Our advisors

We appreciate and thank the public that have supported our work. To operate the diverse range of services that we do requires practical and academic skills in the areas of policing, crime prevention and civil protection, as well as the ability to deal with government. We are grateful therefore to our advisers, who are members of SCP and who have bought special skills and experience within their professions to Safe Communities Portugal, to supplement those of the Board and help us develop further.

We are always interested to hear from anyone who feels that they maybe able to help our association, and thereby the community, through any particular professional skills or experience they may have.

  • Joan Wilson – Area Representative Porto

    Joan Wilson, is a retired police officer from An Garda Siochana (Irish Police) currently living in Porto. She worked as a Police officer for 27 years and was the longest serving overseas liaison officer for An Garda Siochana at the time of her retirement in 2017, having developed her area of expertise in international law enforcement co-operation, networking and public relations during 17 years abroad. She worked for 1 year in Cyprus as a United Nations civilian police monitor, 7 years at Europol in The Hague and 9 years in Lisbon, Portugal as a bilateral police liaison officer as well as being the single point of contact for the Irish police in an international law enforcement co-operation platform based in Lisbon. There, she was accredited to the Irish Embassy as the police attaché and was active in diplomatic events and affairs relevant to her area of work. She has a diploma in criminal psychology, a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s degree in counter fraud and counter corruption.

  • Gonçalo Duarte Gomes – Environmental issues Adviser

    Gonçalo was born in 1980, and is graduated in Landscape Architecture, working as project manager in coastal management for the last decade. Since 2002 he has worked in public and private held companies, covering different branches of Landscape Architecture, and still maintains a freelance activity. Invited speaker and moderator at several national and international events, he is engaged with cultural and environmental activism, mainly through associativism. Currently, he is Vice-President of the Liga para a Protecção da Natureza, President of Al-Portel and managing President of the Algarve Chapter of the Associação Portuguesa dos Arquitectos Paisagistas. He regularly writes opinion articles for media of the regional press of the Algarve and is a founding member of the blog and Algarvian think-tank “Lugar ao Sul”.

  • João Vilela – Communication and Languages Adviser

    João recently graduated in “Languages and Communication” from University of the Algarve and is currently working as Concierge Agent in Pine Cliffs Resort. Communication has been of major importance in my life: Pragmatics and negotiation are the most significant features that I can bring up to the table. Living in Madrid during my Erasmus Program made me realise that visitors and foreign need more information about the country that they are visiting. The Concierge job allowed me to focus more specifically into the realities of Tourism in Portugal. Currently, I am seeking the national “Clef D’Or”, a golden key that distinguishes the best concierges in Portugal and also worldwide – Also, I am applying for a Master’s Degree in “International Relationships” which I think will connect me to new horizons and know other people that might help me to grow, to know, and to gather more knowledge. João will mainly be focusing in helping the Association in the area of Safe Tourism.

  • Carlos Júlio Trindade – Rural Fire Protection Adviser

    Carlos graduated in Forestry Engineering from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro in Vila Real. Carlos began his professional activity as a Trainee Researcher at the Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics (ADAI), where he mainly carried out research on behaviour of forest fires and forest fuels. Throughout his professional career he maintained a permanent link to the theme of forest fires, from the frequency of various courses and training, mainly related to the behaviour of fires and individual security. He has developed several works within the theme, mainly forest fire defence plans, from the local (parish) to the municipal and national level.Since 2006, he has been working in the forestry technical office of the municipality of Mafra. In 2011 he assumed the position of Municipal Coordinator of the Municipal Civil Protection Service and Director of the Municipal Heliport. Carlos participated in many seminars and works both as a participant or speaker at conferences in Portugal and abroad.

  • Tony McGuirk – Fire and Environment Protection Advisor

    Tony McGuirk has had a 40 year career in Emergency Management leadership in the UK and Australasia as a Chief Executive, Chief Fire Officer, and as Director with the Australian Environment Agency, responsible for incident response and management of all major bushfires and disasters ( floods and cyclones). He has over 40 years’ experience in emergency and civil protection organisations. He has managed major incidents including multiple rescues, large scale pollution incidents, major evacuations, and major floods. He received the Fire Service Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 1996, the Queens Fire Service medal in 2006 (QFSM), and was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen in 2011 for his services to civil protection and disaster management. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers, a Fellow of the International Institute of Risk and Safety management, and an Officer of the Order of St John. He divides his time between working as a consultant on civil protection and disaster management in Australasia and Europe.

  • Peter Weaver – Technical communications Advisor

    Peter, now retired, was a project and programme manager, a Chartered (Aerosystems) Engineer and licensed Radio Amateur with a background in emergency planning and rescuing faltering projects.

    Living in the Algarve enables Peter to enjoy his hobby as a radio amateur (“ham”) having held a full licence in the UK since 1995.  In 2012 he established the Royal British Legion’s (RBL)  radio station for the Legion (on the) Air Day, contacting RBL stations in the UK from his garden near Monchique with a wire antenna strung between two tall trees and a radio powered from a 12V battery.  He also enjoys the challenge of exploring the countryside “off-road” and recently completed a wild-camping “recce” to Eastern Morocco. Peter provides valuable assistance to Safe Communities Portugal liaising on technical matters in his field of experience particular concerning civil protection and communications.

  • Colin Scarisbrick – Police Laision Officer Silver Coast

    Colin Scarisbrick is a 56 year old retired London Metropolitan police officer who worked predominantly in southwest London.  On leaving he entered into a top security hospital Ashworth as part of the onsite security team for four years.

    He became a first aid trainer and examiner working across the UK and Eire, whilst also working as a college lecturer teaching uniform and public services. As a qualified counsellor he also, taught counselling work.

    Colin who lives near Caldas da Rainha, in the area of Portugal known as the Silver Coast, is Safe Communities representative in the area responsible for police liaison. His partner Elaine is also a former police officer.

  • Chris Stretton – Security Advisor

    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

  • Dra. Ana Silva – Animal safety and Protection Adviser

    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.

  • Professor Maria Bras – Tourism Safety and Security Adviser

    Maria is a Clinical Psychologist and  Social Anthropologist. She has a Masters degree in Health Psychology and a PHD in Psychology. She has undertaken training on Tourism Oriented Policing Protection services in the USA. She is currently a Professor, Senior Lecturer and a researcher at the University of Algarve, and has been involved in a number of studies concerning crime and public security and has provided training for the Public Security Police (PSP).