Portugal Safety and Security Report Wednesday 7th February 2024
Good morning, following a spell of spring time weather conditions, wet weather is set to return to the mainland from Thursday. Although there are variations in the forecasts using different metrological models, one thing is fairly sure that rain will affect all of the mainland to a greater or lesser degree, with forecasts of snow in parts of the north.
The IPMA have issued yellow level rain warnings for all districts plus yellow and orange yellow level warnings for warnings for rough seas and yellow level warnings for high winds. It is important to monitor these warnings and those issued by the ANEPC, together with the specific preventive measures. After a period of dry weather roads are bound to be slippery – so please take care.
PSP police officers and GNR soldiers are currently demanding payment of the mission supplement, similar to what was introduced recently for the Judicial Police. To reinforce their demands some have been taking medical leave. On Friday, some PSP elements from the Braga command and the Lisbon airport police station attempted to hand over their service weapons. As commanders had not authorized the delivery, the agents decided, as an alternative, to take medical leave, say the unions. The number of police officers taking sick leave has been increasing daily since Friday, but the PSP have insisted that although manning levels at Lisbon airport is reduced, it is not affecting airport security or border control. Following a gathering of some 300 PSP and GNR personnel outside the office of the Ministry of Internal Administration on 4th February, elements of the PSP and GNR will stage further protests, with vigils at airports and ports on February 15 and a demonstration in Lisbon on February 19, the Platform of Unions and Associations announced today.
In response the Prime Minister has stated that the current government lacks constitutional and political legitimacy to decide on permanent expenses referring any negotiations to the future executive. Let us hope that this can be resolved as soon as possible.
Good news is that according to the GNR, since 2013 and until 2023, there has been a positive evolution with regard to the reduction, not only in the number of rural fire ignitions, but also in the burned area itself, with 46% fewer fires being recorded in rural areas and 72% less burned area, compared to the annual average for the period. At this time of the year for those living in rural areas, especially high risk areas, we now need to turn our attention to land cleaning in order to reduce the risk of and fires spreading to properties. The deadline for this is normally 30th April, but is never too soon to start planning on what work needs to be undertaken.
On Monday it was reported that the Safe Internet Line of the Portuguese Victim Support Association (APAV) registered 1,522 cases last year, 731 of which related to requests for support from victims of cybercrime and other forms of digital violence. Saddening is that this number represents “a significant increase” compared to the previous year, following the growth trend of recent years, according to data released by APAV. In 2023, the focus remained on fraud crimes and forms of violence associated with the threat of sharing intimate content. It is important that everyone using the internet and social media, adopts safeguards to reduce the risks of becoming a victim of cybercrime and digital violence.
Our team at Safe Communities wishes you a safe week ahead.
Requests for support from victims of cybercrime and digital violence increase
Lisbon, 06 Feb 2024 (Lusa) – The Safe Internet Line of the Portuguese Victim Support Association (APAV) registered 1,522 cases last year, 731 of which related to requests for support from victims of cybercrime and other forms of digital violence.
This number represents “a significant increase” compared to the previous year, following the growth trend of recent years, according to data released today by APAV.
In 2022, the association registered 478 requests for support due to cybercrime and other forms of digital violence, a source from the institution told the Lusa agency.
“In 2023, the focus remained on fraud crimes and forms of violence associated with the threat of sharing intimate content. In the case of scams, a total of 332 contacts were registered, highlighting situations of online commerce and romantic scams”, said APAV when releasing a document with which it marks Safer Internet Day.
In cases classified as sexual violence based on images, the line recorded 184 contacts: “A total of 99 contacts referred to situations of ‘sextortion’ (a form of violence in which the victim is coerced into sending intimate content or amounts of money, to prevent the aggressor from sharing intimate images of themselves)”.
There are also contacts regarding sexual crimes against children, namely situations of grooming minors for sexual purposes and pornography of minors.
The Safe Internet Line provides support in two areas, issues related to the use of technology and victims of cybercrime and other forms of digital violence (helpline) and has a platform for reporting illegal content on the internet (‘hotline’).
“In terms of the ‘hotline’, a total of 791 reports were registered, including 628 relating to content involving sexual abuse of minors — since the beginning of the pandemic, these forms of violence are the ones that have increased the most, both nationally and globally. ”, highlighted APAV.
Regarding online child sexual abuse material, the majority continues to be “self-produced by children and young people”, often achieved through “manipulation perpetrated by adults (grooming)”.
The Safe Internet Line is available by calling 800219090 (weekdays, between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm) and by email firstname.lastname@example.org . Support is confidential and free.
Police action demanding introduction of a mission supplement similar to Judicial Police
Lisbon, 06 Feb 2024 (Lusa) – Around 60 of the 375 police officers who work at Lisbon Airport are on leave, a union source warned today, while the National Directorate of the PSP guarantees that neither airport security nor border control is at stake .
The number of police officers taking sick leave has been increasing daily since Friday, Carlos Oliveira, leader of the Police Professionals Union Association (ASPP-PSP), told Lusa.
The union leader stated that the number of police casualties is affecting the various services of the PSP Airport Security Division in Lisbon, including border control.
Contacted by Lusa, the national management of the PSP admitted that there are police officers on leave in that division, but assured that this is not affecting airport security or border control.
The first casualties were reported after, on Friday, some PSP elements from the Braga command and the Lisbon airport police station attempted to hand over their service weapons.
As hierarchical superiors did not authorize the delivery, the agents decided, as an alternative, to take medical leave, say the unions.
The PSP Airport Security Division is where agent Pedro Costa works, who started the police protests at the Assembly of the Republic about a month ago.
Police officers are not allowed to present self-declarations of illness required through SNS24, and casualties must be certified by a doctor, a determination that arises from the professional status of the PSP, which is a special law for police officers.
In a response to Lusa, the national management of the PSP explains that police officers have five working days to justify absences from work, a period that is also applied to the presentation of proof of sick leave.
PSP and GNR elements have staged several protests to demand a supplement identical to that allocated to the Judiciary Police.
The protest began four weeks ago following the initiative of agent Pedro Costa, which later spread to the entire country.
The majority of protests have been called through social media, namely ‘WhatsApp’ and ‘Telegram’, with an inorganic movement called ‘inop movement’ emerging in recent days, which does not have any intervention from the unions, despite the existence of a platform that brings together unions from the PSP and GNR associations, created to demand a review of salary supplements for security forces.