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

5th April 2019


As you will see from this newsletter we are experiencing a very busy period. 

This is not just the events that we are organising (four over a five week period), but absorbing the considerable amount of information coming out from Government and summarising this in a way that understandable to the general public.

In the last few days we have received the annual crimes statistics for 2018; the Fire fighting plan for 2019 and the road traffic statistics - so this can be a challenge. Anyway these are all included in this newsletter.

The good news is that in 2018 overall crime decreased by 2.6% as well as a 8.6% reduction in violent crime compared with the previous year. This continues a general decrease in crime which started in 2009. In the case of the Algarve overall crime has decreased by around a quarter, outpacing the rest of Portugal during this period. The the country as a whole has the lowest crime rate in Europe.  

As far as rural fires are concerned, there will be more resources available this year to combat these including aircraft and vehicles. GNR GIPS, who are often the first responders by helicopter to the scene of fires,  has been considerably strengthened to over 1000 personnel. Of course, the best way to tackle this problem, is to prevent fires starting in the first place; hence increased efforts are being made in this area.

As far as road safety is concerned, it has been a bad start to the year with the number of deaths on the road increasing to 116, four more than for the same period last year. Many of these are caused by excessive speed, drink driving and use of mobile phones. 

As you will have seen from our email a few days ago, we are now embarking on several events; a seminar concerning "Safe Destinations" taking place in Portimão on 10th April, attended by the Secretary of State for Internal Administration; an awareness event at Faro airport on 15th April; a similar event to this at Mar Shopping on 17th April and on 10 May a conference in Faro entitled, "Tourism Responding to the effects of Clime change and High Impact events", which is I believe a first in Portugal. 

If you are not able to read all this newsletter, I would suggest however, that you see our Overseas section and the case of hidden cameras found in hotel rooms in South Korea - certainly if visiting that country it would be worth checking the room after checking in.

Lastly a reminder  that although the  deadline for land cleaning expired on 15th March 2019, this does not mean that you cannot do so now. If your land is overgrown act as soon as possible or run the risk of heavy fines.

We thank all our sponsors for your help in enabling us to continue to do the work that we do. Thank you:  IBC Security,  Cerro Novo Property Management, Algarve Homes  and  Mestre Raposa  for sponsoring this newsletter.

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

Portugal - Control of firearms laws being reviewed

The Minister of Internal Affairs announced on Tuesday the "the need for the additional control of the use of firearms" so that Portugal continues to be a safe country. This limitation is an "essential contribution" in the revision of the law that is currently under way.

"More weapons are no longer security. We need additional control of the use of weapons because we want to continue to be a safe country in this matter," said Eduardo Cabrita at the signing ceremony of a protocol on weapons and explosives, signed between the Security Police and the Spanish Civil Guard.

"The weapons law that is currently under review by the Assembly of the Republic is an essential contribution that we hope will be approved by the end of this legislative session," said Eduardo Cabrita.

The minister stressed that the revision of the current law establishes mechanisms of effectiveness in the control of the use of weapons and explosives, in the demands of their destruction and, above all, in limiting the weapons that are available to citizens.

At the ceremony, the Minister of Home Affairs highlighted the work done by the PSP in the area of weapons and explosives, reporting that it went from 21,000 weapons destroyed in 2015 to 36,500 in 2018. There was a 36% increase in seizures of arms in 2018 and a 28% increase in the seizure of explosives.

"This is a matter that contributed decisively to the many positive results" of violent and serious crime, which fell 8.6% last year compared to 2017, said Eduardo Cabrita.
2019 Firefighting plan - More Resources to combat fires announced

The last fortnight of May will have a 21% increase in combat resources compared to last year, with an additional; 288 teams, 1316 operatives, 294 vehicles and six aircraft compared to 2018. This is according to the National Operational Directive (DON) approved on Tuesday.

The Directive which the Lusa agency had access to, was approved this Tuesday 2nd April at the National Commission for Civil Protection and establishes the Special Firefighting Device (DECIR) for 2019.

As happened in 2018, this year's DECIR is organized and operates "on a permanent basis", reinforced by the probability of the occurrence of rural fires and the alert of the Integrated Protection and Relief Operations System (SIOPS).

With these reinforcements in the last fortnight of May, the level of resources will amount to a total of 1761 teams, 7606 operational staff, 1735 vehicles and 38 air assets.
However, July, August and September, considered the most critical period in fires, continue to mobilize the largest number of resources, this year having 11,492 operational, 2653 teams, 2493 vehicles and 60 air assets.

Last year, this level of maximum commitment (denominated by level IV) counted on 10,767 operatives, 2463 teams, 2303 vehicles and 55 aerial means.


Algarve Crime Statistics 2018

The annual crime statistics released by Government a few days ago showed that overall reported crime in the Algarve decreased slightly from 21,907 cases in 2017 to 21,680 last year (i.e. 1%)compared with Portugal as a whole (down 2.5%).  The very good news is that violent crime in the region decreased by 7.3% to 921 cases.

Safe Communities Portugal has undertaken an initial analysis of the report and more detailed figures provided by Direção - Geral da Politica de Justiça, to determine the crime situation for the Algarve and identify any noticeable crime trends. This is important because knowing the trends enables us all to take appropriate crime precautions.

Firstly it is important to put all this in context, of what is happening in the rest of Portugal as well as Europe as a whole. In Portugal over the last 10 years crime has decreased around 22.1% whereas in the Algarve it has decreased 25% during the same period. This is good news especially when considering the significant growth in tourism in the last few years. From a European perspective Portugal maintains the lowest crime rate.

The decreased in overall crime is welcome as it reverses a slight increase in 2017 compared to 2016. Apart from this, crime has been decreasing steadily since 2008 when the total of crimes reported stood at 29,248.

The highest recorded crimes in the Algarve in 2018 were: drink driving, followed by domestic violence and opportunist theft.

In the overall categories, crime against persons stood at 3661 cases down 11.3% from 2017 and crimes against property 11,884 cases, up 0.6%. The level of property crime is higher than the national average and crime against persons lower.

Read full report

Breaking News

EU Parliament votes to give UK citizens Visa free travel in event of no deal Brexit

The European Parliament has voted on 4th April 2019 confirming that UK citizens will continue to benefit from visa-free travel to member states should there be a no-deal Brexit.

MEPs voted 502 votes to 81 in favour of the concession - provided EU nationals enjoy the same conditions when travelling to the UK.

The decision had been held up by a row at the European Council about the status of Gibraltar, whose sovereignty is disputed by Spain.

The rapporteur for the proposal, Sergei Stanishev, said: "This is an important step for guaranteeing visa-free travel between EU and UK after Brexit, especially in case of no deal."

From the moment of leaving the European Union, British travellers will become "third country nationals". But in common with more than 60 other nationalities, including Australian, Japanese and US visitors, they will be allowed to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, the travel association, said: "Today's vote provides absolute certainty that UK holidaymakers and business travellers will be able to travel visa-free to Europe, deal or no deal"

European Parliament approves new citizen cards. Know what will change 

Each country will have two years to adapt this legislation. Change does not entail additional costs in Portugal.

Citizen's card will change again in the next few years. The European Parliament approved Thursday the new format of the identification document so that it can be standardised for the 28 countries of the European Union.

Citizens with Portuguese nationality will experience the changes when they renew their citizen's card from 2020 or 2021. The changes will be completed by the end of the 2020's.

At that time, the document will include the European Union flag and the photograph will move from the right side to the left side. The symbol of the Portuguese Republic will be surrounded by the stars of the European Union. Greater protection for user data is also guaranteed. In the case of Portugal, the gender of each citizen will not be identified.

Involved as one of the negotiators of the report, MEP Carlos Coelho points out in a press release that "the Portuguese will not have additional costs and will only have to renew their citizen card at the end of their validity period. People over 70 with life cards will not be forced to do so."
Top stories

Portuguese Mission of Civil Protection returns from mission in Mozambique

Around 60 personnel have returned to Portugal, who, during the last ten days, have been part of Joint Operational Force mission in Mozambique, coordinated by the National Authority of Emergency and Civil Protection. 

These personnel, from a total of 93 that were part of the mission, were engaged in operations of transportation of goods, water purification, clearing of roads in Beira and evaluation and aerial reconnaissance of the critical zones through drones.

This mission comprised personnel from the Special Fire Department, the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, the National Guard (GNR), the fire brigade of the Santarém district, the National Emergency Medical Institute and the EDP Company.

In Mozambique there will still be 28 elements from INEM (Campaign Hospital), one ANEPC commander, four GIPS / GNR soldiers (two to operate with drones and two to provide training at Búzi to operate the water treatment plant, which was donated by the Portuguese government to Mozambique) and three elements for support in logistics operations.

Less accidents in the first quarter of the year, but more road deaths

The number of accidents on Portuguese roads declined in the first three months of the year over the same period, with a total of 31,173 incidents, but more fatalities were reported, according to official provisional data.

According to the latest National Road Safety Authority (ANSR) assessment, between January 1 and March 31 of this year there were 788 fewer accidents than in the same period last year (31,961), but there were four more deaths.

In the first quarter of the year, 116 people died on Portuguese roads, four more than in the same period last year (112). The total serious injury accidents was 454, 62 more than in the same period of 2018. The ANSR also indicates that between 1 January and 31 March, 9,368 people suffered minor injuries following accidents, 98 more than in the same period last year (9,270).

Within a year (between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019) the number of deaths on the roads decreased to 512 (minus 12), while that of seriously injured rose to 2,187 (plus 31).

For the first 3 months of this year, the district with the most accidents was Lisbon (6,436), followed by Porto (5,845), Setúbal (2,603), Braga (2,585) and Aveiro (2,556).
Brexit: UK Police warn MPs and campaigners not to inflame tensions
Politicians and campaigners should take care not to "inflame" tensions in the UK caused by Brexit, a senior police chief has warned.

Chairman of the National Police Chief Council (NPCC), Martin Hewitt, said people should think carefully to avoid inciting others to violence.

Police have 10,000 officers ready to deploy at 24 hours' notice as part of possible no-deal Brexit preparations. However, police chiefs said the measures were only a precaution.
Mr Hewitt said the NPCC was preparing for the "worst case scenario" and was not predicting major problems.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall, the NPCC lead for operations, also said there was no intelligence to suggest there would be a rises in crime or disorder because of Brexit, although forces were "prepared to respond to any issues that may arise".

The warnings follow increased concern about intimidation of MPs.

Mr Hewitt said the UK was in "an incredibly febrile atmosphere" as a result of the debate over leaving the EU and there was a lot of "angry talk" on social media.

He said: "I think there is a responsibility on those individuals that have a platform and have a voice to communicate in a way that is temperate and is not in any way going to inflame people's views."

Officers in charge of policing Parliament said they had seen an increase in abuse aimed at politicians and several MPs have requested increased security.
Notable Arrests

Seized 114 thousand packs of cigarettes in the municipality of Castro Marim

The Faro GNR Fiscal Action unit has seized 114,000 packs of cigarettes, valued at 513,000 euros, on the border of Monte Francisco, Castro de Marim municipality, on Thursday 4 th April.
In a statement, the GNR said that the 114,000 packs of seized cigarettes had no fiscal stamp. The Portuguese authorities are trying to determine the origin of the material.

"The items were being transported by an emergency breakdown truck towing two other vehicles. The GNR found that one of the towed vehicles contained a large amount of cigarettes in its cargo space, without showing any fiscal stamp, "is mentioned.

The driver of the tow truck, aged 38, was charged with committing the crime of Fraudulent Introduction in Consumption.

n addition to the 114 thousand packs of cigarettes, a total of two million and 280 thousand cigarettes) were also seized in a light goods vehicle.

Operation "Safe Out" - Trafficking in narcotics

The Judicial Police, through the Department of Criminal Investigation of Funchal, with the collaboration of Criminal Investigation Department of Aveiro, undertook this week Operation "Safe Out ", aimed at the dismantling a group that was dedicated to drug trafficking in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

Under this Operation, 11 searches were carried out in Madeira and Aveiro. Small amounts of amphetamines and other drugs were seized, plus 2 scales, 7 mills to grind narcotics, 10 vehicles, about 15 mobile phones, 4 computers and € 18,340 cash Four men, aged between 30 and 42 years were arrested.

About 25 kg of hashish were seized inside 2 lockers that were closed and were transported along with other objects by sea freight.

Three of the detainees, after appearing before the judicial authorities, were subject to the preventive detention orders, the fourth being subject to daily presentation to the authorities.

Since the beginning of December 2018, three men, aged 53, 38 and 35, were arrested and apprehended as a result of the information collected in this investigation, involved in the trafficking to the United Kingdom authorities, of hashish, transported by car from the region of Aveiro.

Judicial Police arrest two persons for qualified fraud in Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António

The Judiciary Police, through the Southern Board of Directors, as part of an ongoing investigation, have identified and detained a woman and a man for the alleged perpetration of six felonies of qualified fraud, between late 2017 and early 2018, involving amounts of two hundred thousand Euros.

The suspects, a real estate consultant and lawyer, believed that potential clients could achieve high capital gains, encouraging them to invest in real estate, through the acquisition of real estate in auctions and subsequent sale. This was to be achieved earning great profits, with the victims handing over large amounts of cash, against the delivery of pre-dated cheques as collateral, without ever being able to obtain the return of the money invested.

The arrest took place in the context of an investigation supervised by the Public Ministry of the DIAP of Faro.

The detainees, aged 45 and 44 years and with no criminal record, will be present for judicial interrogation to apply pre-trial conditions.

Ílhavo - GNR seize 2,300 pyrotechnic items 

On 27th March the GNR Territorial Command of Aveiro, through the Territorial Office of Ílhavo, identified a man and a woman of 55 and 46 years, on suspicion of unauthorised marketing of pyrotechnic devices in that locality.

During an inspection of a commercial establishment in the town of Ílhavo, it was found that it sold pyrotechnic articles. During a search 2,300 items were seized, of which 1 550 were firecrackers.
The pyrotechnic devices will now be subject to destruction.

SEF detains passenger with 124 capsules of cocaine in the body

The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) detained, at Lisbon Airport, a foreign citizen, coming from São Paulo, for trafficking in narcotic drugs.

The passenger, was carrying 124 capsules in the inside his body that was identified as cocaine, eventually expelling eight at the time of the interview.

The foreign citizen and the expelled drugs were handed over to the Judicial Police for further procedural steps to be undertaken.

Loulé - GNR arrest person for drug trafficking 

On 1st April the GNR Territorial Office Loulé, arrested a 38 year old man, following the dismantling of a greenhouse cannabis plantation, in the town of Loulé.

Following the drug trafficking investigation, which started about a month ago, search warrants were executed at the residence of the suspect and his vehicle, which culminated in the seizure of:
  • Seven potted cannabis plants;
  • A ventilation and heating system;
  • Various products and seeds for cultivation and treatment;
  • A precision scale;
  • Three mobile phones;
  • 960 euros in cash
The suspect was constituted a defendant and subject to a term of reporting regularly to police.

Safe Communities Portugal 

SCP Meeting with ANPC 

Safe Communities Portugal met recently with officials (at national director level) from the ANPC to discuss rural fires and other related matters.

The topics discussed at the meeting were:
  • The SMS alert system used last year for rural fires will be extended this year to other major events such as an earthquake for example.
  • Communication with the foreign community and tourists during rural fires and other impact events.This has been raised several times previously by SCP and ANPC are now examining a process whereby this can be improved this year. It was agreed that it was important to communicate timely and accurate information in a way that does not alarm the public, but provides essential information for their safety.
  • Transformation of the ANPC to the ANPEC - SCP was informed that this would shortly become law and the implications of this and the effect of the remit and structure of the ANPC would need to be examined. Note: Was enacted in law on 2nd April.
  • Safe Village - Safe People program - We discussed the promotion of this and ANPC outlined that this would be stepped up during the year with more information becoming available.

Local News

Criminal investigation of the Judicial Police close to recovering 25% of its workforce deficiency

Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunem said the criminal investigation of the Judiciary Police is about to recover 25% of its workforce deficiency, with the addition of 120 inspectors, a new course for 40 inspectors and a selection contest for a hundred staff members. Francisca Van Dunem spoke at the ceremony that marked the inauguration of 120 new probationary inspectors in the PJ, which was chaired by the Prime Minister, António Costa.

 "The regularization of the renewal of the PJ's staff prevents issues resulting from the absence of continuities and a tradition of experience and knowledge among succeeding generations", said the Minister.

Francisca Van Dunem highlighted the fact that the Government has never lowered its aims in the effort of recruitment, equipping and technological improvement of the PJ, adapting it to the requirements of a modern scientific police force. In 2018, about 8 million euros in technology was invested, a trend that will continue this year.
During her speech, the Minister also referred to the National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technology Crime (UNC3T), in which an important investment was made in technologies, but lacked, like other units, the strengthening of human resources '.

Road education program mobilises 5,000 children in 2019

The Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, pointed out that the "Junior Safe on the Road" program will mobilize around 5,000 children in the first and second cycles of basic education in 25 municipalities in 2019.

The program was developed by the National Road Safety Authority, in conjunction with the Directorate-General for Education, and will be carried out in the municipalities where the road accidents were the most significant.

"The aim is the involvement of the whole community, from the earliest childhood," said Eduardo Cabrita, to ensure the gradual decline of accidents on Portuguese roads. For this, it will be necessary to make an even greater effort of collective conscience and inspection.

Under the "Junior Safe on the Road" program, students have the opportunity to carry out distinct activities involving digital and non-digital media, with content on reducing the risk of accidents in the road environment.

Road Safety is one of the themes included in the National Strategy for Education for Citizenship, one of the priorities defined in the Program of the XXI Constitutional Government for Education.


The 12 subject lines that could indicate your email is under attack

Cybersecurity experts have revealed a list of the 12 most common subject lines used in phishing emails targeting businesses.

The list shows that fraudsters are using a combination of personalisation and pressure in an attempt to deceive victims.

In many cases, the language contained in the subject line of the email mimics popular terms used in the workplace to give the illusion that an urgent response is required; the idea being that an employee is more likely to open and respond to an email from a work colleague or their boss rather than a message from a stranger.

The data has been compiled by cybersecurity company Barracuda following an analysis of 360,000 phishing emails in a three month period.  The top subject lines are based around the following key phrases:

  1. Request
  2. Follow up
  3. Urgent/Important
  4. Are you available?/Are you at your desk?
  5. Payment Status
  6. Hello
  7. Purchase
  8. Invoice Due
  9. Re:
  10. Direct Deposit
  11. Expenses
  12. Payroll
[Source: Barracuda / ZDNet]

How you can protect yourself:

Don't click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

Don't assume an email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember criminals can spoof email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust.
Crime Prevention

Crime prevention advice beaches and car parks

With the approach of the Easter holidays and subject to some warmer weather, there will be many people now using the fantastic beaches that Portugal has to offer, some of the best in the world.

However, there are of course those who take the advantage of this to commit crime, mainly thefts from hire cars and other opportunist crime such as stealing goods that have been left unattended. Nearly all of this type of crime is preventable.

Such thefts, especially when passports and credit cards are concerned, can have a serious impact on a holiday so it is best to take simple crime prevention advice. 

We have a comprehensive "Stay Safe" crime prevention series and the following two in particular are very useful in reducing the risk of becoming a victim of these sorts of crime.

Driving and car parking

Civil Protection and Public Safety

Safe Holiday advice for tourists - Prevention and Protection against Rural Fires

Safe Communities Portugal, Turismo de Portugal and the ANPC have combined to produce a leaflet aimed at creating awareness of the risk of rural fires for tourists. This covers ways to prevent fires and should a fire break out, what action to take to protect yourself.

It is important that all those involved in the tourism industry including tour operators, hotel owners, villa letting agencies and property management businesses are aware of this and inform their clients accordingly.

The leaflet in English can be downloaded here.

March fires were influenced by anticyclones

According to the IPMA the increase in the burning area and number of fires in Portugal during the month of March was influenced by anticyclones that affected Western Europe and the Atlantic coast, according to their report released on Tuesday.2nd April.

In the evaluation of the number of rural fires in the country, the institute explains that the anticyclonic predominance - which translates into changing air temperatures, becoming hotter at lower levels preventing the formation of clouds and precipitation.  These factors favoured conditions for the rapid spread of rural fires," according to experts.

In March, with the exception of the period between 5 and 7, there were no significant amounts of precipitation," says the institute. At the same time, "very low levels of relative humidity have been recorded, especially from day 15," the document underlines. 

The situation worsened in the last days of the month, with humidity levels much lower than the average recorded in March of previous years, down to "15% in almost all the territory, including the regions of the North and Centre coast". Due to the lack of humidity, the east wind intensified.
In addition to facilitating the spread off fires, climatic conditions have created "a rapid dryness of the fine fuels that are in the surface layer of the soil". The most affected regions were in the north of the country, in Minho and in the district of Bragança.

Since the beginning of the year until the end of March at least 3764 hectares of burned area were registered in Portugal. During the same period, 2173 rural fires were recorded.  According to data from the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests, there were 408 more fires than in the same period of last year. But despite the increase in the area burned and the number of fires, the numbers were lower than the annual average of the last ten years

Overseas News

Cameras hidden in hotels film thousands of guests

The scandal was unveiled in South Korea, where two men were arrested for hiding devices in hotel rooms, which broadcast the live images to a site where there were people paid money to see the pictures. The cameras were hidden in dryers, TV boxes or sockets, in a very discreet way, according to a CNN report.

In addition to the two men, two others who may be attached to the scheme have already been arrested, who may have recorded more than 1600 guests. The cameras were installed in 42 rooms of 30 hotel units in ten cities in South Korea.

According to the South Korean authorities, there is still insufficient evidence to indicate that hotel managers knew of the existence of this surveillance scheme.

With the images transmitted to a site, there were over 4,000 members had access to these.
Of this number, at least 97 users paid around $ 45 per month (about 39.65 euros) to access extra features - for example, to repeat specific moments of some broadcasts.

Authorities estimate that since November of last year, this site may have yielded more than six thousand dollars, about 5290 euros. It is not the first time such an activity has been revealed in South Korea - police recently found a similar case, with the difference that the images were not transmitted live on the Internet. In 2017 alone, more than 6400 cases of illegal filming were detected in South Korea. Such situations have been growing in Korea, since in 2012 the number of cases was around 2400.

Coordinated hit against gun smuggling operation between France and the US

Seven suspects were arrested in France on 26 February as a result of operation involving the French Gendarmerie Nationale (National Gendarmerie) targeting a criminal group suspected of importing firearms into France. An associate was also arrested on American soil earlier in the month.

60 handguns, 20 rifles and 9 sticks of dynamites were seized as a result of coordinated raids throughout France (Loiret, Nièvre, Savoie, Seine-et-Marne and Val-de-Marne). A Europol mobile office was deployed to Nemours, allowing for the real-time exchange of information between all involved parties.

The inquiry was sparked in June 2018 after evidence was found during an unrelated house search which led to the identification of this organised crime group importing firearms into France. The firearms were bought legally in the United States by an associate, before being shipped illegally to France, broken down in parts spread across dozens of packages.

It is believed that this organised crime group trafficked into France over 450 weapons for the year 2018 alone.

Spanish Euro Counterfeit Print Shop Busted

The Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional) have dismantled the most active counterfeit euro print shop in Spain with the support of Europol. The specialised crime ring, based in Tenerife, manufactured fake banknotes in 10 and 20 euro denominations, earning the gang around €7 500 every month.

Operation Malla began in July 2018 when investigators from the Brigade of Investigation of the Bank of Spain noted a significant increase in fake €10 banknotes in the Tenerife, Spain. The criminals circulated the money as legal currency exploiting all kinds of businesses in the Canary Islands, as the owners did not notice it was fake. The investigators noticed that the euro counterfeit banknotes produced by the criminal network was not only circulated in Spain, but also across Europe.

On the day of the operation police arrested the four individuals responsible for producing the fake banknotes and carried out one house search in Tenerife, where a print shop producing fake €10 and €20 banknotes and ID cards was dismantled. 

A variety of printing equipment such as inkjet printers, computers, and the inks and paper needed to create the counterfeit banknotes was seized. In total, €15 500 in counterfeit banknotes (in 10 and 20 denominations) were confiscated: €9 000 during the search in Tenerife and €6 500 in circulation.
Global law enforcement action against vendors and buyers on Dark Web
Law enforcement from Europe, Canada and the United States joined forces early 2019 to target vendors and buyers of illegal goods on dark web marketplaces.

During the course of this operation, international law enforcement agencies made 61 arrests and shut down 50 dark web accounts used for illegal activity. Law enforcement executed 65 search warrants, seizing 299,5 kg of drugs, 51 firearms, and over €6,2 million (almost €4 million in crypto-currency, €2.2 million in cash, and €35 000 in gold). They also conducted 122 interviews.

By coordinating efforts and acting simultaneously, a strong signal has been sent to those active in selling and buying drugs, counterfeit goods, firearms, etc. on the dark web. This coordinated hit shows that if you are conducting illegal activities on the dark web, you can and will be tracked down by law enforcement.

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  2nd May 2019.

We also have a 5 minute feature named "Crimecheck" on Sir Owen Gee's Solid Gold Sunday which is usually aired at 0915 hrs on the last Sunday of each month. Over the last few months with the kind agreement of Owen we have run additional features covering topical issues, such as fire protection.  The next one is on  28th April 2019.  

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



5th April 2019