Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 21st February 2024

Good day to you all, and we start this report with details of a number of initiatives that have been announced across the region with regards to Civil Protection. One of the main remits of Safe Communities is to pass on details of issues affecting citizens across the country with regards to Civil protection.

This week we hear of some new initiatives that are to take place across the Algarve. On the 1st March, World Civil Protection Day happens and Loule Council is marking the day with an event in Quarteira.  Between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm, the Municipal Civil Protection Service of that municipality organises the 3rd edition of the Emergency Event, which takes place on the eastern promenade of Quarteira.

The event foresees a set of initiatives promoted by various civil protection agents and services, cooperating entities that will promote a set of activities, with a view to the participation and involvement of the school community and the population in general.

In addition to the exhibition of means and equipment within the scope of civil protection, awareness and training sessions, lectures aimed at the community, demonstration of skills, drills, among other initiatives, will also be held. The initiative’s aim is to “build safer and more resilient communities”, as part of the international campaign “Build Resilient Cities”, by the United Nations (UN ) , which the municipality of Loulé is part of.

World Civil Protection Day was established by the International Civil Protection Organization (OIPC) and is celebrated annually on March 1st, the date on which the Constitution of the aforementioned organisation came into force.

Meanwhile in Albufeira, The Municipal Civil Protection Service (SMPC) returns to schools to promote awareness and prevention actions, with a view to implementing a set of routines and appropriate behaviours in an emergency situation, informed the municipality.  You can read more about this important initiative further in this report.

Now for a look at some of the other newsworthy items that have happened across the region in the past week.

Government admits “more serious” measures to guarantee water reserves

According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers, possible additional measures, which provide for a “higher degree of contingency” can be implemented after the reassessment of the drought situation in the region, which will be carried out in June.

The Government admits “more serious additional measures” to guarantee the minimum reserves that allow the supply of water for priority uses in the Algarve, if the current ones prove to be insufficient, states a resolution published this Tuesday in Diário da República .

The Government reserves the right, if the measures now adopted prove to be insufficient, to, under the Basic Law on Civil Protection,declare a calamity situation”, the document reads. The Algarve is currently on alert due to drought and, if there is a declaration of calamity, it will be possible to establish limits and restrictions on the use of water in non-essential uses, as well as rationalisation measures in public water supply services, refers.

At the same time, he adds, “the possibility of access to other sources of supply will be provided, strictly necessary to carry out actions aimed at reestablishing normality in the living conditions of the populations”.

In the same sense, the Government may also determine the use of surface or underground water abstractions, belonging to public or private entities, by the concessionaire of the Algarve’s multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system, when necessary, in accordance with the Basic Law of Civil Protection in force.

Alternatively, the declaration of a state of environmental emergency as provided for in the Water Law may be considered.

The measures planned by the Government to preserve water reserves in the region include the suspension of the public water supply for irrigation of golf courses.

On the other hand, between June 1st and September 30th, the use of public water for washing vehicles is suspended, except in establishments licensed for commercial activity with water recirculation systems.

According to the Government, the current situation in the Algarve “appears particularly critical”, and there could be an eventual “effective disruption in public supply systems” for human consumption, if water use continues at current levels. In a scenario in which measures are not adopted and implemented to guarantee the preservation of water reserves and in the absence of precipitation well above the maximum values ​​occurred in the last six years, the supply of water for human consumption in the Algarve region will be reduced and severely compromised”, states the resolution.

The alert situation due to drought in the Algarve was declared by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) in December 2023 and reaffirmed on January 25th.

The current situation of water reserves in the Algarve region determines that “current uses of water cannot be adequately satisfied with existing reserves” in surface and underground waters, maintains the Government.

Meanwhile, staying on the subject of water, The Portimão Municipal Water and Waste Company (EMARP) launched the “Blue March” campaign on February 1 in partnership with Algarve municipalities, it was announced.

The campaign’s theme is water and sanitation, highlighting the urgency of combating the waste of this natural resource. The initiative aims to contribute to a society “more aware and capable of putting into practice behaviours that are perpetuated by future generations”, says EMARP in a statement.

The month of March will be marked by the presentation of environmental education and awareness initiatives aimed at the school community and the population in general. In the current context of the prolonged hydrological drought that the Algarve is facing, with very low water reservoir storage levels, EMARP draws attention to the importance of good practices and behaviours adjusted to reality.

A specific package of actions on the topic of water and sanitation was made available to school groups in the municipality of Portimão, which covers information about the climate context that the Algarve region is experiencing.

The program of activities, which starts on March 1st and will run until the end of the school year, can be found here .

Among the different initiatives there is also the launch of the children’s book “Let’s save Hidra” and the carrying out of an action entitled “Invisible Waste”, on World Water Day, marked on March 22, at the Continente Shopping Center in Portimão.

Desalination Plant Construction Tender launched By Aguas Do Algarve

The competition for the construction of a desalination plant in the Algarve, with financing from the Recovery and Resilience Plan ( PRR ), was launched on Friday, the 16th, with the publication of the procedure in Diário da República, announced Águas do Algarve.

The reverse osmosis equipment in a desalination plant.

The construction of a desalination plant in Albufeira, whose base price is 90 million euros, is one of the response measures to the drought affecting the southern region of Portugal, with the equipment expected to have an initial capacity to convert seawater in potable capacity of 16 cubic hectometers.

In a statement, Águas do Algarve, which manages the multi-municipal water supply system in the region, said the work is prepared to increase capacity to 24 hectometers (million cubic metres) per year. The company responsible for the region’s booming water supply, which is responsible for managing infrastructure such as dams or Wastewater Treatment Plants, highlighted that the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2026.

The year 2026 is the year established as the limit for the use of PRR funds, a support program created by the European Union to revitalise the economy after the covid-19 pandemic.

“This structural project for the region aims to guarantee the resilience of public supply to the population of the Algarve, particularly in periods of prolonged drought, through an increase in water availability”, highlighted the company.

The same source noted that the Algarve Seawater Desalination Station is included in a “range of investments that Águas do Algarve is carrying out within the scope of the Algarve Water Efficiency Plan, under the PRR, and which will allow for increased water availability in the region by more than 69 million cubic metres per year.

The president of Águas do Algarve, mentioned in the statement, highlighted the work carried out by the company’s workers, which allowed them to meet the project’s demands and deadlines, “at a time of high process complexity, inherent to the challenges that water scarcity has been posing. contribute to the region.”

António Eusébio also said that the effort made is also an example of the company’s “continuous commitment to water efficiency and environmental sustainability”.

The Algarve is being affected by a drought that has caused a shortage of water reserves and the Government has taken measures to restrict consumption to be applied from March, such as cuts of 25% to agriculture and 15% to the urban sector.

In addition to the desalination plant, municipal investments are also underway to combat network losses, reduce or eliminate irrigation in green spaces or use treated water to irrigate golf courses and clean streets.

At the same time, there are plans and proposals to capture water from the Guadiana River in Pomarão and take it to the Odeleite dam, in the eastern (lee) Algarve, and the construction of a third dam in that area of ​​the Algarve, on the Foupana river. .

Albufeira Promotes Awareness and Prevention Actions in Schools

The Municipal Civil Protection Service (SMPC) returns to schools in the municipality of Albufeira to promote awareness and prevention actions, with a view to implementing a set of routines and appropriate behaviours in an emergency situation, informed the municipality.

In the current academic year, through the project entitled “Civil Protection Heroes”, which began in January, it is expected that approximately seven thousand children and young people from pre-school to secondary education will be involved.

The “Civil Protection Heroes” activity is aimed at pre-school and 1st cycle students (from 1st to 3rd year), while students in the 4th year of 1st cycle participate in the “First Aid” activity, which allows them to learn basic first aid techniques, how to make a call to 112, among other low-complexity tasks. At the end, children are given a card and an emergency kit to use in the event of a serious accident or catastrophe.

Students in the 2nd and 3rd cycle will work on the activity “The Importance of Citizens in Civil Protection”, which aims to educate on prevention and self-protection, informing younger students about the measures they should adopt when they occur catastrophes and explain the role of the various Civil Protection agents.

As for the “Learning to Save/BLS” activity, it aims to provide students from the 9th year to the 12th year with skills in Basic Life Support in the theoretical and practical component, with a view to training in the classroom to learn how to act in a real emergency situation.

In a statement, the municipality states that throughout the month of March an exhibition will be held, at the entrance to the 1st floor of the Albufeira Town Hall, with the work carried out in 2023 by pre-school and 1st grade students. th cycle, within the scope of the aforementioned initiative. The exhibition called “The Risks of Our City” can be visited during municipal opening hours (weekdays, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). The project, which according to the municipality, has been well received by the educational community, is an organisation of the municipality of Albufeira, through the SMPC, in partnership with other agents, namely the Albufeira Volunteer Firefighters, the Portuguese Red Cross – Silves Delegation and Albufeira, Municipal Police, ANSA – Association of Lifeguards of Albufeira, among other entities. 

Man detained with prohibited weapon in Vila Real de Santo António

The criminal investigation brigade of the Vila Real de Santo António (VRSA) police station arrested a man, in the act, accused of the crime of possession of a prohibited weapon, last weekend, in that city, informs the District Command of the PSP of Faro. The arrest occurred following an action specifically aimed at combating criminal practices that create insecurity, in the city of Vila Real de Santo António.

The individual, with a known criminal record for various crimes, was detained, during this action, by police officers from the criminal investigation brigade. The man had an attitude and attempted to evade police control, raising “founded suspicions that he was in possession of something illicit.”, Reinforces the PSP.

The suspect was secretly carrying an extendable baton, which is why he was detained and had to appear in court later.

And finally to end this report, The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which have been touted across the world, will be available to millions of people under a protocol between the University of Algarve ( UAlg ) and a North American platform that created an application for healthy eating.

The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Algarve academy and the Carb Manager platform, which promotes the ketogenic diet (‘keto diet’, in English), and which will incorporate the Mediterranean diet through a program developed with the university’s entrepreneurship division. .

The director of the Diet and Nutrition course at UAlg, Maria Palma Mateus, said that “the project will contribute to the dissemination of the Mediterranean diet, showing that, although it is something traditional, it is versatile and can adapt to today’s times and diverse needs.” This is because, he says, “the work focused on adapting” the Mediterranean diet to the characteristics and concept of the ketogenic diet that the company produces, “which is a diet based on foods very rich in fat and less cereals”.

The project began with a call made by Empowered Startups, a platform for developing business ideas and incubating ‘start-ups’, between those responsible for the digital application and UAlg.

The Mediterranean diet, which had its origins in countries bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, is based on the variety and abundance of fresh foods of plant origin and moderation of foods of animal origin.

The Mediterranean diet was declared in November 2010 as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), during the Intergovernmental Committee meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to Maria Palma Mateus, adapting to the project’s food programs “was a challenge and an interesting job”, which included taking the most common foods that the company has in its diet, “removing some cereals and use the most restrictive fats provided for in the Mediterranean diet”.

Until the next time stay Healthy and Safe!

 

 

The Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 14th February 2024

by Mike Evans

A very happy Valentine’s Day to you all in the Algarve and beyond. With this week being Carnival week across the country it had to happen that  this last weekend has been peppered with heavy rain which caused a number of the processions planned to be abandoned or run indoors. However the amount of rain has certainly done the drought situation a lot of good. Also this week we saw that  The Council of Ministers has approved a budget of 26.65 million euros for the adoption of efficiency measures and increased water availability in the Algarve, to respond to the situation of “alert” due to the drought in the region.This amount is part of the set of measures to combat drought provided for in two resolutions that were approved by the Government in the Council of Ministers and which also provide for an amount of 200 million euros for exceptional support for farmers.

Still on environmental issues The Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission ( CCDR ) announced this Monday that it had awarded the technical study for the proposal for the base route of the metrobus that aims to create a connection in 15 minutes between Faro, Loulé and Olhão. The project aims to promote sustainable multimodal urban mobility, as part of the transition to an economy with zero emissions net carbon emissions and decarbonization of public transport in the region”, according to the press release.

The project will be developed in conjunction with the municipalities of Faro, Olhão and Loulé, the University of Algarve, the International Airport – ANA Aeroportos and Turismo do Algarve. When announcing the project, in March last year, the president of the Algarve CCDR explained that the metrobus, or BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), is an electric vehicle on its own corridor, with 24 stops, over 38 kilometres, serving around 185 thousand residents in the three municipalities, that is, 40% of the Algarve population. Let’s hope they can keep to a proper timetable both in construction and when completed.

Now for a look at some of the other news from our Region.

ASAE suspends the activity of six restaurants and a bakery

The Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE) reported on Saturday, the 10th, that it had ordered the suspension of the activity of seven establishments (six restaurants and a bakery) in an inspection operation involving 21 economic operators in the municipalities of Lisbon, Loulé and Quarteira.

In a statement, ASAE states that following this action, carried out by its Southern Regional Unit, a criminal case was initiated, for “damaged” foodstuffs, and 13 administrative offence cases for various infractions such as violation of the entity’s general duties exploitation, non-compliance with general and specific hygiene requirements, non-compliance with pantry and kitchen requirements, poor implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Point Control (HACCP).

“As a result of the verification of the lack of hygiene conditions and structural conditions detected, the suspension of activity of 6 food and beverage establishments and 1 bread establishment was also determined”, explains ASAE. The authorities also seized 13.5 kilos of frozen fish products and 225.25 kilos of meat, worth approximately three thousand euros, says ASAE, noting that the operation was carried out this Friday in conjunction with the GNR, PSP , Authority for Working Conditions (ACT) and Tax and Customs Authority (AT).

PSP in Faro suspends shooting tests indefinitely

The Faro district command of the PSP suspended shooting tests for an indefinite period, after several police officers failed again in a new session, a police source said this week.

According to the PSP source, this week there was a new shooting certification session in the Algarve, but as the police were again failing, allegedly as a form of protest, the Faro district command decided to suspend practical shooting for an indefinite period.

Last week, 22 of the 24 police officers who participated in the two shooting certification sessions failed and were subjected to a second test. A police source explained that the shooting certification in Faro was cancelled to avoid the risk of more unused police officers.

When police officers fail shooting tests, the weapon is removed and they begin to perform duties exclusively on administrative duty, losing the right to receive supplements.

A police source said that several PSP agents in the Algarve have started a new form of protest and are purposely failing the practical shooting test so as to be left without a weapon and thus not be able to go abroad.

PSP police officers carry out shooting training tests every year to ensure they are able to use weapons, with pellets used in the practical test being one of several forms of protest.

Another police source also said that the national director of the PSP has already given instructions to the territorial commands about the possibility of suspending practical shooting for reasons “of better management of human and operational resources”.

Members of the PSP and GNR have staged several protests to demand a supplement identical to that allocated to the Judiciary Police, with the protest beginning more than a month ago.

In recent days, several PSP police officers and GNR soldiers have suffered casualties, although the platform does not assume that they are a form of protest, and the Minister of Internal Administration has ordered the opening of an urgent inquiry with the General Inspectorate of Internal Administration into these sudden casualties.

EU threatens sanctions for not complying with ruling on environmental conservation

This week, the European Commission opened two cases against Portugal at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for non-compliance with a ruling on the conservation of sites of community importance and threatened sanctions.

In a statement, the community executive announced the decision to take action against Portugal at the CJEU for failure to comply with a ruling of December 5 that called on the country to designate 61 “sites of community importance” as “special conservation” sites, as required by the European directive for habitat conservation.

The court also declared that Portugal did not adopt the necessary conservation measures for these sites. Following the ruling, Portugal formally designated the 61 sites in question as special conservation zones through the adoption of a specific decree, but this designation is not sufficient to comply with the ruling, because Portugal also needs to adopt conservation objectives and measures, he says the Commission.

Therefore, Ursula von der Leyen executive “decided to refer the issue again” to the CJEU.

As this is the second action brought before the court on the same matter for Portugal “it may result in the application of financial sanctions for the time that elapses after the date of the first ruling until compliance is verified”.

In another statement, Brussels also announced that Portugal is among a group of countries, including Spain, Ireland, Bulgaria, Malta and Slovakia, targeted by the CJEU for failure to comply with the review of river basin management plans.

The directive in question, argued the Commission, “focuses on ensuring good qualitative and quantitative health of European water bodies, such as rivers and lakes”, and has the purpose of eliminating pollution, “as well as guaranteeing the availability of sufficient water to simultaneously satisfy human and wildlife needs.”

The countries in question “continue to fail to fulfil their obligations under the directives” and the efforts made by the Portuguese authorities to date “have been insufficient”.

492 infractions detected and 80 accidents recorded last week in the Algarve

These figures and  28 arrests were the results of the series of operations carried out in the Algarve, in the week of 5th to 11th February, which aimed to prevent and combat violent crime, road inspection, among others.

This week, it is worth highlighting the arrest of seven people for driving under the influence of alcohol and four for driving without a legal licence and the seizure of 176 20-litre bottles of hydrochloric acid, a 200-litre drum of acetone, 8,982 euros in cash, three fishing rods, a TPA device, a precision scale and a cell phone.

In traffic, 492 infractions were recorded, including 91 for speeding, 32 for lack of mandatory periodic inspection, 27 related to anomalies in lighting and signalling systems, 22 for improper use of a cell phone while driving, 10 for lack of or incorrect use of a seat belt and/or system restraints for children is due to lack of civil liability insurance.

The 80 accidents caused three seriously injured and 19 slightly injured.

Stay safe and take care until the next time.

 

Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 7th February 2024

– by Mike Evans

Good day to you all and welcome to the first Algarve Report of 2024. If you wondered where we have been since last year, the writer was taking a visit to the UK over Christmas followed by a three week stay in Thailand. Visiting a tourist island in Asia was much like we in the Algarve experience during the peak summer season. The roads are busy with tourists and the beaches and restaurants are jammed with sunseekers and hungry visitors. Nothing much to report differently then! One thing that was very different is the water situation. Thailand has no issues with water in fact there is so much of it it runs off the hills into the roads and in many places makes driving conditions difficult which is in part one of the reasons that there are so many road traffic incidents.

So to our own region, The Commission for Hydro Agricultural Sustainability of the Algarve warned the water cuts planned for Algarve agriculture threaten the production of 95,000 tons of fruit and losses of 130 million euros in business in 2025.The restrictions imposed on water consumption to save water due to the drought affecting the region could also put around 1,000 jobs at risk, in the production of avocados and red fruits alone, warned the recently created commission, which groups 120 producers, farmers and irrigation associations in the Algarve.

“The cuts in water supply in the Algarve announced by the Government could lead to a drop in the production of 88,000 tons of oranges, 6,500 tons of avocados, 850 tons of red fruits, around a million bottles of wine and all ornamental production, within a year”, he quantified.

According to the same source, the economy of these sectors could lose 134 million euros in 2025, in addition to the impacts that will also be felt on production in 2024, such as a 16% decrease in citrus production made up of smaller fruits with less juice.

The commission estimated that 1,000 jobs are at stake in the production of avocados and red fruits, as well as a 60% drop in wine production, but classified as the “most serious scenario” that of ornamental flowers, which could have “a total collapse of the sector in 2025”.

While the water issue is still with us and as we wait for more rain there is now a protest group against the latest solution that has been touted by the authorities, the desalination plant. This time it is a group of immigrants in the area around where the plant is due to be built that have presented a paper showing in their view that this is not the answer to the region’s water problems. They have threatened to take their case to the EU if they are not given a chance to have their ideals aired. We will see what comes of this latest twist in the water debate. One of the groups main issues is with the amount of water wasted by the utility companies each year. It is estimated that nearly 30% of water is lost through leakage.

Duarte Cordeiro, Minister for Environment  announced the restrictions on water consumption in the Algarve after a meeting of the committee that monitors the effects of the drought and stated, at the time, that, “if nothing was done regarding the moderation of consumption, it would be the end of the year no water for public supply” in the Algarve.

Here are a few of the many stories that have been happening in the past few weeks.

Algarve water cuts and price rises for biggest users

Water tariffs will rise in the Algarve for those who do not save on consumption according to the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve. A press release stated “It is urgent and absolutely necessary to save water in the Algarve and the change in tariffs is part of a set of measures, already announced by the Government, to reduce water consumption by 15%, given the serious drought problem in the region. Restricting consumption to what is strictly essential is the objective of this measure”.

The changes were decided at a meeting held at the Algarve Intermunicipal Community, and are based on the proposal from the Water and Waste Services Regulatory Entity (ERSAR).

The increases leave out the first tier, in the second the increase will be 15%, in the third 30% and in the fourth tier it reaches 50%.

The tiers are not the same in all municipalities, but, in general, consumption is distributed as follows: First tier: up to 5m3 of consumption per month. It is exempt from the increase.

Second tier: between 5 and 15m3 of monthly consumption. Covers most consumers.

Third tier: goes from 15 to 25m3 of consumption.

Fourth tier: above 25m3.

According to AMAL, Algarve municipalities are obliged to reach the target of 15% in reducing water consumption, established by the Government, and fines will be applied in cases where uses considered excessive persist. Municipalities that, for the second consecutive month, do not reduce consumption, suffer a reduction in the water supplied to them, which means that they will have less water available in their taps.

The president of the Algarve Intermunicipal Community hopes that with these measures we will gain “real awareness of the serious problem we are experiencing in the Algarve region, which requires everyone’s involvement and effort”. António Pina considers that in the case of the second tier, which includes the vast majority of consumers, “if a family saves 15% on consumption, the increase in tariffs will be zero. In the remaining tiers, if consumers adopt the same stance, they will also not feel the rise in tariffs, but anyone who does not save, who is not in solidarity with all other consumers and continues to use more water than they should and need, will be penalised”.

Of the 16 municipalities in the Algarve, only Silves expressed their intention not to implement this measure.

Now a look at some of the other stories that have been hitting the headlines in the last month.

66-year-old accountant accused of 19 crimes of aiding illegal immigration

The Public Ministry (MP) charged an accountant with crimes of aiding illegal immigration and falsifying documents that occurred between 2019 and 2020, in the Algarve, benefiting from financial compensation between 100 and 1,300 euros, it was announced today.

According to a note published on the portal of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the District of Faro, the woman, aged 66, is accused by the Public Prosecutor of the Albufeira Court of 19 crimes of aiding illegal immigration and 56 of forgery of documents.

According to the MP, the defendant “issued false receipt invoices” through the Tax Authority (AT) portal, in return for payment of amounts between 100 and 1,300 euros, the note reads.

The aim was to complete the declarations of income earned by immigrants who did not have sufficient income to request the right to family reunification.

The practice aimed to create the illusion among the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), now extinct, that the income was sufficient for the right to family reunification to be granted.

The woman accessed the AT electronic portal with the data provided by the immigrants, issuing receipts, “giving a third party trader as the purchaser of the immigrant’s work and indicating a value for the work provided”.

The receipt was then given to the immigrant who completed his administrative process with the SEF, “justifying that he had sufficient income from salaried work to support family reunification”, concludes the Prosecutor’s Office.

Works on the road network will increase safety and traffic flow in Albufeira

Albufeira City Council announced today that it is carrying out a series of works on the municipality’s road network to increase the safety of motorists and pedestrians and the fluidity of traffic.

In a statement, the municipality said that, among the works, is the contract to requalify Estrada do Paraíso, covering a length of 1,500 metres, which is almost completed, representing an investment of 85 thousand euros.

“This is a complex project that consisted of repaving several streets, namely the Paradise Road and the school and market streets”, says the Mayor, José Carlos Rolo, quoted in the note.The mayor adds that there was “the need to rectify the changes caused by tree roots and various collapses, and the requalification of the walkways”.

Suspect of robbing goldsmith shop in Quarteira is in pre-trial detention

A 23-year-old man suspected of robbing a goldsmith shop at gunpoint in November 2023 in Quarteira will await trial in preventive detention, the Judiciary Police ( PJ ) announced today.

In a statement, the police reported that the man, arrested on Wednesday at his home, “is strongly indicted” for the crime of robbery perpetrated using “an instrument used as a firearm”.

The man, who “did not act alone” in the robbery of the goldsmith shop in Quarteira, in the municipality of Loulé, was detained during a joint operation by the PJ and the Republican National Guard.After being heard in the first judicial interrogation, preventive detention was imposed on him, the most serious coercive measure.

PJ arrests drug trafficker with international arrest warrant

The Judicial Police (PJ) detained, in the Algarve, a citizen with an Interpol international arrest warrant , issued by the UK judicial authorities, suspected of committing the crime of drug trafficking, it was announced today.

“The location of the man, and subsequent arrest, by the PJ’s Criminal Information Unit, was possible, in less than 24 hours, through the exchange of police information with the National Crime Agency (NCA), which leads the fight against crime. serious and organised in the United Kingdom”, details the PJ in a statement.

Pending extradition, the Évora Court of Appeal ordered that the individual be held in preventive detention.

Fire destroys Algarve restaurant In Praia Da Luz

A fire destroyed a restaurant in Praia da Luz, in the municipality of Lagos,on Wednesday, without causing any injuries. According to a source from the Algarve Civil Protection Sub-regional Command, the fire alert was given shortly after midnight, and the restaurant is described as being “completely burnt down”.

“The restaurant, built in wood, was closed and with no one inside,” said the same source. The causes of the fire are unknown and are being investigated by police authorities, he added.25 Civil Protection elements were involved in fighting the flames, supported by nine vehicles. Reports on social media claim that the restaurant that has burnt down was called Paraíso.

This is the third restaurant since the turn of the year that has been damaged by fire. Two restaurants located on Vau beach in Portimão, were partially destroyed on the 16th January, following a fire that was extinguished at 7:10 am, a source from the Maritime Police revealed .The Source from the Algarve Sub-Regional Command said that the alert for the fire was given at 6:15 am, with 22 operational personnel at the location at 7:10 am, with members of the Portimão, Lagoa and Monchique Fire Department, PSP, Maritime Authority and Municipal Protection Service Civil, with the support of 10 vehicles. The causes of the fire are not yet known.

Finally to end this report, a subject we at Safe Communities have been promoting heavily in the past year,  Loulé City Council presented in Quarteira, the evacuation signage due to the risk of tsunami, which provides for the installation of six sirens, 140 signs and 13 meeting points along the coast.

“Living is a risk and we have to be prepared [if a tsunami occurs]”, said the mayor of Loulé during the ceremony to present the new signage, at Zé beach, on Calçadão de Quarteira.

For Vítor Aleixo, the most important thing will be to “raise awareness and inform” the population and tourists about the behaviour they should have in the event of a tsunami warning.

Have a great week.

 

The Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 20th December 2023

by Mike Evans

A very warm welcome and as this is the last report before the Festive holidays can I on behalf of all of our volunteers wish you all a very Safe Christmas and a Secure New Year.

Throughout the year we have tried to bring you the latest news and information about all things safety and security. We will continue to do this as we take a break and will return in the New year. Follow our Facebook pages for all the latest up to date news from the whole country and abroad.

As we approach the festive season please be aware that there will be more people on our roads and the dangers this brings are already showing with a tragic accident in the Algarve in the past week which saw the death of one man and injuries to three others as a car was hit by a train on a level crossing. Our sympathies go out to the victims of this accident.

If you are in need of hospital treatment over the Christmas period there will inevitably be some services that are restricted and we post details of these further in this bulletin.

Here is a round up of some of the stories from across the Algarve in the past week.

Four people in pre-trial detention for drug trafficking

Four people were in pre-trial detention for drug trafficking in the municipality of São Brás de Alportel, after five individuals were arrested on 13 December, announced the National Republican Guard (GNR). The Territorial Command of Faro, through the Criminal Investigation Unit, detained a woman and four men aged between 19 and 43 years, after an investigation that lasted just over a year.

In July of this year, 17 people had already been arrested, subject to the coercive measure of preventive detention, in addition to more than 20 thousand doses of drugs having been seized.

Meanwhile, the GNR executed four arrest warrants and 15 search warrants, 10 of which were at homes, three at vehicles and two at a prison establishment.

During these investigations, it was possible to dismantle a drug trafficking network that operated in the region, mainly in the municipalities of São Brás de Alportel, Loulé, Faro, Olhão and Tavira.

195 doses of hashish, 21 doses of cocaine, 12 doses of cannabis, a small amount of cannabis grinding, a precision scale, eleven rounds of ammunition, two knives, several pieces of gold, a television, a laptop, 12 cell phones and 8633 euros in cash.

Three women and a man aged between 23 and 77 were also charged with drug trafficking.

The five detainees were present, on December 17th, at the Judicial Court of Faro, resulting in the application of the coercive measure of preventive detention to four detainees, one woman and three men, with the other male detainee being the measure of coercion of periodic appearances at the police station in the area of ​​residence is applied to him.

Man killed as train rams car at Olhão level crossing

A man died and three people were injured after a collision between a train and a car at a level crossing in Quelfes, municipality of Olhão, on Saturday night.

According to the Algarve Regional Emergency and Civil Protection Command, a car was rammed by a train at the Marim level crossing.

It was later confirmed that the man who had sustained serious injuries, aged 32 and of Portuguese nationality, had died in hospital. The three other people in the car, all Brazilian and aged 38, 41 and 43, sustained minor injuries.

Fisherman dies at Ponta da Carrapateira in Aljezur

A 58-year-old fisherman died this morning, December 15th, after allegedly leaving home to fish in the Ponta da Carrapateira área, in the municipality of Aljezur, with the causes of the incident unknown. , said the National Maritime Authority (AMN). ​Following an alert, from the victim’s friends, at 11:50 p.m., stating that the fisherman “had not returned from his fishing activity on foot”, searches were immediately initiated at the location by members of the local command. from the Maritime Police of Lagos, from the Volunteer Firefighters of Aljezur, supported by a drone and people who were in the area, which were interrupted in the early hours of the morning due to poor visibility , details AMN in a statement.

Search operations were resumed at 07:00, which were joined by crew members from the Sagres Lifeguard Station. The body was found this morning in an area “very difficult for people to access”, having been confirmed by the Aljezur Volunteer Firefighters drone. The victim was removed from the tidal zone and later transported by the Lifeguard Station crew to the Sagres Lifeguard Station pier, where he was declared dead by the Health Delegate.

After contact with the Public Ministry, the body will be transported to the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Portimão.

The Maritime Police Psychology Office has been activated and is providing support to the victim’s family.

The Lagos Maritime Police Local Command took charge of the incident.

Drug trafficker arrested and cannabis greenhouse dismantled

A 39-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday, December 13th, for drug trafficking in the municipality of Silves, he announced the National Republican Guard (GNR). The arrest was made by the Faro Territorial Command, through the Silves Criminal Investigation Center, which had been investigating the suspect for around four months.

These investigations ended with the execution of three search warrants, one at home, another in a vehicle and also in a ruined building located in São Bartolomeu de Messines.

Inside this ruined building, a cannabis greenhouse was set up, which was dismantled, in addition to seizing 24 doses of marijuana, 48 dried and harvested cannabis plants, three bottles of hashish oil, 11 syringes of hashish oil, two cell phones and two laptops.

The detainee was named a defendant and will be present at the Portimão Judicial Court.

Body found floating near fishing dock pier

The body of a 57-year-old man of Guinean nationality was found on the morning of this Thursday, December 14th, floating next to the pier of the fishing dock, announced the National Maritime Authority in Portimão. Until now, the causes of this occurrence are unknown, the alert was given at 11:20, and members of the local command of the Maritime Police of Portimão, the Volunteer Firefighters of Lagoa, the Volunteer Firefighters of Portimão were immediately activated to the scene. and INEM.

The body was detected with the help of a member of the public who was in that area and removed from the water by the Lagoa Volunteer Firefighters to the pier, where death was declared by the INEM medical team.

After being contacted by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the body was transported to Portimão Hospital by the Lagoa Volunteer Firefighters.

The Maritime Police Psychology Office has been activated and is providing support to the victim’s family.

The local command of the Portimão Maritime Police took charge of the incident.

Man Arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking

A 30-year-old citizen was arrested in Lagos on suspicion of committing the crime of drug trafficking, announced the Public Security Police ( PSP). The arrest was made by the Lagos Police Station, after police investigations and collection of evidence of several drug transactions in various areas of the city , to a large number of consumers.

After the arrest, a home search and four non-home searches were carried out, where 523 doses of cocaine, 816 doses of heroin, 27 doses of hashish, four ecstasy tablets, two doses of cannabis and around four thousand euros were seized.

Various preparation and packaging material for subsequent sale to consumers was also seized. The suspect had already been convicted of drug trafficking and was brought before a Criminal Investigation Judge.

Until the New year have a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.