This newsletter is a little later than planned simply due to the high workload involved in organizing the Local Lodging seminar held recently in Faro. With over 300 people attending this placed a heavy demand on our services, which were further stretched by the planning for the Tavira Wildfire seminar held a few days earlier. Anyway the effort was worth it and as you can see from the report of the event below the overwhelming view was that this was a useful step forward in explaining the new regulations.
I would like to remind readers that apart from our website we also have our Facebook page where we keep everyone up to date with the latest news. We have now reached 2600 likes so thank you to all those who support this.
Apart from the Local Lodging feature, we have plenty of articles in this newsletter namely: anti-phishing advice from Owners Direct; Anonymous group target Judicial Police and Judiciary websites; some excellent arrests; road accident statistics in the Algarve; progress regarding the new Safe Communities Portugal website; an email scam to be aware of; an incident of irresponsible behaviour during a stag party in Albufeira; Judicial Police action plan "SOS Tiles"; person held by tourist during a burglary; persons detained for selling counterfeit clothes; Portuguese citizen detained in the UK for drug dealing; increase in overall crime in the UK and Operation "Captura" update.
Over 300 attend Local Lodging Seminar
Presentations now on-line
Firstly thank you for all 300 plus of you who attended the Local Lodging Seminar in Faro on 21st April. It was certainly a full house with a multi-national audience, representing various industries including, property management agencies, letting companies, lawyers as well as individual property owners.
The Secretary of State for Turirsm Adolfo Mesquita Nunes was present and gave an overview of the introduction of the regulations stating that he was open to constructive comment and suggestions on bringing about further improvement.
The seminar included introductions from the Mayor of Faro also representing AMAL, the Vice President of Turismo do Algarve and myself. There were then a number of presentations from Turismo de Portugal,, ASAE, SEF, the Judicial Police, GNR and finally the National association of Local Lodging Establishments. As expected the presentation from SEF, which included an on-line demonstration of the reporting procedures, drew many questions as it was clear that not everyone who attended was aware of the the reporting conditions, and why they had been put in place.
The seminar also served to launch the National Association of Local Lodging Establishments.
The Secretary of State unfortunately had to leave after about an hour and a half to attend an urgent meeting in Lisbon.
During the question time, which lasted 90 minutes, there were many questions concerning the new regulations, the necessity of reporting to SEF, data privacy, etc, etc. An excellent suggestion was made that the need for carbon monoxide detectors should be included in the regulations where a gas supply was being provided. Also there was a lengthy debate on how to get more owners to comply. This culminated with a pledge by me that we would meet with Turismo de Portugal, ASAE and NALLE shortly to see the best way to seek the cooperation of the large rental advertisers in the UK, to mention on their websites the need for properties to have an AL in Portugal.
An evaluation was conducted at the end of the seminar and there was an overwhelming consensus, that the attendees had found the seminar useful and had improved their knowledge.
This is the first time that a seminar of this type involving nearly a dozen government officials had been held on this subject.
For those of you who could not attend the seminar, the presentations can be found on the SCA website
. Questions concerning local lodging can be directed to NALLE at
Owners Direct Anti- Phishing advice
Owners Direct is one of the world's largest holiday rental websites, with current over 6000 properties being advertised in Portugal.
The company have provided the following advice in order to reduce the risk of the victim of fraud through phishing emails purporting to be in the name of their company:
"Fake (spoof) websites and emails try to look like our site and emails or pretend to be from your email provider. The scammers who create these sites and send these emails do so in the hope you will fall for the scam and enter your username, password and other personal information. If you receive a suspicious email, do not click on any links or reply. A suspicious email would be one that doesn't include normal brand heading, has typos and errors, or asks for personal information via email.
Contact Owners Direct if you receive an email that you think might be from Owners Direct, but looks suspicious and claims to come from one of our brands please contact us right away so that our security team can deal with it"
There does seem to be a large number of scams in the name of Owners Direct. It is important therefore for any one advertising their property with them to read the fine print concerning this subject available from their "Trust and Security Centre"
More details can be found here
Anonymous Group target Judicial Police and Judiciary websites
The Anonymous group released this Saturday Portugal personal data of judges and lawyers and also e-mail addresses of officials as part of an operation that also prevented access to the official website of the Judic?ria Police.
Also affected were the Citius portals and the Supreme Judicial Council (CSM), as the agency Lusa reported. The group Anonymous claims to have rendered inaccessible access to the official sites of these three organizations and provided links to lists of alleged professional personal data of justice officials.
The Judicial Police (PJ) is investigating the alleged cyber attacks which occurred on Saturday morning (25th April) affecting the official pages of various organizations, including the Citius, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and its own. Besides having affected the official pages of these three bodies, the group Anonymous Portugal allegedly released the names of 1300 lawyers in the Attorney General's Office as well as those of judges.
Contacted by Lusa, the director of the Computer Crime Unit of the Judicial Police, Carlos Goatherd said he has "knowledge of the situation" and is "working on the facts".
It appears that there was some disruption to the Judicial Police website on 25th April, as I tried to access this without success.
The Anonymous group targets mainly government websites causing disruption and exposes government data.
Judicial police arrest an individual for sexual abuse of children and sexual coercion
On the 22nd April the Judicial Police, through the Department of Criminal Investigation of Portim?o, identified and arrested a man indicted for the sexual abuse of children and crimes of sexual coercion.
The victims, one aged 13 year and two aged 14 years, were living close to the school they were attending in the Lagos area. The incidents took place between mid-March and mid- April.
The detainee, a 34 years old with no police record will appear at the first judicial interrogation for the application of enforcement measures
GNR arrest two persons for robbery (snatching)
On 22nd April in the early hours of the morning GNR Albufeira Republican National Guard sub-division arrested two Portuguese citizens aged 19 and 22 years who are brothers, for robbery by snatching.
At about 04H10, during an anti-crime operation in one of the main tourist areas of the city of Albufeira, the military was alerted to an incident in a nightclub, which involved an assault of a 19 year old tourist and the theft of his mobile phone.
The GNR responding officers then undertook a search of the area and with the help of the victim discovered the two assailants in the company of a third person nearby. The assailants were identified by the victim and his mobile phone was recovered
The detainees, residents in Albufeira are wanted in connection with a similar crime which had recently taken place in Albufeira
Road accidents in the Algarve
Road accidents statistics recently published show that in the period 22nd April 2014 to 21st April 2015,a total of 28 people died on the roads in the Algarve compared with 19 for the same period the previous year. The number of those seriously injured, however, decreased from 150 to 139.
From 1st January this year until 21st April, there have been eight deaths, one less than for the same period last year. Those seriously injured however increased from 32 to 39 and overall the number of accidents increased from 2094 to 2268 (up 8.3%).
New Safe Communities Portugal website
I am pleased to say that our new website for Safe Communities Portugal, being designed by Claire Kellock, is almost complete. We are awaiting input from one government department and following final testing we should be ready for the launch.
As it's name suggests this is a national website and will contain a number features not currently available on the existing Safe Communities Algarve website. The SCA website will be retained dealing with local Algarve issues.
Email scam -
2015 Worldwide Branding Registry of Distinguished Professionals and Executives
An email is currently in circulation asking people to click on a link to verify your profile and accept candidacy for the 2015 Worldwide Branding Registry of Distinguished Professionals and Executives. This is a Phishing attack and clicking on the link will take you through to a fake website based in Russia. Simply delete the email and DO NOT click on the link or reply.
"Email From: Alvaro Summers <liam.atkin (at) nufc.co.uk>
You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent 2015 Worldwide Branding Registry of Distinguished Professionals and Executives.
We are pleased to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved May 2nd. Congratulations. The Publishing Committee selects potential candidates based not only upon their current standing, but focusing as well on criteria from executive and professional directories, associations, and trade journals.
Given your background, the Director believes your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication. There is no fee nor obligation to be listed. As we are working off of secondary sources, we must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your registry listing within seven business days.
Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe, each representing accomplishments within their own geographical area.
To verify your profile and accept the candidacy, please Visit here
Our registration deadline for this year's candidates is May 28th. To ensure you are included, we must receive your verification on or before this date. On behalf of our Committee, I salute your achievement and look forward to welcoming you to our association.
Editor in Chief
Worldwide Selection Committee 2015"
Information on how to recognize and deal with email scams can be found on our website here.
Albufeira - Irresponsible behaviour by stag party
A rather unusual sight was in store for locals in Albufeira, when a group of Brits holding a stag party, grabbed a member of their party, stripped him and tied him to a sign post with Clingfilm in the center of town in the area appropriately known, as "The Strip". The group, who had been consuming beer, then placed a bottle between his buttocks and doused him in beer and flour.
A late night prank - not so as this actually took place in broad daylight around mid-day on Friday 24th April.
The GNR were called and freed the man, who decided not to make a complaint. It is believed he re-joined his colleagues some time latter.
There were many people who witnessed the incident and seen taking photos - no doubt this will become viral shortly. It has already made national headlines in the media.
The Portuguese tile heritage is unique in the world and awareness of the need for its historic value and preservation is being communicated to the younger generation.
The Judicial Police Museum in Lisbon as part of the "SOS Project Tile", has invited Schools and Departments Municipal Education to join the "ACTION SCHOOL SOS TILE 2015," to be held at national level, and to all levels of education, from pre-primary to university, on May 6, 2015 . The action's objective is to "Call attention and awareness of young people, through young people, the general public, to:
- The importance and unique character of the Portuguese tile heritage;
- The current problem of severe dilapidation by theft, negligence and vandalism;
- The urgent need to recovery, protection and enjoyment for all the Portuguese, as well as its continuity as contemporary architectural element.
This "ACTION SCHOOL SOS TILE 2015" will involve participation of over fifty schools and about five thousand students and teachers all over the country and will deliver educational and very interesting and imaginative play school activities linked to the theme of Portuguese tile heritage.
The Portuguese tile theme has raised considerable cultural interest within and outside the country. Because of its national importance, the "SOS Project Tile" was awarded the GRAND PRIX OF THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR THE CULTURAL HERITAGE / EUROPA NOSTRA 2013 4th Category - Education, training and awareness. This is the first time Portugal has been awarded this prize.
The "SOS Project Tile " is coordinated by the Judicial Police and has the following partnerships: National Association of Portuguese Municipalities; General Directorate of Cultural Heritage; Art History Institute of the Faculty of Arts, University of Lisbon; Polytechnic Institute of Tomar; University of Aveiro; National Republican Guard and the Public Security Police . For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Person held by tourists during a burglary
On 23rd April GNR Lagos arrested a Portuguese citizen aged 41 years for burglary of a residential property.
At about 12:00, a Lagos GNR patrol were alerted to the occurrence of a theft inside a residence located in Cali?as - Lagos.
They responded immediately to the scene and found the culprit there having been caught by the occupants of the residence who were renting the property.
It was discovered that the detainee, residing in Portim?o had a previous record for theft and drug trafficking. He had used public transport from Portimao to Lagos to carry out the theft
There seems no end to the number and type of attacks being received by residents and reported to us.
Alcoutim - GNR detain persons for selling counterfeit clothing
It was reported on 26th April that during a fair held in Alcoutim (Eastern Algarve) two persons were detained by the GNR for selling counterfeit clothing.
The two persons arrested aged 38 and 52 years were selling Adidas and Lacoste clothing. Some 100 items were seized and the persons appeared in court in V.R.S.Antonio on 27th April.
Olhos de ?gua - GNR arrests two persons for robbery
The GNR from Olhos de ?gua arrested on 25th April two persons aged 25 and 29 years, for robbery by snatching.
At around 0200 hrs a GNR patrol at one of the main routes into Albufeira observed two males threatening a person and snatching an item from him.
After realising the presence of the GNR patrol the persons ran way but were chased by the patrolling officers. After a short distance they were caught, whereupon one of them threw away a wallet stolen from the victim.
They were then arrested, the wallet recovered and returned to the owner, a foreign citizen aged 37 years.
The detainees residing in Albufeira municipality, are currently being presented at the Department of Investigation and Penal Action Albufeira for the application of appropriate enforcement measures.
Loul? - GNR arrest person for theft of items from a vehicle
In the early hours of 21st April GNR Loul?, arrested an individual aged 39 years of age for the theft of property from inside a motor vehicle.
At about 0010 hrs, the owner of a commercial vehicle parked in Loul? surprised an individual breaking into his vehicle. The culprit fled and the victim contacted the GNR with a description of the individual.
Following a search the GNR officers managed to locate culprit in another area. A check found that he had previously been arrested for theft in 2014 and earlier this year.
Several stolen items were recovered including a DVD player and a pair of glasses, as well as other objects suspected to have been used to carry out the theft.
The detainees, residents in Portim?o and Loul?, are being presented at the respective Department of Investigation and Penal Action for implementation of the appropriate enforcement measures.
PSP arrest person in possession of 4577 doses of hashish
On 22nd April at around 0100 hrs the PSP in Olh?o, arrested a foreign national aged 21 years in possession of 4577 doses of hashish. The PSP officers had noticed the person acting suspiciously whilst they were on patrol in the area. On being approached, the person attempted to run away but was stopped by the patrol.
One of the suspects tried quickly to delete photos from his phone, but was prevented from doing so by the agents. The photos were of hashish. A search was subsequently undertaken of a property used by the person and hashish was discovered there and seized.
GNR holds citizen under Domestic Violence Case
The GNR Military Research Center and Support for Victims unit (NIAVE) Territorial Command Faro, arrested in the early hours of 20th April, a Portuguese citizen aged 38 years in connection with a domestic violence report. He was arrested and charged with the possession of prohibited weapons.
Following an investigation regarding the complaint of domestic violence, the GNR executed a search warrant at the residence of the person concerned, during which the following items were seized: a 12 gauge shotgun; a replica weapon with respective charger and .22 ammunition; two alarm guns; two daggers; 528 cartridges (12 gauge) and 165 percussion caps.
The detainee is currently being presented to the Department of Investigation and Penal Action Faro to implement appropriate enforcement measures found.
Faro GNR holds citizen in the act of theft in residence
On 19th April in the afternoon GNR Faro arrested a 23 year old Portuguese citizen for burglary from a residence.
At about 17:00, the GNR carrying out a patrol in the parish of Santa B?rbara de Nexe, were alerted to a theft which had taken place a residence located on the site of Gorj?es.
On approaching the property, the GNR officers discovered a parked vehicle on the road, a few meters from the residence which appeared suspicious. After a search a person was discovered in the area with two LCD televisions which he had taken from inside the house, and were about to be loaded onto the vehicle.
In addition to the LCD's, a mobile phone, a crowbar (used to break the housing front door) were discovered in the vehicle and were seized.
The detainee, residing in Loul?, is being present to the Department of Investigation and Penal Action Faro to implement appropriate enforcement measures.
Portuguese citizen imprisoned in the UK for drug trafficking
It has been reported that a Portuguese citizen named Antonio Ventur has been sentenced to four years imprisonment in the UK for trafficking in drugs.
He was originally arrested in October 2014 by police after he was caught packing 150 grams of heroin valued at about ?14,000.
Antonio Ventur has been in the UK since 2006 and was employed as a cook at Aston Villa Football Club.
UK - Overall crime rises for the first time in a decade
The Daily Telegraph has reported that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed there were an extra 126,000 incidents of violence against the person recorded by police in England and Wales, bringing the total to nearly 741,000, or 2,030 every day, an increase of 21% compared to 2013.
Overall crime recorded by police in the 2014 calendar year increased by 2 % to 3.8 million.
The ONS said: "This is the first increase in police recorded crime since 2003/04 but needs to be seen in the context of the renewed focus on the quality of crime recording.
"Although the latest figures show a small increase, the level of police recorded crime is still 20 per cent lower than in 2008/09 and 37 % lower than the peak in 2003/04."
Police forces have faced widespread criticism for "fiddling the figures" over years - and many forces have now adopted new guidelines which encourage officers to record offences more honestly. It means the rises seen in the ONS figures are beginning to show the true scale of crime for the first time.
Every force in England and Wales recorded a rise in violent crime. The largest percentage change was in Cambridgeshire where violence against the person surged by 45% year-on-year to 8,900 offences. The second largest annual rise was in Bedfordshire (41%), followed jointly by Durham and Hertfordshire (both up 39%). The Metropolitan Police, the largest force in England and Wales, saw violent crime rise by a quarter to 155,000, or more than 420 incidents a day.
In the national figures, sexual offences also showed a significant rise - of 32% to 80,200 - continuing a trend which is thought to be driven by victims' increasing confidence in the criminal justice system in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Public order offences rose 14% to 151,000.
There was better news in other types of crime including robbery, which fell by 13 % year-on-year, theft (down 5 per cent) and drug offences (down 11 %).
Domestic burglaries fell 8% to just under 201,000.
The overall picture was complicated by a second set of data - the Crime Survey of England and Wales, which is based on interviews with members of the public about their experiences of crime - which estimated a 7% fall in overall crime to 6.9 million incidents last year.
Spanish Police crackdown on serious crime through DNA analysis
Spanish Police have reported that last year more than 32,000 samples analyzed by DNA experts from the laboratories of the General Police Forensic Science shed light on a 253 sexual assaults and 173 homicides. Overall in 2014, they have identified 2,481 offenders and 3,224 crimes have been clarified in the different National Police laboratories in Spain.
In addition they have conducted 14,344 genetic reviews of suspects, arrested or charged in felony, or events affecting the life, liberty, indemnity or sexual freedom, integrity of persons and other serious crime.
During the same period, the Scientific Police has exchanged information with other countries concerning genetic profiling in about 200 cases linked to homicides, sexual assaults, drug trafficking, kidnapping or property crimes. INTERPOL have since tested positive more than 114 of the 573 requirements.
DNA analysis at the National Police began in the laboratory of General Biology Department of the Scientific Police in the 90s with manual and complex techniques. These methods were truly an art and skill of the analyst hand and it was very important in achieving a good result. Since then, demand analysis has increased over the years due to the proven usefulness of genetic studies in solving crimes, serious actions and the people. With nearly a thousand samples analyzed in the early 90s, last year the figure had grown to 32,000.
With the development of commercial kits that allow analysis of up to 23 genetic markers simultaneously and automation of laboratories has made possible a workflow that encompasses the analysis of thousands of applications received each year.
The parallel development in legislation regulating the police database on identities obtained from DNA, as well as the creation of the National Commission on Forensic Use of DNA, has helped set standards in sampling, data control and adoption of legal measures that allow special monitoring and a significant degree of protection.
Crimestoppers Operation Captura - Update
Help track UK's Most Wanted Criminals
The good news is that since the latest launch of Operation Captura a month ago, three fugitives have already been arrested.
For years, Spain has been an appealing hideaway for British criminals evading capture. But this changed in 2004 with European Arrest Warrants, making it easier to bring British criminals back to face justice.
Some of these wanted fugitives may have crossed the border from Spain into Portugal. Help track them down.
Safe Communities Algarve is working with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Crimestoppers in the UK. View pictures of the UK's most wanted fugitives by clicking on the Crimestoppers section on the home page of our website and if you recognize them report them on-line, following the instructions on the Crimestoppers page. Calls to crime stoppers in the UK can be made on (+) 44 800 555 111.
Reports made to Crimestoppers will be anonymous and you will never have to speak to police or give your details.
Breathalyser kits available for donation
Since 1st July 2012 all vehicles travelling in France must carry an NF approved alcohol breathalyser. The AlcoSense Singles NF fulfills this requirement and will keep you legal. They are also useful to keep with you in other countries as well.
The breathalyser is designed to alert you at the lower French drink limit of 0.5g/l blood Alcohol Content (0.25 mg/l Breath alcohol Content)
You can't tell when the alcohol's cleared your system, but AlcoSense can.
The Features of the unit are:
Expiry date 5/2016
Shows your alcohol level in 2 minutes
NX20-702 approved and NF marked for use in France
As used by the French police Force for roadside screening
When you pass the red line you are over the French drink drive limit
A minimum of two NF approved disposable breathalysers are recommended to be carried in your car at any time whilst in France.
By making a donation of ? 12 to Safe Communities Algarve (a non profit association run by volunteers) we will send you one of these kits. Posting within the Algarve included. Please click click here to order.
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.
If you would like to make a donation through Paypal please visit our Welcome page and click on the "donate" button. If you wish to donate by cheque or by interbank transfer please contact SCA for our bank details using the contact page. 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 latest feature out on 7th May is about the the Risk of, and how we would cope of a humanitarian crisis in Portugal.
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. Unfortunately the one planned for April 26th did not take place as Owen Gee is still recuperating after his accident - hope you recover soon Owen!
If you missed any of the Kissfm broadcasts these are available on our Kissfm page.
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.
Safe Communities Algarve
28 April 2015
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