On 26th April 2018 Safe Communities Portugal signed a protocol with the Secretary of State for Internal Administration Isabel Oneto to help further enhance the security of foreigners in the Algarve.

The protocol includes the development of the Safe Communities Portugal Association’s website to provide advice to foreign tourists in the Algarve, produce and distribute information leaflets, the holding of seminars etc, as well as provide informational content to develop communications media, as part of crime prevention action.

These are the four areas of the Protocol of Collaboration, signed yesterday, in Lagoa, by the Secretary of State Assistant and the Internal Administration and by the President of the Association Safe Communities Portugal.

David Thomas, Founder and President of the Association speaking, at the event told Informação Sul that “the Algarve is a relatively safe region. In fact, Portugal has the lowest crime rate in Europe, but there are still small crimes and we need to educate people to be more careful about their belongings and properties. “So, “the Algarve is a very safe place, but there is always more to do to make it even safer”.

The Secretary of State Isabel Oneto said “that the objective “is to have entities that are regionally integrated and that help us with the prevention and security policies”, in the two senses in English of security and safety, that is to say, security and civil protection.

“What we ask this association, which has a strong integration with the foreign community, not only the resident in the Algarve, but also the one that visits us, is that they use their website to give advice to tourists and to foreign residents”.

David Thomas, said: “With this protocol, we can give more prominence and more publicity to these security issues and civil protection by encouraging people to follow simple advice to increase their safety “.

“We will do this by improving communication, working with the Ministry of Internal Administration and the Security Forces, seeing the best way to communicate with tourists, so as to make their stay in the Algarve and the country even safer. “

But according to Secretary of State Isabel Oneto, although the protocol talks mainly about crime prevention, civil protection issues are also be the object of the association’s work: “imagine a situation of insecurity on the beach. We can put this information on the Safe Communities website. ”

The initiative also aims to “promote collaboration with the resident foreign community in order to know what concerns them the most”, as well as to establish “a greater interaction between the association and the Ministry of Internal Administration, in order to articulate actions aimed at the foreign community.”

David Thomas, in his statements to the Informação Sul, also stressed the importance of “collaboration with PSP, GNR, SEF, INCF, Embassies, ANPC, ASAE, Municipalities”, since “working closely with these entities, it is easier to access to information and disseminate it later.

But it is not only foreigners who closely follow the work of Safe Communities: “The association is for everyone. What we do is available to all, foreigners or not. On Facebook, many of our followers are even Portuguese, “he recalled.

However, it is certain that the activity of the association is directed in particular to foreigners, residents or visitors. The site already features information in ten languages, including Chinese and Russian.

And the activity of the association, which began only in the Algarve, has already extended to Lisbon and Madeira.

The signing ceremony was also attended by the Commanders of the GNR, PSP and SEF in the Algarve.

Press article by Informação Sul

Original in Portuguese