  He has been a member of both NATO’s and the UN’s security policy committees and has authored several major security and disaster management (Consequence Management) reports for the UK and NATO

  • Dina Filipe – Member

    Dina was born in Sydney, Australia and commenced her education there. On moving to Portugal she spent four years in Loulé High School, where she was able to perfect the Portuguese language.​ In 2012 Dina was part of a team responsible for the creation and monitoring of a Personal Emergency Response System, known as PERS. This worked involved interaction with the emergency services, following which she was part of a team responsible for marketing. In 2014 she created her own business in villa rentals and bilingual help. Dina provides valuable voluntary assistance to SCA in translation services and communications.

  • Lília Martins – Member

    Lília graduated in Law in 2006, has been a member of the Portuguese Bar Association since 2009. She undertook internships in the European Parliament and at the European Court of Human Rights.From 2009 to 2013 she was the Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Faro her main functions being media relations, press releases and communication; coordination of the Advisory Councils and Municipal Commissions; Legal advice to municipal companies and for handling various issues including security and civil protection. She is now is working with Luís Galvão & Associates, in Almancil, especially in the areas of Administrative Law, International Law, Corporate and Litigation. Contacts: or 913486871

  • James Litchko, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, MBCI, CMAS – Member

    A retired surface warfare officer and cybersecurity expert for over 30 years, Jim has supported the securing of over 300 military, government and commercial systems.  He received his Masters degree from Johns Hopkins University and taught their first graduate cybersecurity courses.  Also, he created the “Business-Based Security Solutions” concept and lectures on implementing “practical cybersecurity solutions” for organizations, like Cambridge University, Canadian Communications Security Establishment, NATO, Pentagon, NASA, and FBI.   He has authored five books on security and management strategies.  Jim now living in Ferragudo, Algarve and continues to teach cybersecurity and management courses in America and Europe. See more at

  • Marianne Guerreiro – Member

    Employed in the tourist industry in Mozambique from 1960 to 1975 when the political and security situation deteriorated in Southern Africa. She the joined the armed forces in the then Rhodesia and was seconded to the Signals (Electronic Warfare) Section. Following a break in 1980 she then joined the South African Defence Force specializing as an analyst until retiring as a Lt Col in 1993

  • Raoul Ruiz Martinez – President General Assembly

    Raoul is a financial consultant for Finesco Financial Services Ltd; an independent financial advisory firm with its head quarters in Glasgow that has looked after the private wealth of expatriates since 1984. The firm is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and, under the European MiFID legislation, is recognised by the Portuguese capital markets (CMVM) and life (ISP) regulators. Raoul has been looking after the financial interests of the private Portuguese expatriate community since 2006