Portugal´s only registered non-profit crime prevention association providing dedicated information and support services to the community

9 June 2016


With three exhibitions and displays in just the last two weeks, we have to say the least been busy. This started with us participating the ALGARSAFE 2016 civil protection event held at the Portimao arena from 26th - 29th May.

Apart from being an opportunity to learn more about this subject, it gave Safe Communities the opportunity to explain its work to the Minister of Internal Administration Constança Urbano de Sousa. She asked about the work of the Association and I briefed her on how we work with the various law enforcement agencies and the international community here in Portugal, as well as various topical issues concerning safety and security.

Our second event was just six days later, namely the Algarve International Fair held in Lagoa. A most enjoyable fair with many people visiting our stand and over 70 taking part in our civil protection competition. Please see the report in this newsletter.

Two days later we were at Praia da Luz for the launch of the Night Guard " More visibility, better security" Project, and their new patrol car. This coincided with it being the hottest day of the year so far.

On the subject of heat now is the time of the year when it is important for all of us to pay particular attention to the UV index and forest fire warning index which are published daily by the IPMA. The UV index can be found here and the forest fire risk can be found here

There is now much focus on EURO 2016 starting in a few days time in France - but for all the wrong reasons - the precautions being taken due to the threat of terrorism. If you are intending to travel to France it is important to read government advice which is in this newsletter. The French government has issued an app concerning security alerts - details in this newsletter. 

We are keen to collaborate with community minded companies that can help make Portugal a safe place to live and visit. This innovative approach is aimed at promoting the good work of the business concerned as well as helping to maintain a safe and secure environment through supporting the work of our association.
We therefore thank IBC Security based in Almancil for sponsoring this newsletter and for being one of our supporters.
To learn more about how to sponsor a newsletter by becoming one of our supporters please contact us on 913045093 or at   info@safecommunitiesportugal.com

David Thomas
Safe Communities Portugal


Interview concerning terrorism by the Commander PSP Faro District.

The PSP is 'alert' for possible terrorist threats in the Algarve, the District Commander of the PSP Faro, Superintendent Ricardo Abreu Matos stated in a recent interview. 

Being responsible for the PSP in the Algarve, he explained that "we are not isolated from the world and some measures are being taken such as increasing our security at the airport, which is the main gateway to the Algarve. This year, with an expected seven million passengers arriving, training has been given not only to police officers at the airport but also to other employees who work there as well as security, transport and car rental companies regarding the issue of terrorism. "

Superintendent Abreu Matos stated this training was held earlier this month and focused on the 'prevention and detection of radicalization signals and terrorism."

In addition to the PSP agents, the training included those from ANA, Portway, Prossegur, Securitas, GNR, EasyJet, the Tax Authority, Repsol, Multiservice and Jet2, "in order for them to more easily detect and recognize the main processes of radicalisation."

According to a statement of the PSP, "the main ideologies associated with terrorism and terrorist attacks were addressed as well as emphasising the importance of communication and information sharing between the various partners of the airport community."

Superintendent Abreu Matos said in his interview " he has received information from the PSP National Directorate of the indicators and key elements that should be given due attention and that we are alert. People are aware of the risks, we have excellent relations with the other security forces and services who work here in the Algarve. We meet monthly on a regular basis, and whenever it is necessary, if there is a special situation."

The Algarve has been provided with teams for deactivating explosives and detection, the latter using trained dogs. Over the last year, the presence of these teams in the region have proved useful more than once.

Besides the bomb threat on a TAP aircraft in February this year, in June last year two suspicious objects were found in the area of Bom João, in Faro. This led to the isolation of the area and a team was called to deactivate what were thought to be explosives. In the end they were found not to be.
Superintendent Abreu Matos, said these two examples show that the PSP "does not devalue any threat". Any threat is considered and evaluated and appropriate measures taken accordingly. In this command, we have a great advantage: we have a deactivation team and one of the specialties of the dogs that we have here, is the detection of explosives" he concluded.

GNR attend United Nations Police Chiefs Summit

The General Commander of the National Republican Guard (GNR), Lieutenant General Manuel Mateus Costa da Silva Couto, attended the United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit - UN in New York.

This event, chaired by the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Mr. Ban Ki-moon, stressed of particular importance the issue of safety. In general, guidelines for the police means of contribution policy for peace operations were presented. He spoke about the police and its role in UN missions relative to current and emerging global threats, such as terrorism and organized crime and discussed various security concerns. 

National representatives presented their views in two thematic panels: the first which revolved around the challenges to global crime and peace operations. In this panel Portugal, being represented by the GNR and the Public Security Police, delivered a presentation entitled "All countries can embrace global challenges".

The second panel covered the challenges, opportunities and professionalism of the police service of the UN.

Public Security policing for EURO 2016 - Advice for those travelling

The Public Security Police (PSP) will be present in France in the European Football Championship 2016 to assist with security arrangements. 

The police delegation for Euro 2016 by order of the Minister of Internal Affairs, will consist of eight police officers, including six of the PSP and two from GNR. It will be headed by Superintendent Luis Simões (Director of the Department of Operations PSP). This delegation is in liaison with the National Team, and will continuously monitor their work.

The delegation will have organisation and functions identical to those of police delegations at the last European Championships and the World Cup, on one hand ensuring the safety of the team in close collaboration with the French authorities and, secondly, monitoring of Portuguese fans who go to stadiums and cities of the tournament.  

Again this will be in close and constant liaison with the French security forces and sports organisations. This delegation travelled to France on June 6, 2016, and will remain there until the end of the participation of the National Team.

In recent weeks, the PSP have had regular exchanges of information with the French authorities with a view to preparing for this championship.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Directorate General for Consular Affairs and Portuguese Communities, a joint effort with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (via the PSP) and the Portuguese Football Federation, have drawn up the following recommendations  regarding  travelling to France to attend the matches and advice whilst in France.

These can be downloaded in English  here.

France has launched an official terrorism app, which will inform people of any attacks during Euro 2016

The new service is intended to address many of the problems that came in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris in November. It will allow people to get information if phone networks are down, for instance, and it will also allow authorities to broadcast verified information and avoid misreporting.

If an attack does happen, the app will be able to alert people within 15 minutes, according to its makers. Initially it will be ready to alert people to suspected attacks or security incidents that might result from them during Euro 2016 - but eventually the app will be updated to provide alerts about all major "natural and technological risks" and send people alerts.

The app sends out the alerts by using geolocation to find out where people are, but users can also add eight different address areas that they would like to be kept up with news from. The alerts will both provide information about the attack as well as giving instructions on what to do.

The alerts will be sent out by the French interior ministry, and will all be verified by the French government.

The app - known as SAIP - can be downloaded for both iOS and Android and works in French and English. Details and download here.

GNR Rescues 61 migrants in Greece

On 2nd June 2016, the GNR Coastal Control Unit (CCU), on patrol near the island of Chios, Greece, rescued 61 people from a seven meter vessel.

The GNR Coastal Control Unit (CCU), are currently deployed in a mission of the European agency for the management of operational cooperation at the external borders of the member states of the European Union (Frontex) in Greece (Poseidon Sea 2016).

Stop Press

Euro 2016 - Man Held As 15 'Terror Attacks' Foiled'

Several terror attacks which were planned to take place before and during the Euro 2016 football tournament in France have been thwarted, according to a Ukrainian security chief.

The head of Ukraine's state security services said a Frenchman was detained in the country after making contact with illegal armed groups to buy guns and explosives.

Vasily Gritsak said the unnamed man was arrested in late May on the border with Poland, carrying 125kg of TNT.

It is claimed the suspected far-right extremist intended to target Muslim and Jewish places of worship in France, plus administrative buildings and infrastructure such as bridges and railways in "a series of 15 acts of terror". The suspect had been tailed since December, Mr Gritsak said, and was seen buying five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenades, and other weapons. He also had 100 detonators and 20 balaclavas.
At a news conference Mr Gritsak said: "The Frenchman spoke negatively about his government's actions, mass immigration, the spread of Islam and globalisation, and also talked about plans to carry out several terrorist attacks."

Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley said: "This was a white, right-winger complaining, according to the Ukrainian authorities, about what he considers is his country's lax immigration."
Mr Gritsak said Ukraine's intelligence agency initially planned to keep quiet about the investigation, but went public with the arrest after reports in international media.

France's national stadium, the Stade de France, was one of the sites targeted during the 13 November Paris attacks that left 130 people dead. Suicide bombers detonated explosive belts near gates at the stadium as France played Germany in a friendly match. .

EU referendum: Voter registration deadline passes
The deadline for registering to vote in the referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU has now passed.
However, the voter registration website suffered technical problems late on Tuesday evening, prompting calls for a deadline extension.
But a government source told the BBC the voter registration website was still open and accepting registrations as of 00:45 BST on Wednesday
The Cabinet Office said the issue had been caused by "unprecedented demand". Before the deadline, the Electoral Commission said 1.65 million people had applied for a vote since a campaign began last month.   
However, this also meant that millions had yet to sign up for the referendum on 23 June.
The BBC's Newsnight editor Ian Katz tweeted that traffic to the site peaked at 22.15 BST when some 50,000 people were trying to register - making it subsequently crash.
A number of users, including some on Twitter, reported a page displaying the message "504 Gateway Time-out" instead of the online registration form.
Several MPs have called for the voter registration deadline should be extended following the website problems.
during the 13 November Paris attacks that left 130 people dead. Suicide bombers detonated explosive belts near gates at the stadium as France played Germany in a friendly match. .

Notable Arrests

Judicial Police arrest person for computer fraud during 3 day shopping spree

The Judicial Police, through the National Anti-Corruption Unit, have identified and arrested a man of 47 years old, for alleged computer fraud.

The detained person, foreign national, using totally counterfeit bank cards, visited Portugal for a three-day period, made as many purchases as possible in commercial establishments, with particular emphasis on acquiring iphones, tablets and clothing from reputable brands.

The National Anti-Corruption Unit received information that counterfeit cards were being used in various establishments and about 12 hours later, located and arrested the alleged perpetrator of the fraud.

He was apprehended preparing for a new buying cycle some 14 hours before his planned departure. Following his arrest in addition to 20 counterfeit cards, various items he acquired fraudulently, with a value determined to date of € 22,000, were found and seized. He has appeared before a Court to determine the enforcement measures.

Eleven persons arrested for drug trafficking at schools in Faro.

On 26th May between 2000 and 2300 hrs members of the criminal investigation unit of Faro have arrested 11 citizens, all of them males; nine being Portuguese and the other two Spanish as part of a major operation to combat drug trafficking in the town of Faro, especially at educational establishments.

Also, with the support of staff of the brigades of criminal investigation of the PSP of Olhão and Tavira, as well as the section of police forensic unit and the special police unit, under the district command of Faro. A total of 19 Search Warrants were conducted 14 of them in Faro, and the remaining 5 in residences in located in surrounding areas with the assistance of GNR Faro.

In the course of the searches and as a result of the police action, 6.423 single doses of hashish, 350 doses of cannabis, 28 doses of cocaine, 30 phones, 5 balance precision scales, as well as various material for cutting and packaging of the drugs into individual portions, were seized.
Also seized were an electric gun, stun gas, as well as about 6250 euros in cash and other material of alleged illegal origin related to drug trafficking.

The detained suspects were already referenced by the PSP, and some of them had already served time in prison for this type and other types of illegal activities. In view of their young age they had already come to the notice of the teams of the safe school programme. Some of them have been identified this year for selling soft drugs to colleagues and students of schools in the city.

Given the extent and the locations of where the trafficking was taking place and the detentions made, the PSP believe that they have made a significant impact to this activity at educational establishments, therefore strengthening public reassurance within the school community, especially the key players such as teachers, students and parents.

In addition to the 11 people arrested, five others have been identified.

The suspects have appeared before the judicial authority, with applications for appropriate remand/reporting conditions pending trial.

ASAE seizes counterfeit accessories for motorcycles from vehicle store in the Lisbon area.

The Food Safety and Economic Authority has seized counterfeit accessories worth about 2400 euros for motorcycles in a goods store selling vehicles in the Lisbon area, it was announced on 4th June. According to ASAE, the accessories seized appeared to be of "high quality, approaching the original visually. 

The products could "easily mislead the consumer into believing them to be genuine, so this constitutes a crime of fraud of goods," said the Food Safety and Economic Authority in a statement.

The arrests resulted from actions to combat counterfeiting carried out to combat actions carried out last week in car shops, in the Lisbon area. As a result of actions and as a result of the investigation carried out, ASAE seized about 120 accessories for motorcycles (handles and direction indicators) that were for sale. 

The investigation was carried out by the National Intelligence and Criminal Investigation Unit

GNR Loulé recover weapons and stolen items

On 24th May the GNR Criminal Investigation Unit of Loulé conducted a police operation in the city that resulted in the seizure of weapons and the recovery of several stolen objects.

As part of a judicial inquiry headed by the prosecutor of the Department of Investigation and Penal Action Loulé concerning a theft from a residence that took place last April, a house search at the residence of the suspect was conducted, which resulted in the seizure of:a  flick knife, 89 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition, a silver ring and wire, a camera lens, a motor vehicle battery and a wall clock.

A person aged 42, has been charged with the possession of a prohibited weapon and is a suspect in connection with several crimes of theft that have recently taken place in Loulé.
GNR Quarteira recover stolen items

On 23rd May the GNR sub-division of Quarteira recovered a briefcase and a wallet that had been stolen earlier in the city.

Two GNR patrolmen discovered the stolen items which they had earlier seen in possession of two people. Given this, they managed to locate the suspects in a shop nearby. Upon being searched they discovered a mobile phone and 35 euros in cash stolen from the victim. 

The remaining stolen goods including a suitcase, wallet, documents and house keys, had been abandoned in a secluded area.

As a result, two persons aged 40 and 43 years were made suspects.

Local News

New Penalty points system for holders of Portuguese driving licences commenced 1st June

As of 1st June all Portuguese driving licences will be allocated 12 points. When drivers commit an offence points will be deducted from the driving licence on a sliding scale - according to a definition of how serious is the offence.

Two points will be deducted for a "serious" breach of traffic rules and regulations and 4 points for a "very serious" infraction, while a road crime will result in the loss of 6 points all at once.

About one third of deaths in driving accidents are caused by alcohol related incidents, so driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs carries additional penalties. A serious violation with a blood-alcohol level of 0.5 g/litre will result in the loss of 3 points, and "very serious" at 0.8 to 1.2g/litre costs 5 points.

When there are 4 points left on a licence the driver must attend additional road safety training. At only 2 points left the driver must re-take the written part of the driving test.  Loss of all 12 points will result in the driving ban for 2 years after which the driver must take and pass the driving exam again.

Every 3 years without crimes or serious code violations 3 points are added back to the licence up to a maximum of 15 points, thereby allowing a driver to retrieve the lost points.

Night Guard Service launches "More visibility, better security" Project 

The Night-Guard from Praia da Luz, Council of Lagos has announced the launch of a new project on behalf of the Night Guard Association (ASPGN) entitled "More visibility, better security".

This involves the use of a high visibility fully equipped patrol vehicle, aimed at providing greater deterrence to crime, and therefore providing reassurance to both visitors and residents in the area. The main goal is to increase the sense of security of the population as well as visitors to the area.

This project was initiated by the ASPGN in 2013, and has been presented to the Government in power at the time, to Lagos City Hall, Parish of Luz, Algarve Tourism Board, Commander GNR Territorial Command Faro, and Association Safe Communities Algarve.

After "some" time of waiting and preparation, the vehicle was launched on 7th June at 1000 hrs outside Batista Supermarket, Praia da Luz.

This is supported by Safe Communities Algarve who together with the Night Guard Service held a display outside the supermarket from 1000 to 1600 hrs. The Night Guard service is approved by Mayors upon applications made by the community.

The ASPGN website is www.guarda-nocturno.blogspot.com and this includes reports of the various incidents that they dealt with and the excellent work that they do.

To find out more about the work of the Night Guard service you may contact by email at aspguardasnocturnos@gmail.com.

Residents of Praia da Luz may also contact Mr. Jose Santos the Night Guard covering that area at 964 542 462 or by email at gnluzpt@gmail.com
A feature in English concerning its work and the use of visible policing can be found here.

Working Group formed following Animal Cruelty Seminars

As many of you will likely recall we have held two seminars, one in February and the other in April, on the subject of animal cruelty. 

The second seminar held in Portimão focused on how working together, this would help address this subject through education and awareness, as well as provide a support network to assist the many animal welfare groups and individual volunteers in the region. This approach was unanimously supported by those present.

On 27th May the first meeting of a working group was formed with the aim of addressing these sorts of issues. The group is diverse in composition with varied backgrounds in dealing with animal welfare, including vets and those with international experience.

Angela Morado, who as some of you may know is a Proconsul at the British vice Consulate in Portimão, was elected as coordinator of the group. Angela is a passionate animal welfare volunteer and is well qualified to take on this role.

This is at an initial stage and once the group has begun its deliberations and there is something to report it will do so.    

Civil Protection and Public Safety advice

Algarve International Fair - Civil Protection Competition

A great time was had at this International Fair, organized by the Portugal News on 4th and 5th June, in Lagoa.

Those attending exceeded last year and over 70 people took part in our civil protection competition. The winner was Keely Teixeira - many congratulation Keely. She wins a very nice "Top to Toes" facial, manicure, pedicure and massage at Salao Elysium in Vilamoura.

The competition to test people's awareness was in general well answered, except the following question which are quite important.
  • The forest fire emergency number is 117, not 112 as many people answered. Although 112 is the national emergency number which will put you though to the fire services, 117 is dedicated to this subject and therefore more direct.
  • The second was if you are on a beach and there was a small earthquake what is the most appropriate action to take. The correct answer is move to higher ground. Although the tremor maybe small the centre of the earthquake could be large and caused a tsunami which could travel many hundreds of kilometres. Important that people act instinctively to this.
  • The third question was concerning which colour represents the highest fire risk. The answer is brown not red as many people stated. Brown is extreme level whereas red is classified as very high. During the summer months in particular it is advisable to check daily the IPMA link that gives daily information in your council area concerning this. 
More information on civil protection and public safety can be found on our Safe Communities Portugal website here.

Limestone Cliffs 

The civil protection office Loule Municipal Council have issued the following advice ahead of the summer season.Changes in cliffs brought about by erosion can be dangerous due to rock falls and landslides and they are advising people to be aware of this..

These cliffs can be dangerous due to:
  • Erosion at the base and at the top
  • Breakdown of rocks and soil caused by impact of the waves
  • Rapid changes in sea levels
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Changes in ground levels
  • Erosion caused by subterranean collapse
Measures to adopt to reduce the risk;
  • Use beaches that are manned by lifeguards
  • Do not stay or park close to the edge of cliffs
  • Avoid potentially dangerous routes that cut through cliffs to gain access to beaches
  • Move away from the foot of cliffs with loose stones or look unsafe
  • Respect danger signs, indicating fallen rocks, and dangers of submersion by high tides and waves and signs showing that it is dangerous to approach the edge of cliffs.
Following the above advice will reduce the risk of you becoming a victim of and accident.

Precautions during heat waves  

Having just had the hottest day so far it is an opportune time to remind us all concerning the subject of heat waves.

The need to take precautions from heat waves illustrates the extreme weather conditions that we can experience in Portugal; snow. high winds, and havy rainfall to long periods of sunshine when temperature can exceed 40C.

In the case of heat waves such as that seen in 2015, it is important that precautions are taken especially in respect of the elderly and those who are more vulnerable. As early as May last year in Beja temperature of   40C was recorded breaking the previous record for that month of    39.5C four years ago.  

Care has to be taken in such heat to avoid dehydration or even worse. The Director General of Health has issued guidelines to help avoid health issues during high temperatures and these can be downloaded from the Safe Communities Portugal website in English   here.

Cybercrime and Computer Security 

Euro 2016: Fans warned over illegal tickets

Unofficial websites illegally selling Euro 2016 tickets could leave fans being refused entry.
Rules by the European football body Uefa mean ticket-holders are likely to need photo ID to get into grounds, which won't match the name on the ticket if it is an unofficial one.

The investigation by the "Which" consumer group in the UK has found tickets on unofficial secondary sites selling for up to £5,000. Tickets can only be bought legally through Uefa itself.
Which warns that "If you haven't bought your ticket directly from an official source there is no guarantee that you'll be able to get into the game and you could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket."

Under the rules of tournament organisers Uefa tickets cannot be sold on except through its official resale site. Buyers have also been told to bring photo ID to gain entry to stadiums.

In a statement Uefa said: "No tickets for individual football fans are being distributed via agencies or brokers, and Uefa encourages fans not to be lured into deals with touts, who not only demand exorbitant prices but are often not even in possession of the tickets they purport to have for sale."

The final batch of match tickets went on sale on Friday through its official ticket sales website.

Read more here on how to identify fraudulent sites and action to take if you have purchased tickets.

Phishing attack targeting university students

For those of you who may have sons and daughters studying in UK universities, please be aware of the following.

A new phishing campaign which has hit students of UK universities claims that the student has been awarded an educational grant by the Department for Education.

The email purports to have come from the Finance Department of the student's university and tricks the recipient into clicking on a link contained in the message to provide personal and banking details.

One victim reported that after submitting their sensitive information (including name, address, date of birth, contact details, telephone provider, bank account details, student ID, National Insurance Number, driving licence number and mother's maiden name), they were taken to a spoofed website which appeared like a genuine website of their bank, where they were asked to type in their online banking login credentials.

How to protect yourself
  • Do not click on any links or open attachments contained within unsolicited emails.
  • If an email appears to have come from a person or organisation you know of but the message is unexpected or unusual, contact them directly via another method to confirm that they sent you the email.
  • If you receive an email which asks you to login to an online account via a link provided in the email, instead of clicking on the link, open your browser and go directly to the company's website yourself.
  • If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.
  • If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank. 

Don't install "WhatsApp Gold"- it contains malware

WhatsApp users are being tricked by fraudsters into downloading a fake version of WhatsApp which infects Android devices with malware.

The "secret" messages sent to peoples inboxes claim you have an exclusive chance to download "WhatsApp Gold".

The scam messages claim to offer enhanced features used by celebrities. Victims are urged to sign up via a link provided. WhatsApp say that they will never send users a message asking them to upgrade or download another app.

After clicking on the link you will be redirected to a fake page and your Android device will become infected with malware.

If you have already followed the link to download the software, install some antivirus software onto your device to remove the malware. Sophos, AVG and Avast all offer this for free.

Mobile malware protection advice
  • Always make sure you have the latest version of software and antivirus installed for increased protection.
  • Be careful when downloading new apps as rogue ones can appear in legitimate app stores as well as unofficial online stores.
  • Always check reviews and ratings as well as developer information before downloading a new app.
  • If your battery suddenly starts draining really fast, consider that it might be a malware problem.
  • Make sure to check your phone bill online periodically - more often than once a month, that way you can keep tabs on any suspicious activity.

Overseas News

Spanish Network behind the illegal distribution of pay channels dismantled.

A joint investigation by the Spanish National Police and Tax Authorities, with the support of the German local police Hanau, Europol and Eurojust, has resulted in the dismantling of a criminal network specialised in the illegal distribution of pay-tv channels in Spain.

The illicit distribution was done through pirated decoders (card sharing) and the Internet. In total, 30 suspects have been arrested in Spain, and 48 800 decoders seized, alongside Euros 183, 200 in cash, 10 luxury vehicles, a private plane, several financial documents and IT equipment.

Operation FAKE began when a Spanish legitimate provider of decoders filed a complaint against another company for counterfeiting and selling their decoders.

The investigations revealed the existence of a sophisticated network of companies, including shell companies, through which an organised crime network illegally distributed pay-tv content. The persons arrested imported decoders from China, designed the firmware used to decrypt the TV signals and distributed it to the final customers via dedicated web pages and internet forums controlled by them.

The criminal group also used Internet Protocol television (IPTV) technology to illicitly offer more than 1 600 TV channels from different countries. They used servers located in various European countries, including Germany which took down the server upon request of the Spanish authorities.

During a joint action day on 18 May 2016, 38 house searches were carried out simultaneously in 7 cities in Spain.

Burglars should receive tougher jail sentences say serving prisoners 

Almost three quarters of inmates believe judges were too lenient on housebreakers, especially if children were among the victims,  says a UK study involving prisoners.
Serving prisoners believe burglars should receive harsher jail sentences, especially if their crimes target homes with children living in them, a new survey suggests.
Almost three quarters (73%) of inmates polled by security firm ADT and prison newspaper "Inside Time" said they thought judges were too lenient on housebreakers, especially in cases where youngsters were among their victims.
It comes ahead of a campaign by the firm in the paper, aimed at showing prisoners the effect of burgling homes.
The newspaper's editor, former prisoner Noel Smith, 55, has previously written about how being a burglary victim changed his mind about the effect housebreaking has.
ADT spokeswoman Gail Hunter said: "Most burglars appeared concerned to know how much hurt they might have caused, and this was one of the purposes of the exercise. It shows we can help prevent reoffending by leading burglars to see the real effects of targeting a family home."
The poll, which ran in the paper in October, had 175 responses, including 75 burglars. It found that six in 10 (61%) convicted burglars did not consider the impact their crimes had on children living in the houses they broke into.
However, nine in 10 (93%) said they would feel guilty if they knew that any children had been left traumatised by their crimes.
Sentencing guidelines allow for judges to take the impact on children into account when sentencing domestic burglars if they are at home or arrive home during the burglary.
They should also assess whether there has been "trauma to the victim, beyond the normal inevitable consequence of intrusion and theft".

How you can help - Donation for crime prevention in the Algarve

Each week Safe Communities Algarve provides advice and assistance to those who have contacted the association. No charge is made for this service. If you have benefited from this then why not make a small donation in return. 


Safe Communities Algarve is a non-profit association run by unpaid volunteers. Our services are free of charge and the association is funded by donations. Your generosity by making a donation to help maintain and further develop the work of the association and thereby help keep the Algarve a safe place to live and visit would be appreciated. Any amount helps.  

Three ways to make a donation


Paypal - If you would like to make a donation through Paypal please visit our Welcome page and click on the "donate" button. 

By cheque - If you wish to donate by cheque the bank account name is "Associacao SCP Safe Communities Portugal" and cheques can be posted to Caixa 207-Z, Alfontes, Boliqueime, 8100-062, Algarve.

By interbank transfer - If you wish to donate through inter bank transfer please use the same name with the following account details NIB 0033 0000 4542 9864 44705. 

All donations should be marked "Donation for crime prevention". Thank you.

Safe Communities Algarve - Regular Features
Just a reminder that in addition to our website and Facebook page, Safe Communities Algarve produces regular crime prevention features to help the community. These are  in the Algarve Resident where there is a full page feature in the first issue each month. The next feature will be out on 7th July 2016.

We also have a 5 minute feature named "Crimecheck" on Owen Gee's Solid Gold Sunday which is aired at 0920 hrs on the last Sunday of each month. The next one is scheduled for Sunday 25th June 2016.

How your friends can obtain up to date Crime Prevention advice
Please pass on details of Safe Communities Algarve to neighbours and friends so they to can benefit from the up to date crime prevention advice. Simply ask them to click on the following link to obtain the latest newsletter: www.safecommunitiesalgarve.com This is a free service.



David Thomas

Safe Communities Algarve



9 June 2016