The crime prevention displays held by Safe Communities Algarve, the GNR and PSP police during the Easter period proved popular with over 400 people visiting the stands at Praia da Luz, Praia da Rocha and Algarve Shopping Guia.

As part of the displays tourists were asked to rate how “safe” or “unsafe” did they consider the Algarve as a tourist destination, as well as the level of safety when going out at night. Of the 250 people from 16 different countries surveyed, 89.2 % rated the Algarve as “very safe”, 10% as “safe” and only 0.8% as “not safe”. As far as going out at night time were concerned 80% considered it “very safe”, 18.4 % as “safe” and 1.6%” as “not safe”.

Many of the tourists spoken to stated that they considered the Algarve was much safer than their own countries with many examples given. Some expressed concern that any disturbance late at night they encountered on holiday here was from fellow tourists mainly young people who were drunk.

Another interesting trend was that all the Portuguese tourists who participated in the survey opined that the area was much safer than Lisbon and Porto (where they were living), an observation borne out by recent crime statistics.

The displays also gave visitors an opportunity to learn more about the work of the PSP police and the GNR Safe Residence Programme. The GIPS display at Algarve Shopping proved popular with youngsters in particular, with the opportunity to dress up in GIPS uniform and sit in their “emergency” vehicle.

David Thomas President of SCA commented: “I am not surprised by the results of the survey. A number of visitors who have been coming on holiday here for many years noted that they felt more secure than they did a number of years ago, a perception that is reflected in actual recorded crime which is at a 12 year low”.  Of course there are a few crimes that will make media headlines but these have to be seen in the broader context”

“One area where more emphasis is required is to reduce the level of disturbance caused by some tourists who become so drunk that they pose a risk to themselves, annoyance to other holiday makers and unnecessary extra work for the police. More education is required in respect of this in the lead up to the summer holiday period”.