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

3 October 2019


A warm welcome and special greetings to all those who have subscribed recently.

Not unexpectedly our lead story is the extension of the Critical Fire period to 10th October. Except for just a couple of days rain last month, in the Algarve there has been no rain for months. Associated with the higher than normal temperatures the conditions are there for the rapid spread of rural fires.

Another major story is the massive case in Spain involving the arrest of 81 people and the seizure of 4 tonnes of cocaine, the closure of 400 bank accounts and the seizure of €20 million goods worth of items in an international operation involving Portugal.  Well done - this is a fine example of  how police working together can deal with these major criminal groups.

Our main attention over the last week,however, concerns Hurricane Lorenzo, which has affected the Azores with winds up to 163  kph and waves reaching 20 metres. Certainly the Azorean government and people seem well prepared. This comes on top of Hurricane Leslie that reached mainland Portugal in October 2018. It seems that this is becoming a more regular pattern. As such Safe Communities has produced, in English, Civil Protection guidelines on how to prepare for these tropical cyclones in future. Our articles in this newsletter gives more detail of this.  

In the last week warnings were given by both the  Finan ç as  and EDP of email and SMS scams respectively, that many of their customers had received using their names. It is important to be vigilant for these types of scams and always read the senders address carefully before responding. Never click on links or open attachments from a senders address you do not recognise. 

Lastly with the detection of a skimming device at an ATM recently in Loulé, we remind everyone to check carefully that the machine has not been interfered with. Good advice is to use ATMs inside banks and shopping centres whenever possible.

We thank all our sponsors for your help in enabling us to continue with the work that we do. Thank you: Buy Portugal, EuroFinesco, IBC Security, Algarve Getaways, Portugal Property and
IBEX Insurance.

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

Government extends Critical Fire Period until 10th October 

On 30th September the government extended the critical period of fires until October 10, under the Forest Fire Defence System, due to the forecast of dry and hot weather.

In an order of the Secretary of State for Forests and Rural Development, Miguel Freitas, published today in Diário da República, stating that the critical period is extended until October 10 due to the forecast of "maintaining the risk of rural fire at high levels". 

At stake are "probable weather conditions for the first 10 days of October, temperatures above the average for the season, a low probability of precipitation with a below-average rainfall level forecast, with a tendency to dry and hot weather throughout the national territory ", is mentioned in the order.

Thus, according to the Government's note, during the critical period of fire, in forest or agricultural spaces, smoking, burning fires, extensive burning of land or burning cut and heaped piles of debris, launching rockets and burning balloons and fumigating or disinfecting apiaries is prohibited, unless the fumigators are equipped with spark arresters are all prohibited, regardless of the actual risk in the municipality concerned..

It is also prohibited to circulate, or use, tractors, machinery and heavy transport vehicles that do not have a fire extinguisher, spark or spark arrest system and flame arresters in the exhaust pipes or chimneys.

Keep track of the fire risk through the IPMA link here.

Eighty one arrests in investigation targeting Spanish cocaine trafficking group  

A joint investigation, coordinated by Spain and involving law enforcement authorities from Colombia, France, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom and supported by Europol, led to the dismantling of the largest organised crime group in the Spanish area, involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

"Operation Beautiful" started in 2018 with an investigation into drug trafficking and money laundering. International cooperation and information exchange, which Europol made possible, between the seven countries involved contributed to the success of this complex investigation. 
More than €1 million wasfound in a panic room at the ringleader's house

On 26 September, after extensive planning, the final stage of the operation took place.
On the action day in Spain, more than 200 police officers carried out 13 house searches and arrested 42 individuals.

The whole investigation led to the arrests of 81 individuals and various seizures including 4000 kg of cocaine, €2 million in cash, three firearms, jewellery, precious gems, luxury watches, 42 vehicles and a 25-metre-long yacht. Properties worth €20 million and 800 bank accounts were frozen.

At present, those arrested are charged with laundering over €7 million.

Breaking news

Hurricane Lorenzo - Statement by the President of the Regional Government 

The President of the Azores Regional Government acknowledged on Wednesday that there is high damage and homeless situations that deserve concern, but welcomed the fact that there are no casualties following the passage of Hurricane Lorenzo in the archipelago.

In a note published on the website of the Presidency of the Azores Regional Government, Vasco Cordeiro praised the "sense of responsibility" of the Azoreans who took the precautionary measures necessary to protect their lives and stressed the "professionalism" and "dedication" of all people involved in Hurricane Lorenzo operations.

"To all of them is largely due to the fact that there are no victims to register. There is a lot of work, damage that seems to be very high, but we will do what the Azoreans have done for about 600 years in this archipelago - to rebuild and move forward, "said Vasco Cordeiro on Flores island, where he witnessed the arrival of the dawn during the dawn

The leader of the Azores Regional Government - who ordered public services to be closed on Wednesday in the islands of the Central and Western groups - also explained that there are several areas where it is necessary to better assess the damage caused by the hurricane, stressing that the priority will be to resolve the situation of the homeless, especially on Faial Island, and damage to essential infrastructure such as Lajes Port.

The Central and Western groups were hardest hit by Hurricane Lorenzo, which began in Cape Verde, and is expected to reach Northern Ireland between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning before reaching the Kingdom. United.

In total there were 255 occurrences, most in Faial and Flores islands and 53 people had to be relocated, according to the latest report from the Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service of the Azores (SRPCBA).

The maximum gusts recorded by IPMA occurred at 08:25 in Corvo (airport) at 163 km / h, at 05:00 in Flores (airport) at 142 km / h and at 04:00 in Faial (Horta). , with 145 km / h.

Top Stories

GNR "Safe Summer" Operation results  

More than 1960 people were arrested by the GNR, almost 700 for drug trafficking, in the "Safe Summer" operation, during which special emphasis was placed on beaches, parties, pilgrimages and large events.

In a statement, GNR reports that during the "Safe Summer" operation, which took place between June 15 and September 30, 1,968 people were arrested , 698 of them for drug trafficking, 254 for theft, 208 for illegal possession of a weapon or possession of a prohibited weapon and 49 for theft.

In the same period, 96,164 doses of drugs inc- 90,444 doses of hashish, 4,350 cocaine and 1,370 heroin - were seized and 858 weapons, including 509 firearms and 205 other weapons.

The operation, which also took place on the main roads, was intended, according to GNR, "to ensure the safety and well-being of the population and the thousands of tourists and migrants who visited Portugal".

The GNR also revealed that, under the Direct Key Program, which aims to ensure the security of the habitual residences of citizens who are on vacation, by conducting patrolling actions during the absence of the owners, 2,004 residences were monitored, without any incidents have been recorded.

False Breast Screening call warning

The Algarve Regional Health Administration (ARS) is warning people to pay special attention regarding false breast cancer screening through fraudulent telephone calls.

The ARS Algarve Screening Centre has learned that telephone calls have been made in recent weeks to people in the region pretending to be from Breast Cancer Screening unit.

The contact person calls himself a doctor and responsible for the ARS Algarve screening program and requests personal data and procedures that have nothing to do with the Breast Cancer Screening Program in the Algarve.

ARS has taken this up with the authorities concerned.

Only in exceptional cases will users be contacted by telephone, but only to reinforce the screening, and never to request personal information from users of any kind.

Screening actions promoted by ARS Algarve among the population in various health areas are always advertised on its website which can be complemented by posters, but never by personal contact, in particular by telephone. If in any doubt call ARS at 289 889 912

Safe Communities meets Civil Protection European Union Review Team

On 23 rd September Safe Communities participated in a working session of the above team during its visit to the Algarve. A presentation of SCP's work was handed to members and David Thomas President SCP gave a short overview on how the association works with government particular in respect of tourists.

The Peer Review Program under the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism took place in Portugal from 16 to 27 September. A dozen experts from Member States are evaluating national civil protection programs throughout the cycle of risk prevention, preparedness and management, with particular focus on the risks of rural fires, earthquakes / tsunamis and accidents in hazardous material establishments.

The Program aims to facilitate the exchange of good practices, strengthen mutual knowledge and provide recommendations for continuous improvement of the respective Systems. It develops over 12 days and has close to 3 dozen sessions, which take place in 5 districts and involve more than 50 entities.

Judicial Police Union Management Board resigns

The Management Board of the Association of Judicial Police Criminal Investigation Officials (ASFIC-PJ) resigned on 1st October. It will, however, remain in place until a new management committee is appointed.

Ricardo Valadas President of ASFIC, justified the decision by the fact that "the main objectives of the strategic motion that the ASFIC management proposed in 2016, and reinforced this year, with the promulgation by the President of the Republic of the new statute and organic law of the Judiciary Police, have been completed.

Therefore, Ricardo Valadas adds, the resignation of the board will be formally communicated to members on October 14 at the ASFIC National Council. A management committee will then be appointed, and elections will be called which, the now resigning chairman of the Judicial Police inspectors' union  is expected to take place before the end of this year.

Union members also say they understand that "both in politics and in unionism, electoral programs are to be fulfilled, after which renewal is fundamental to keeping the democratic spirit alive.

We have always sought to defend the interests of the collective that legitimized us in 2016 and then in 2019.

We managed to maintain ASFIC's independence, away from partisan interests and the manipulation of trade union centrals. We resisted external attacks aimed only at the weakening and extinction of the Judiciary Police."

Portuguese Maritime Police Rescue 32 Migrants in Greece

The Portuguese Maritime Police team on a mission to Greece rescued 32 migrants who, on board a boat, were making the crossing between Turkey and Greece, the National Maritime Authority (AMN) announced on 29th September.

In a statement, AMN said that at 5:35 am the Maritime Police team "was alerted by the garrison of the military observation post in Molivos that a suspicious vessel was sailing towards Petra."

The team then intercepted the suspect target and confirmed it was a boat with 32 migrants on board, including 12 children (2 babies), 11 women and 9 men.

The migrants were transferred to the Maritime Police vessel and transported to the port of Skala Skamineas, "where they landed safely and were handed over to the Greek authorities," AMN said.

Also early on Saturday, the Maritime Police team rescued 66 migrants who were aboard two boats heading for the island of Lesbos.

Since 2014, when it began participating in the POSEIDON mission in Greece, the Maritime Police have rescued 6,233 migrants.

The Maritime Police are part of the POSEIDON operation, under the auspices of the European agency FRONTEX and in support of the Greek Coast Guard, with the aim of controlling and monitoring the European Union's external maritime borders in the fight against cross-border crime.

Victims of sexual violence have new specialised response

The Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem, and the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, Rosa Monteiro, signed in Lisbon a protocol regulating support for the Association of Women against Violence (AMCV) and the Breaking Silence Association (Quebrar Silencio Association). 

This covers the implementation of a specialised response that will support victims of sexual violence, regardless of gender. The protocol is part of the National Domestic Violence Victim Support Network.

With over 25 years of experience, including in the area of combating violence against women, youth and children, AMCV has had shelters and care centres since 2001. In 2017, with the support of the State, a crisis centre was created for victims of sexual violence, in which individual care and follow-up is provided. During this follow-up - which may be by phone or in person - psychological support and trauma intervention are provided, as well as legal information. The crisis centre also has mutual aid groups.

The Quebrar Silencio Association is a non-governmental organisation that started in 2017. It provides specialised support activity for male victims and survivors of violence and sexual abuse, providing psychological, personal, telephone and email support, organising and accompanying help groups through mutual support and peer support.

This new response enables the system of protection for victims of sexual and gender-based violence to be broadened and improved by pooling resources for a comprehensive, integrated and effective response.

Use of the 112 Emergency System

Hopefully most of us will never encounter a situation whereby we will need the assistance of the emergency services. However in case we need to do so it is important to know how it operates and what you will be asked in making a call.

112 is the only emergency call number in Portugal. Callers seek help in all types of emergency situations such as firefighting, medical or maritime distress, crime protection, and many others.

Fast and efficient responses to those calls literally save lives. It is crucial to make sure callers can use the system anywhere and anytime. A service disruption at any time could be disastrous.

When calling 112 it is important to stay calm. You need to provide the emergency service with relevant information.

If possible, make the call yourself - No one can explain the situation better than you.

Wait until the operator answers your call - It may take a little time, but every repeated call is considered a new one and is put at the end of the queue, therefore the time of getting through might be prolonged.

Providing details - When the operator answers your call, say your name, try to explain what happened and who is involved. Also, try to indicate your location the best way possible. It makes it easier for emergency services to reach you.

Answer the questions and follow the operator's advice. Do not hang up until the operator says so. Try to keep your phone line free until the emergency services reach you. The dispatcher may need to contact you for further information.

If something changes, inform 112 again.

Notable Arrests

Four arrested for international drug trafficking at Lisbon airport

On 25 th September it was announced that three foreign nationals and one Portuguese were arrested at Lisbon airport on suspicion of cocaine trafficking by the Judicial Police.

According to PJ's National Anti-Drug Trafficking Unit (UNCTE), the arrests occurred in recent days, following information gathered in an investigation that determined that "two of the detainees were to land at Lisbon Airport from a South American country, carrying a high amount of cocaine with them in suitcases ".

"When the suspects were intercepted, PJ found that the cocaine that was seized, if it had reached illicit distribution circuits, would be sufficient for at least 132,500 individual doses," PJ said in a statement.

Later in follow up operations the PJ located and detained in Lisbon two other suspects who, according to the evidence gathered, were connected with the seized drugs.

The detainees, three men and one woman, aged between 20 and 51, were subjected to the first judicial interrogation to enforce pre-trial conditions.

The investigation is carried out by UNCTE PJ.

Volunteer Bombeiros arrested suspected of starting seven fire s

On 17 th September, the Judiciary Police, through the Vila Real Local Criminal Investigation Unit, identified and detained a member of the Alfândega da Fé volunteer Bombeiros suspected of starting seven rural fires, located in various parishes of the Alfândega da Fé Municipality.

The fires, which occurred on June 22 and 28, July 18, August 3 and September 2, 2019, consumed about 110 hectares of forested area, consisting mostly of bush.

The outbreaks endangered a vast forest patch consisting of undergrowth, agricultural area, and threatened high-value housing had the fires not been consumed due to the rapid intervention of firefighters.

The 39-year-old detainee, firefighter, has appeared before judicial authorities to determine appropriate enforcement measures.

It is reported in the media from local sources that the firefighter was always the first to reach the site of the fires and, on several occasions, became the Commander of Relief Operations (COS), until the arrival of a more senior officer. "This way, he could show service and his skills in leading the firefighting, with the aim to achieve promotion to command level".
Safe Communities Portugal

Facebook page  

Our Facebook page is one of the ways where we can publish and share important information concerning safety and security matters.

To give you some idea of its content here are the last 7 posts over a period of 7 days.

Hurricane Lorenzo

SMS scam in the name of EDP

Extension of Critical Fire Period

High tide warning for Tavira

Skimmer device found in ATM in Loule

Counterfeit €100 banknotes seized with arrests

Safe Communities meeting with European Union Peer review team

As of today these posts reached some 68,000 people with around 454 shares. The number of followers currently stands at 16,587. 

We encourage people to visit and share our posts. This is particularly important concerning matters that can affect public safety and during major incidents or crisis. Remember we try and ensure as much accuracy as possible and avoid exaggerated or misleading comment which some Facebook pages are renowned for.

Local News

Consumers complain of hearing aids that cannot wear or return

Lisbon, 29 Sep 2019 (Lusa) - The sale of hearing aids through advertisements, by telephone or at home has led to a growing number of complaints to the Deco Consumer Protection Association, mostly related to difficulties in fitting and returning devices.

Many of the situations that consumers complain about is adapting to the device and this is because "the sale was done remotely". No tests were undertaken beforehand to find a device suitable for the health problem, lawyer Ingride Pereira, from Deco's consumer support office, told Lusa.

There are also complaints related to credit agreements and the difficulty by consumers in returning the device.

In one case a person by the name Manuel, did not sign any contracts. He now faces an invoice of 3,350 euros. He is 84 years old and is not in possession of all his faculties.

The Deco lawyer said that many consumers only realize that they have signed a credit agreement when they arrive at Deco and present the documentation.

"The consumer identifies the problem they have and sellers try to find a product that will solve their problem, but often does not solve it and brings more headache to the consumer for signing and believing that information," he said.

Deco added that, "consumers should be careful" when buying these devices through distance selling, because it is a "health problem, hearing, which have to be tested".

PSP investigating case of a fake veterinarian

Fake veterinarian adopts dogs, injects them with insulin until they die, and posts images on social networks. 

Leiria's PSP is investigating a 30-year-old posing as a veterinarian and dog trainer who adopts animals to inject insulin to kill them. 

The latest complaint against him was filed by APAMG-Marinha Grande Animal Protection Association, which classifies the situation as "extremely urgent" and calls for prompt investigation.

"We are dealing with a person who adopts animals, who 'die at his hands' (according to him) and, instead of seeking immediate help, films and sends videos of them," reads APAMG's complaint. 

Some of the videos were attached as evidence, as well as photographs and records of conversations on social networks between him and people who gave them animals or members of associations.

Woman's corpse found inside a suitcase in Lisbon District 

Arruda dos Vinhos, Lisbon, 03 Oct 2019 (Lusa) - A woman's corpse was found today inside a suitcase in an urbanisation in Arruda dos Vinhos, in the Lisbon district, a police source told Lusa news agency.

The same source said that a member of the public found the suitcase whilst walking a dog, on a pedestrian access path to the Fonte do Ouro Urbanisation in the village of Arruda dos Vinhos, and alerted the authorities about 14:00.

Arrived at the scene, the GNR military opened the suitcase and found inside the corpse of a woman in her thirties, with traces of blood.

The same source explained that the crime would have been "recent", since the body shows no signs of decomposition or stench, and the suitcase was placed there "not long ago", given that the people had passed through place hours before.

The woman's body has not yet been identified and there are no reported missing persons in the region.

The Judiciary Police is on the spot collecting evidence and will investigate the alleged murder.  

Foreign national dies are falling from cliff in Lagos

A 48-year-old man died Monday, September 30, after falling off a cliff onto Canavial Beach in Lagos. 

The warning for the incident was given early in the morning at 08:26 hrs.

Source of the Faro District Relief Operations Command (CDOS) disclosed that the victim "was of Czech nationality".

The cause of the fall is not yet known.

On site were 10 operational, from Fire, INEM and Maritime Police, supported by four vehicles and one vessel.


Although the cause is not yet established people are reminded to take care near to the edge of cliffs which can be unstable.
Read more about beach and cliff safety here

Tax Authority warn taxpayers of Fake Emails using the Finan ç as Portal address

The Tax and Customs Authority (TA) warned on 1st October of "fake" emails using the "finance portal" address and warns taxpayers to ignore them and not open the suggested link.

The security alert was posted on the Finance Portal where it is stated that "the Tax and Customs Authority is aware that some taxpayers have received email messages from addresses such as portaldasfinancasBwNxR (at).gov.pt or other similar requests, that clicks on a link that is provided".

"These messages are fake and should be ignored. Their purpose is to convince the recipient to access malicious pages by clicking on the suggested link. In no case should you perform this operation," says the tax authorities.

False messages are now using the IRS statement to deceive in order to try to persuade taxpayers to follow a fraudulent link.

This link, warns the  TA, should under no circumstances be opened.

This is far from the first time TA has detected email or SMS messages sent on its behalf. In these situations, the tax authorities are advised that, in case of doubt, taxpayers do not respond to messages, follow suggested links, or download or open files.

In no case, further advises the TA, taxpayers should provide or disclose their password to the Finance Portal.

Thomas Cook Refund Scams on the rise

According to Action Fraud UK Thomas Cook Refund Scams are on the rise

Members of the public have reported receiving calls and messages offering "refunds" by people purporting to be associated with, or acting on behalf of Thomas Cook.

We would urge people to be vigilant of unsolicited calls, texts or social media messages that ask for personal or financial details, and not to automatically click on the links in unexpected emails.
Legitimate organisations will never contact you out of the blue and ask for your PIN, card details, or full banking passwords. If you get a call or message asking for these, it's a scam.

Remember, your bank or the police will never ask you to transfer money out of your account, or ask you to hand over cash for safe-keeping.

For more information on how you can protect yourself, visit  ABTA Thomas Cook customers should go to  for details on how they can make a claim.

Crime Prevention

Skimmer device removed from an ATM in  Loulé - Safe use of ATMs

A 19-year-old has been caught in the act by PJ as he was preparing to remove an electronic device from an ATM in Loulé. He is suspected of computer fraud, computer falsity and currency offences.
It has been reported that information had been given to PJ that a skimmer device was to have been placed in an ATM. Inspectors from the Southern Judicial Police (PJ) Directorate monitored the scene and managed to catch the suspect in the act, while removing the device. The ATM was also found have had a micro-camera installed.
The young man was arrested. He has Bulgarian nationality, is a student and does not reside in Portugal. This Tuesday was the first judicial interrogation and for determination of pre-trial conditions.
Skimmers are devices inserted into the slot of cash machines that copy the magnetic stripe of bank cards.
The microcamera is intended to film pin codes.
Always check carefully as far as possible if a machine has been interfered with and if so report to police immediately.
Our leaflet Safe use of ATM's can be downloaded here.

PSP detain two persons using Counterfeit €100 bank notes - How to detect fake banknotes

In Guimarães, Braga district, the PSP detained two 19-year-olds for counterfeiting and seized five counterfeit 100-euro banknotes. 
In a statement, PSP said that the suspects, with counterfeit 100-euro notes, went to shops and obtained low-value goods, paying with the counterfeit and receiving the amount corresponding to the change.
In each situation they caused a monetary loss of about 95 euros to the merchant.
After learning that several counterfeit currency situations were occurring, PSP detained the suspects and seized five counterfeit 100-euro notes, in addition to 740 euros and a mobile phone.
"Later, as a result of further enquiries in the vicinity of the shops where this took place, two more suspects were identified and a car seized," the statement added.
The detainees will be taken to the Judicial Court of Guimarães for the first interrogation and application of bail conditions.
To check whether 100 Euro banknotes are genuine download the video here. 

Civil Protection and Public Safety

Precautions against Hurricanes

In recent years there has been a trend for Portugal mainland to be affected by Tropical cyclones.

In October 2018 Hurricane Leslie has left 27 people injured in Portugal, as high winds and rain brought down trees and cut power. It is one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the Iberian Peninsula. However such hurricanes are more likely to affect the Azores.

Safe Communities has therefore produced the following information to help residents and visitors. This is based on information in Portuguese available from the ANEPC and the Azores Civil Protection authorities.

Cyclones, or depressions, are areas of low pressure around which the wind blows counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. The direction of rotation is a direct consequence of the Coriolis Effect, which reflects the rotation of the Earth.

The potentially more devastating tropical cyclones often cause highly destructive wind speeds and heavy rainfall. Their designation may vary over their life cycle according to wind speed:

  • Tropical Disturbance - A slight circulation of wind. It is a very common occurrence in the Tropics, and it can evolve into a larger storm.
  • Tropical Depression - Wind circulation at speeds up to 62 km / h. At this stage of development, the cyclone is already recognized as a possible threat. 
  • Tropical Storm - Wind speeds ranging from 62 km / h to 118 km / h. At this stage of development a distinctive name is given to the cyclone (e.g., Emily). The "eye" of the storm may become visible.
  • Hurricane - Violent wind circulation at speeds above 118 km / h. The "eye" of the storm is well pronounced. This designation varies depending on whether it is in the Atlantic Ocean area and the Eastern Pacific Ocean (Hurricane), or West Pacific (Typhoon), and may assume other terminologies elsewhere in the world.

Precautionary measures to take should a tropical cyclone or hurricane affect Portugal are outlined in English on the Safe Communities website -   download here.

Some of you may have heard or read about the "What3words" app, which is being used by emergency services in the UK and elsewhere to help in the search for missing people and those in need of assistance during emergency situations. Chris Sheldrick founded what3words in 2013.

What3Words divides the world into 3m x 3m squares and assigns each square 3 words. As opposed to GPS coordinates, the 3 words are meant to be more human-friendly and easy to remember. Does anyone actually know the exact GPS coordinates of their home and workplace?  Chis stated "In particular, I was enthusiastic about the prospect of it helping communities which are vulnerable to natural disasters".

While a service like Google Maps places a location marker in the middle of a building, using What3Words could help users be more precise within a large building or national park, such as specifying which entrance to meet at. In addition to adding convenience to the experience, this could be vital for emergency workers, where every second could count. What3Words has also positively impacted communities where there is no formal addressing system.

The latter is often the case in Portugal where there can be difficulties in locating people such as in rural fires.

There are many reviews on line concerning this App, and the site can be visited here

For Portugal it may help the emergency services and as such Safe Communities have therefore brought it to the attention of the relevant Government authority.

Road Safety

Road accidents and serious injuries continue to rise - road deaths decrease slightly

According to  Autoridade Nacional de Segurança Rodoviária (ANSR) t he number of road accidents in Portugal from 1st January to 21st September, this year stood at 84,445 an increase of 517 accidents compared to the same period last year.

Although the number of deaths decreased marginally from 349 to 346, the number of serious injuring increased by 7.2% to 1612 persons.

The number of minor injuries increased by 2.3% to 29,847.
The trend in Faro district reflected a similar pattern with 7942 accidents a decrease of 34, with deaths showing a slight decrease from 26 to 24. However serious injuries increased by 17% to 175.

In terms of accidents, the highest number were in Lisbon 18,538 followed by Porto 16,943 and Faro 7942. However in terms of serious injuries Faro comes second place, with Lisbon being the highest at 225 with Porto in third place at 152.

Regarding deaths, the Algarve is in 8th place, so far this year out of 18 districts, the highest being Porto with 35 deaths. Last year for the same period the Algarve was in 4th place.

The main causes of serious accident continue to be excess speed; using a mobile phone whilst driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Overseas News

Escaped criminal on the run for 17 years detected by police using drones

Chinese police arrested a man who had been on the run for 17 years. Authorities found the fugitive, who lived in a cave, through a drone that detected the hiding place.

The 63-year-old man named Song Jiang by police had been arrested for trafficking women and children but escaped from prison in 2002.

According to the BBC, Yongshan police received clues about the fugitive's whereabouts in early September. These led the authorities to the mountains behind their hometown in southwestern Yunnan province.

The police conducted investigations but were unable to obtain any additional information and decided to use drones to assist them in their search.

The detainee had lived for years in a small cave isolated from human interaction. According to the authorities, the man had lived in isolation for so long that communication between them was difficult.

How you can help - Donation for crime prevention in Portugal

Each week Safe Communities Portugal 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 Portugal 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 Portugal 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 Portugal - Regular Features
Just a reminder that in addition to our website and Facebook page, Safe Communities Portugal produces regular crime prevention features to help the community. These are  in the Algarve Resident and the next one is out  5th September dealing with the subject of Albufeira.

Due to the absence of Owen Gee who hosts Solid Gold Sunday we have had to temporarily  to suspend our "Crimecheck" feature. Hopefully this will return soon.

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.safecommunitiesportugal.com This is a free service.



David Thomas

Safe Communities Portugal



29th August 2019