In the New Year Honours List for 2016 Her Majesty the Queen has awarded David Thomas, 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”. View notice on Gazette here.

Safe Communities Portugal was registered as an Association in December 2014, having been developed from Safe Communities Algarve which was formed two years earlier. It works with the international communities in Portugal helping to maintain Portugal as a safe place to live and visit.

On hearing the news David Thomas commented, that “It is a great honour to receive this award. This, however, would not have been possible without the tremendous support from the community, as well as all the officials in the police, civil protection, other government departments, tourist boards, the Embassies and Consulates, the media and many other entities with whom Safe Communities Portugal has the pleasure to work”.

I also wish to express my thanks for all the help from those past and present members of the Safe Communities Portugal Board, advisors and other volunteers, who have given up their time to help maintain and develop the association and thereby help the community.

He added “It is always challenging to initiate and implement something that is new, is needed, and which helps the community, as well as gaining support from government. To be able to achieve this working with, and meeting great people makes this all the more rewarding. The award therefore reflects these collective efforts”.