The president of the Union of Criminal Investigation Officials of the Judiciary Police (ASFIC) (PJ) on Friday 13th April, called for the admission of at least 240 inspectors by 2020, to fill the gaps and rejuvenate a picture with a “very high” average age.
Speaking to Lusa in Braga, on the side lines of the 5th Congress of Criminal Investigation, Ricardo Valadas said that the 120 inspectors who are going to enter in 2019 for the PJ are “manifestly insufficient” for what the police lost in terms of the cadre “in the last eight or nine years.”
“We needed to open another competition immediately, so that at least 120 other inspectors will enter by 2020,” he said.
According to Ricardo Valadas, “the financial restrictions of recent years have been suffocating the work of the PJ and the dynamics necessary” to maintain the security of the country.
The result, he added, is a cadre of inspectors with a “very high average age, around 48 years old.”
“There is a lot of experience, but it has to be passed on to the younger generations, and this work has to be done in a timely manner,” he emphasized.
Likewise, he said that there are facilities of the PJ “in urgent need of reforms”, due to lack of space, lack of working conditions and structural problems.
“There are departments where it is impossible to work with the minimum acceptable conditions for professionals of the PJ,” he said, pointing out as an example the facilities of Braga, but also alluding as “very problematic cases”, Ponta Delgada, Setúbal and Faro.
He admitted that there is “will” and “sensitivity” of the Ministry of Justice to solve the problems of human and material resources, but “economic constraints” have prevented the solutions from advancing.
“The Ministry of Finance cannot restrict the security of the citizen, you cannot question certain types of values and security is the main value to live in freedom. You cannot cut where there must be daily investment,” he said.
Organized by the Trade Union of Criminal Investigation Officials of the PJ, the 5th Congress of Criminal Investigation has as its theme Terrorism.
Not wishing to refer to the phenomenon, particularly the threat levels in Portugal, Ricardo Valadas preferred to underline that the PJ is the “only organization” that investigates terrorism in the country and, therefore, needs to be strengthened.
“We do not like to focus on levels of threat because we do not want to cause alarm. We work every day to ensure the safety of citizens so that they feel safe without being embarrassed by security devices,” he said.
He recalled that terrorism “is not fought in the media, but in secrecy, discretion, identification of phenomena and international cooperation.”
“It is this work that is done and sometimes not understood,” he said