Portugal´s only registered non-profit crime prevention association providing dedicated information and support services to the community
13 September 2018


This is probably the most diverse newsletter we have published for some time, with 26 articles covering some very topical issues, concerning policing, crime, crime prevention, cyber crime, civil protection, fraud and security issues. I therefore hope you find it interesting and useful.

It is now just over a month since the rural fire in Monchique, and there are many efforts being made by government and volunteer groups to help the community there as well as plan in a way for the future, that reduces the risk of fires, in one of the highest fire risk areas in the country.

At Safe Communities we have been busy working closely with the Secretary of State for Tourism's office, the Secretary of State for Civil Protections office, the ANPC in further developing plans aimed at achieving improved awareness, and understanding of rural fire risks among the foreign community and tourists. 

To help with that process we were able to arrange with government a system where you can relay your views, in Portuguese or English, directly to the ANPC concerning your experiences during rural fires particularly concerning lessons learned and propose any changes for the future. This was announced three weeks ago and many people have already used that facility. Simply use the Safe Village - Safe People email link here and submit your views to them. 

Since 2014 we, as an association, have been holding seminars bringing together government representatives on this subject, and starting this year we are finally seeing the fruits of this by government taking a more pro-active response as far as non-Portuguese speaking communities are concerned. The importance of close collaboration with the decision makers cannot be understated.

One simple but important outcome of this, is the new government leaflet entitled "Safe Holidays". This is specifically aimed at tourists in order to create greater awareness of rural fires and, protection measures if affected. SCP provided the input which was verified by the ANPC and agreed by two ministries before publication. Now you know why some things take time! Anyway it is currently being printed and will be distributed nation wide soon. It is available on line here and I would encourage all those in the tourism industry to circulate this please. We have further projects in hand.

Perhaps the most significant issue that has grabbed media attention over the last few weeks is the collapse of Premier FX.  One important issue arising from this is how to avoid becoming a victim of these types of schemes in future. Please see our article in this newsletter under "Crime prevention", which gives a number of tips.

Apart from this there has been some excellent police work in the Algarve which has resulted in the arrest of several criminals and recovery of stolen goods.

We are a voluntary association and rely on donations if you feel we helped you in any way please consider making a donation,  which will enable us to continue, and indeed further improve our services. The details of how to make a donation are at the end of this newsletter or to our PayPal by simply making a donation here.

We thank all our sponsors for your help in enabling us to continue to do the work that we do. Thank you Currencies Direct,  IBC Security, Tui, Algarve Getaways and Destination Algarve, for sponsoring this new sletter.

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


Portuguese Air Force saves 150 migrants from vessel sinking in Mediterranean  sea

The Portuguese Air Force has rescued 150 migrants who were in the water or drifting after an overcrowded rubber vessel was shipwrecked this week in the central Mediterranean, the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA) said on Friday 7th September.

In a statement, EMGFA said that the Portuguese Air Force's P-3C aircraft on a mission in the central Mediterranean sea, as part of the "Sofhia" military operation of the European Union Naval Force, this week detected north of Libya , two boats overcrowded with migrants, one of them shipwrecked with hundreds of people on board.

The EMGFA points out that the Portuguese military dropped self-inflatable life rafts from the air, which has saved about 150 migrants who are in the water or adrift clinging to various floating objects.

The Libyan coastguard later collected them from the ship wreck.

Excellent work by the air Force - Read Full Story here

Judicial Police search Câmara de Pedrógão Grande offices concerning alleged "illegality" in the reconstruction of houses

Pedrógão Grande Mayor Valdemar Alves said on 10th September that there is "no illegality" in the process of rebuilding the homes affected by the 2017 fire and that there are no works in homes that did not burn.

Before entering the session of the Extraordinary Municipal Assembly to discuss the theme and that took place in the House of Culture of Pedrógão Grande, Valdemar Alves claimed "there is no irregularities, absolute certainty ".

According to Valdemar Alves, "there were no deviations, nor could there be, because the Council does not have any funds for the reconstruction of the houses."

Asked by journalists about the various cases that have been pointed out in the media, the mayor said that "they are false news, completely false."

During statements to reporters, Valdemar Alves reaffirmed that all houses rebuilt from the Revita fund are "first housing".

Despite these guarantees, on 12th September the Judicial Police  (PJ)  undertook searches of the council offices,  as part of an investigation into alleged irregularities in the reconstruction of houses burned in the fires of last year, in a report published in PÚBLICO.  

The same report stated that at the end of August, an investigation by TVI found that there were houses that were in ruins at the time of the fires of last year and that would be rebuilt as they had been considered as first housing. Several of the examples involved relatives of current or former local parish presidents, officials of the Pedrógão Grande Chamber and a person close to the president of that municipality.

The council responded by stating that the searches were made following the request for an investigation by the city council to find out what happened in the reconstruction of houses that burned following the fire of last year.

Seventy-one people drown since the beginning of the year

The Drowning Observatory, created by the Portuguese Lifesaving Federation (FEPONS), has recorded 71 deaths since the beginning of the year, 17 fewer than in the same period last year, according to data released today.

From January to June 2018 49 people died, of whom 34 were men and 15 women, the majority of Portuguese nationality.

Of the total deaths, 22 occurred in rivers and 17 in the sea and three deaths were registered in dam, two in wells, two in a tank, one in a domestic pool and one in a public swimming pool.
The "Drowning Observatory" is a system created by the Portuguese Lifesaving Federation, to better account the drowning deaths in Portugal.

Currently, the world average death from drowning is one death every 1.5 minutes (372,000 per year), but this figure is much higher because it is not being properly accounted.

More details about their work can be found here

Breaking News

Six arrested in hit against illegal television streaming in UK and Ireland
Europol announced on 12th September that after a year-long complex investigation coordinated by Europol, authorities in Hampshire, south east England, Scotland and Ireland have arrested six, suspected of illicitly distributing premium TV channels by using Internet Protocol television (IPTV) technology.

Piracy is a criminal activity. Moreover, from a consumer perspective, not only is it illegal to subscribe to these services, but one in four who stream illegally through a box or stick are affected by viruses and malware. Illegally streaming copyrighted television brings a significant loss to legitimate businesses (broadcasters and right owners) and threatens the livelihoods of those working legitimately in the industry and the wider economy.

Police officers carried out house searches on 11 September at different locations in Ireland and the UK. A man and a woman from Bursledon were arrested by the Hampshire County Council's Trading Standards Service and Hampshire Constabulary. Four people were detained in Crumlin and Ashbourne (Ireland) and also several actions took place in Scotland. During the house searches, computer equipment and cash was seized and several bank accounts were frozen.

The arrests are the result of a complex investigation, involving a number of law enforcement agencies (Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Police Scotland, Trading Standards and UK IPO) and private sector partners, such as the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). 

This international investigation was coordinated from the beginning by Europol who supported with operational meetings, criminal analysis and the deployment of two experts to Dublin.

Special Features

Forest Fire Fuel Type H for Home - Article by Val Charlton  
In June Val Charlton, assisted by her colleague Tessa visited Portugal at the invitation of the Portuguese Government to outline their work of Landworks in South Africa concerning the establishment of Firewise Communities. Val is the Managing Director of Landworks and has kindly provided to Safe Communities Portugal the following article, for which we are very grateful. 

"Portugal has been identified as one of the Southern European countries at highest risk from runaway damaging forest fires, with changing climatic conditions increasing the risk further. Nature is a powerful adversary, yet we love to live close to it, be surrounded by it and become complacent about how furiously the forests can burn, once alight.

Wildfires are just that - a forest fire that is out of control, un-managed, unplanned and unwanted. A home is just more fuel in the path of a wildfire. Wildland firefighters in the USA call it fuel type H.
Landscape fires are not all bad. In fact, Mediterranean ecosystems are fire adapted - born to burn - and need to burn from time to time to maintain biodiversity. The cork on a Cork Oak is there for a reason! Over eons, the tree has adapted to survive fire by hiding its buds under a thick, fire resistant, layer of cork, and it re-sprouts after a fire. Most indigenous Mediterranean plants have developed a fire survival strategy. Some carry seeds in cones that open and disperse after a fire, others have rootstocks that re-sprout from under the ground.
Unfortunately, some non-indigenous plants have the same strategies, but like to burn at higher temperatures! Australian Acacia and Eucalyptus are two offenders that have invaded Portugal, massively increasing fuel for landscape fires.
So what is the fire survival strategy for homes and the families that live in them?
Research in the USA has proven that, when Firewise precautions have been taken, most structures have a fair chance of withstanding the force of a wildfire under moderate conditions. Australia, also prone to vicious wildfires, encourages homeowners to be prepared.   Home owners living on the edge of wildlands in Portugal would be wise to follow suit.
Ideally, a fire should be able happen as a natural event without firefighters needing to place their lives on the line to protect a property, because the home is designed, positioned and maintained in such a way that the fire will go around it, and measures are in place to protect it against ignition from flying embers. This sounds far fetched, but it isn't! Weather severity and surrounding fuels do play a big role in the survivability of a home, but there much that can be done to reduce risk.

For more information visit the Landworks website here

Moving to Portugal - Safety and Security Considerations

Portugal is a great place to live, with friendly people, good climate, good food, wine and superb countryside. It is also the 4 th Most Peaceful Country in the World.

In deciding where to live and what type of property to purchase, we tend to take into account cost, whether to live in a town or in the countryside; whether to purchase a new property, live in a traditional Quinta or simply purchase land and build from scratch.

These are many factors whether you are moving here, or moving house within Portugal, that estates agents can advise in selecting a property. Other factors, not so frequently asked, are those concerning safety and security - after all your investment is important as well as your well- being and quality of life.

Portugal is one of the safest places to live in Europe, but it is important to take safety and security into account when choosing a home. As we get older this is more important.
How many people do you know are downsizing, not necessarily because the place they live in is too large, but simply because the cost of upkeep is too high or they are longer to physically able to maintain it.

Safe Communities Portugal has undertaken research into this and has produced a Checklist - "Moving to Portugal - Deciding where to live". Before any suggestions that this may put people off coming here, I suggest just the reverse - by following this it will help people decide what the best property is for them taking into account the factors identified.


The choice of location is really important. If choosing a rural property consider matters such as the distance from police, ambulance and fire services and how long they will take to reach you in an emergency. Do they know the location of the house? Seems obvious but many rural properties are not served by roads that have names or numbers.

Top stories

Azores - 840 kgs Cocaine seized by Judicial Police  

The Judiciary Police, through the National Unit to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and with the support of the Navy and the Air Force, conducted at the end of last week an operation to combat illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs by sea, which resulted in the location and subsequent seizure of a sailboat type recreational craft which was being used for the transport of high quantities of cocaine between the Caribbean and Europe.

The vessel in question, with the flag of a foreign country, was initially located off the Azores Archipelago, eventually entering the marina of the city of Horta, in Faial Island, where it was searched by the Judicial Police, which were supported by members of the Maritime Police in the city of Horta. 

As a result, compartments specially created in the structure of the vessel for the transportation of narcotics containing 700 cocaine plates with an approximate total gross weight of 840 kg were found.

On board were two men and two women who were detained and who according to the evidence already collected will be part of a criminal organisation established in different countries of the European continent and Latin America.

Delay in the statute and organic law of the PJ compromises the fight against corruption

The president of the Association of Criminal Investigation Officials (ASFIC) warned on Monday that the "stagnation" of the career of the PJ inspectors and the lack of personnel jeopardize the investigation and fight against corruption by the police.

The president of ASFIC-PJ, Ricardo Valadas, told Lusa that negotiations with the Government on the revision of the Organic Law of the PJ and its Professional Statute lasted two and a half years, with a working group presented in June a set of proposals.

However, and although the Justice Minister is committed to the approval of the diplomas, it lacks the signature of the Minister of Finance, he said.

Earlier, an ASFIC-PJ communiqué stated that investigators of the Judicial Police consider that the "Ministry of Finance is mortgaging the future of criminal investigation in Portugal".
The association considers that the waiting time for revisions of the Organic Law of the PJ and the Professional Statute has run out, and that it is urgent to re-position the careers, a situation that, the President pointed out to Lusa, affects the work and motivation of criminal investigation inspectors.

According to Ricardo Valadas, the lack of motivation for a career that has been "stagnant for a long time" and the lack of personnel (the table foresees 2,400 inspectors and there are now only 1,100). These are at present the main problems of this police organisation who are in charge of the investigation cybercrime, organised and violent crime, organised crime and terrorism.


I could not agree more with the President of ASFIC. The Judicial Police here are undertaking vital work in tackling and investigation the most serious crimes, and the lack of staff and conditions of services mean that this situation is unsustainable. It is hope that the propsals made are implemented as soon as possible.

Police association announces protest at Finance Ministry for 26 September
The Association of Police Professionals (ASPP / PSP) announced on Wednesday 12 th September that it will hold a protest rally in front of the Finance Ministry in Lisbon on 26 September due to the absence of government responses.

At stake are the cuts in the various allowances on vacation and the transition to pre-retirement, the ASPP said in a statement, stressing that it had already threatened to protest if the Government did not resolve these issues.

The ASPP concerns the application of the decision of the Supreme Administrative court, which in March ruled on the cuts made to the various subsidies attributed to the police, including special service, patrol and during a holiday, following an action brought by that trade union.

According to the largest PSP union, these cuts were made in 2010 and the Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that retroactive payments must be paid since that date.

Homicides in South Africa rose six percent with 57 homicides a day

Homicides in South Africa rose 6.9 percent last year to an average of 57 homicides per day, Police Minister Bheki Cele said today that he compared his country to a "war zone."

According to statistics, a total of 20,336 people died in the 12 months to March, an increase of 6.19% over last year.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, there were 19,016 murders in South Africa, accounting for 52 deaths per day.


In Portugal there were 82 homicides in 2017.

By comparison in England and Wales, there were 709 homicides in the year ending March 2017, 141 more (25% increase) than in the previous year, this includes the 96 cases of manslaughter that were registered in 2017, resulting from events at Hillsborough in 1989. Excluding these, the number of homicides increased by 8%, to 613 cases.

In terms of the homicide rate in South Africa, which has the same population as England and Wales (around 56 million), it is nearly 30 times more likely that you would be murdered in South Africa compared to England and Wales

By comparison the number of murders in the USA in 2017 stood at 17,250, which has a population 5 times higher than South Africa.

Notable Arrests

Man arrested for robberies in
Conceicão and Cabanas de Tavira

On 28 th August the Criminal Investigation Unit Tavira detained 36 year old Portuguese national, suspected of carrying out these crimes. The arrest followed an investigation carried out by the GNR and DIAP in Faro, into a series of violent robberies involving threats, assault and threats with a weapon.

This individual arrested has a history of this type of crime (having previously served 10 years in prison). During the operation he resisted arrest and slightly injured the arresting officers.

The following day a second person aged 28 years was arrested following the execution of a search warrant with the support of the PSP of Tavira. Various suspected stolen items were also seized.

The arrests are in connection with a series of robberies that have taken place since the middle of June this year mainly targeting foreign nationals in Conceicão and Cabanas de Tavira usually returning from an evening out.

On 30 th August the detainees appeared in court, and the 36 year old has been placed in pre-trial detention and the other reporting regularly to police.

These robberies which started in mid June had caused some concern among the population and had appeared on Trip Advisor and various social media. Safe Communities met with the Commander to discuss this a few days before the arrests.

Very good work by GNR Tavira.

Tavira - Man detained suspect of Arson

The Judiciary Police, through the Southern Board, have identified and detained a man for allegedly starting a fire in the area of Luz de Tavira.

On September 1, around 3:30 pm, the detainee with a lighter set fire to two areas next to a room of a property, causing a fire that consumed them.

The fire did not spread only due to the prompt intervention of the fire services.
The dwelling and annexes belong to the former companion of the defendant, who was motivated by jealousy of her having a new relationship.

The detention occurred in the context of an investigation supervised by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Tavira.

The 44-year-old detainee has appeared for judicial interrogation to apply for pre-trial conditions.

Loulé - Person arrested for residential burglaries
On 5 th September the GNR Criminal Investigation Centre of Loulé, arrested a 43-year-old man for burglary from a residence in Loulé.

Following the report of the theft, the GNR carried out enquiries to identify and locate the suspect. He was subsequently found and arrested and all the stolen objects recovered, as well as others suspected of being from other thefts.

From the house search conducted were seized: two laptops; a camera; three mobile phones; four watches; a video game console; several gold pieces, namely rings, wires and bracelets; a music player; a travel trolley used to conceal and transport stolen objects; eight cannabis plants and € 1,600 in cash.

The detainee, who has already served 11 years in prison for crimes against property and drug trafficking, is currently being presented to the Judicial Court of Loulé.

Olhão - GNR recover stolen objects stolen from homes in Vale do Lobo
 On 6 th September the GNR Criminal Investigation Centre of Loulé, recovered several stolen objects and identified a 46-year-old man in of Olhão, for qualified theft.

As part of an investigation for theft from a residence, in Vale do Lobo, in Almancil, during August, a search warrant was issued for the suspect's residence, resulting in the seizure of: five cameras; two laptops; two MacBook; two Tablet's; an Ipad; 12 pen-drives; ten memory cards; three speakers; head-Phones; three bicycles; five pairs of sunglasses; a watch; a clarinet; two cuff links and multiple house keys.

The recovered objects, which are presumed to be from other burglaries from the interior of residences, occurring in the same area, have the presumed value of 10 thousand euros.
The suspect was constituted a defendant and subject to pre-trial reporting conditions. The investigation by the GNR Loulé, and the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action of Faro, continues.

The operation was supported by the Public Security Police.

Local News

PSP police commences "Operation Safe School 2018/19"

The Public Security Police (PSP) starts today September 12, at the national level together with the Regional Commands of Madeira and the Azores, Metropolitans of Lisbon and Porto Districts, "Operation Safe School - Academic Year 2018/2019".

Through the Safe School Program (PES), the PSP is focused on prevention, making individual contacts, awareness-raising, demonstrations and visits to police sub-units, showing itself increasingly, as an institution that promotes initiatives, projects and partnerships aimed at promoting the values of citizenship in the school community, aimed at the harmonious development of children and young people.

The PES, in its 24th year of official validity, will focus on topics such as dating violence, bullying and cyberbullying, alcohol and drug consumption, road safety and self-protection. This prevention will be undertaken through preventive actions, such as presentations / actions aimed at the adolescents, as well as for the children's audiences through the stories "I Do as Falco Says."

The PSP will focus on crime prevention and delinquency in and around educational establishments, as well as reinforce its presence in the home - school - homes of students, teachers, parents / guardians and auxiliaries of educational action.

In the field of road safety, special attention will be given to the safety and restraint systems of children's vehicles (seat belts and strollers), being aware of the main risk factors (driving under the influence of alcohol and narcotics, speeding , driving without legal authorization, disrespect of pedestrian crossings, signage near schools, child restraint systems - seats), complemented by inspections at commercial establishments selling and consuming alcoholic beverages to minors in public places and places open to the public.

Madeira to expand coastal surveillance and control system

T he Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, said that Madeira will expand the system of coastal surveillance and control in an investment that has a planned cost of 1.5 million euros. 

In Caniçal, during the visit to Madeira, Eduardo Cabrita said that the equipment of the four units that the archipelago will have "is fundamental for the prevention of security, control of the external borders of the Union, customs control, illegal immigration control and detection of vessels in difficulties'.

The Government intends to "install four units that allow the verification of all the vessels between the extreme points of the island of Madeira and Porto Santo", added Eduardo Cabrita, saying that the Mobile Observation Post of the Integrated System of Surveillance, Command and Control of the Republican National Guard in parish of Caniçal will have a fixed system. 

The Caniçal unit, such as those in Funchal, Calheta and Porto Santo, will be "linked to the national coastal control network". 

 Eduardo Cabrita also said that the Government will begin to plan the enlargement of systems in the Azores in a next phase, since the archipelago is not yet covered by this European system of coastal control. 

€10 million investment in construction and refurbishment of GNR and PSP facilities in the Algarve

The construction and upgrading of the premises of the GNR and the PSP in the Algarve represent a total investment of 10 million euros, the Assistant Secretary of State for Internal Affairs, Isabel Oneto, has stated.

The total investment includes the facilities of the GNR of Almancil and Quarteira (Loulé), Lagos, Olhos de Água (Albufeira), Aljezur and Vila Real de Santo António, and PSP in Faro, Vila Real de Santo António and Portimão.

Isabel Oneto spoke at the end of the signing ceremony of the protocol of collaboration btween the Ministry on Internal administration and, the GNR, PSP and the Câmara de Albufeira, for the refurbishment works the facilities of the territorial post of the GNR at Olhos de Agua, with a cost total of about 300 thousand euros.

The works will be carried out in Faro district fall under the scope of Program of Infrastructures and Equipment of the Forces and Security Services 2017-21

The construction and upgrading of infrastructures is "extremely important to provide the security forces with conditions to enable them to carry out their missions with higher quality," she said.

The refurbishment of the former GNR station in Olhos de Água, in the municipality of Albufeira, will allow to accommodate the military that currently operate from a room of the local parish council.

The Albufeira Council assumes responsibility for the costs of drawing up the architectural plans, supervision and monitoring project, representing an investment of 50% of the total cost of the work (150 thousand euros).
Crime Prevention

Choosing an FX provider

It is vitally important that in selecting a Foreign Exchange (FX) provider, that people undertake thorough research that the business concerned is properly regulated and has all the safeguards in place. 

Yes this may take time, but this is better than finding out later that the business is not compliant or has procedures in place which may not be in accordance with regulated practices.

Unfortunately we live in a world where the use of technology can make life easier but at the same time is open to abuse. In moving forward we have provided the following guide courtesy of Currencies direct to help you make the right choice.  

Although not an exhaustive list these are the key indicators when choosing an FX provider:
  • FX provider should be authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). This means that FCA regulations have to be applied including the segregation and "ring fencing" of all client accounts.
  • Do they employ well-known external auditors to carry out periodical audits on company policies including client money procedures?
  • Do they have a credit rating form an independent ratings agency (like Dun and Bradstreet)?
  • Are they registered with HMRC and do they pay taxes in their country of registration?
  • How long has the FX provider been in business?
  • Is the FX provider fully registered and authorised or are they just operating under another´s "umbrella" registration?
  • What do their customers say on company feedback sites (like TrustPilot)?
There are also some danger signals to be aware of:
  • Is the FX provider asking for a deposit on a "forward contract". If not this could be an indicator of speculation
  • Once a contract has been completed are they offering a better rate as it improves. This could be an indicator that the contract/position has not been "left open" and that they are speculating
  • Is the contract rate being offered either at or above market rate. This would mean that they will be losing money and as no company can afford to run at a loss so could be an indicator of a "Ponzi" scheme
this information has been provide by  Currencies Direct   www.currenciesdirect.com/portugalone of the worlds largest Currency Exchange organisations.
Reporting Fraud

One of the challenges in respect of investigating crime is those of a cross border nature financial nature..For instance what looks like a simple crime using a fake holiday letting scam can involve 4-5 different countries.

If your are a victim of financial crime in Portugal but you believe it may have international connections particularly with the UK the following options are open to you.

Action Fraud

Firstly you can report to Action Fraud UK on-line. this is then passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) which is mart of the City of London police (not to be confused with the much larger Metropolitan police. There on-line reporting link is here.


Secondly you could report it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK, again on-line. Simply complete the form here.

Reporting in Portugal

Another way if you are living here is to either Visit the Judicial Police, or make a complaint direct to   DIAP ( the Public Prosecutors office in Faro) in addition to any crime complaints already made to Action Fraud in the UK.

This may assist in determining any contraventions under Portuguese law and other lines of enquiry not being conducted in the UK.
There is no issue with separate enquiries being conducted both in the UK and Portugal, if there is sufficient evidence to justify the latter. That will be determined by DIAP.
In accordance with the law the Complaint must be written in Portuguese and can be submitted by hand at DEPARTAMENTOS DE INVESTIGAÇÃO E AÇÃO PENAL (DIAP) Faro, Rua Antero de Quental, no 9, 8000-210 Faro. Take the original and a copy and the office will stamp the duplicate for retention. 
You can also send by email to faro.diap@tribunals.org.pt but you will need to send the original by post to them within 7 days. Their contact telephone number is 289 892 942. 
Civil Protection and Public Safety

Use of machinery during the critical fire period

Following a letter to the Portugal News, Safe Communities has liaised with government on the subject of chainsaws. Under the current laws there is no prohibition on their use; nevertheless, good practices recommend that when the fire risk is high, the use of chain saws should be avoided as there is a chance of sparks.

Government advice is that "machinery should be fuelled in cooler places with little vegetation; be careful to avoid sparks during handling of equipment and avoid using them during hot periods".

There may be confusion regarding the use of chainsaws and strimmer's. The use of strimmer's with metal blades is prohibited in law in the critical fire period or when the risk is very high or extreme, however, the use of nylon type cord is permitted. 

The apparent anomaly between metal blade strimmer's and chainsaws, which have metal chains, has been referred to the ICNF.

Safe Holidays -  Prevention and Self Protection Measures during rural fires

I am pleased to announce that following meeting with the office of the Secretary of State for Tourism, and earlier with the Secretary of State for Civil Protection a leaflet has been produced  for tourists concerning prevention and self protection measures in the event of rural fires.

This is the first time that a leaflet or advice specifically aimed at tourists has been produced and follows a request made earlier this year to government.

The leaflet provides basic advice based upon activities which tourists may undertake as well as motor caravans. The idea was initiated by Safe Communities who provided the suggested wording in English.

These leaflets once printed will be distributed throughout the country to various points. 

Critical Fire Period now in effect

This is applicable from 1st July until 30th September REGARDLESS OF THE ACTUAL LOCAL MUNICIPAL FIRE RISK ON THAT DAY

The following is the official wording by the ICNF on the IPMA website, which was translated for the ICNF into English by Safe Communities Portugal.
  • Burning for grassland renewal, cleaning stubble or debris that is uncut or cut on the ground, but NOT in piles, is not permitted 
  • The burning of piled-up waste is not permitted 
  • The use of stoves, BBQs and grills is prohibited in all rural spaces, except where used outside of the critical areas and in places duly authorised for the purpose. 
  • Smoking and all types of naked flames are prohibited in woodland and forests. 
  • Balloons with a lit fuse and rockets are prohibited. Fireworks are only permitted subject to authorisation from the Municipal Council. 
  • Fumigating and pest control in apiaries are prohibited except where the fumigators are fitted with spark retention devices. 
  • Spark retention devices and flame covers must be used on exhaust pipes and chimneys of machinery with internal or external combustion engines and on heavy transport vehicles. One or two 6 kg fire extinguishers must be carried depending on whether the maximum weight is less or more than ten tonnes.

More information in English concerning rural fire prevention can be found here.

Cybercrime and Computer Security 

British Airways data breach - Advice from BA how to protect yourself

British Airways are investigating, as a matter of urgency, the theft of customer data between 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018 from their website, ba.com and our mobile app.

The stolen data included personal and financial details of customers making bookings and changes on ba.com and the airline's app. The data did not include travel or passport details.

The breach has been reported to the authorities and the BA website is now working normally.
British airways advise any customers who believe they may have been affected to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

British Airways will not be contacting any customers asking for payment card details and any such requests should be reported to the police.

BA understand that this incident will cause concern and inconvenience. They have contacted all affected customers to say sorry, and will continue to update them in the coming days.
What to do if you have been affected

If you believe you have been affected by this incident, then please contact your bank or credit card provider and follow their recommended advice.

Please be aware that BA are experiencing high call volumes into our contact centres, please continue to check their page for the latest information.


Customers should also be aware that fraudsters may be claiming to be British Airways and attempt to gather personal information by deception (known as 'phishing'). 

Actions that you may need to take and more information download from the
British Airways site here

eBusiness number scam

Please be aware of you receive an email from eBusiness Number <contact (at) ecr-register.com, inviting you to register with EU Business registry>

The "eBusiness Number or eBN Registry 2018/2019" email message below which the sender claims the recipients can include their companies in the EU Business Register for 2018/2019 by completing and submitting an attached form is fraudulent. Therefore, recipients should not respond to them with their personal information or follow the instructions in them. The fake and fraudulent email messages are being sent by scammers to trick their potential victims into sending them their money, personal and financial information.
Just delete, do not open attachment


please complete and submit the attached document to have your company (re)included in the registry for the 2018/2019 edition.
Willi Sänger-Straße 16
12437 BERLIN

Alternatively, send us a scanned copy of the completed document by replying to this email.

Updating is free of charge.

Best wishes,
eBusiness Number Registry"

Overseas News

Lotto 'winner' charged with fraud after claiming £2.5m jackpot almost 10 years ago
A man has been charged in the UK after allegedly faking a National Lottery ticket which scooped him £2.5 million almost 10 years ago.

Edward Putman was charged with fraud by false representation following an investigation by a Serious Fraud specialist police officers.

The charge comes after The National Lottery paid out the life-changing sum to the 53-year-old in 2009 after searching for the winner of an unclaimed ticket.

Hertfordshire Police today said a charge had been made in relation to the payment which the National Lottery handed out almost 10 years ago.

The force said an investigation began in 2015 "after evidence came to light that the claim was not genuine".

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said: "A man has been charged after an investigation into an alleged lottery fraud.

Macau announces new model of police cooperation with Hong Kong and Guangdong

The Secretary for Security of Macau has announcesda new model of police cooperation between Hong Kong and Guangdong that responds to the new security challenges posed by the project of the Great Bay, officials said on 8th September.

The Great Bay project covers the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong and nine locations in Guagdong Province (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing), with a total population exceeding 110 million people and wants to become a great world metropolis.

Wong Sio Chak said that a new police cooperation is needed to reinforce "the capacity to respond to emergencies, to combat illegal migration and to take more targeted measures to combat cross-border crime," read the note, published on Thursday 6th September in Foshan, Guandong province city.

"The new trends and opportunities associated with the accelerated development and continuous integration of the Guandong, Hong Kong and Macau regions will inevitably bring new problems and challenges related to the security of society," said Wong Sio Chak in Foshan. Macao police delegation at a meeting between the authorities of those three territories.

"The new forms of cooperation and the measures to be implemented in the future by the security authorities of the three regions should be based on innovation and based on traditional experience, respecting the difference between the two systems which make up a single State, always taking into account respect by different legal systems between the three regions, seeking to find an innovative legal and law enforcement regime, "added Wong Sio Chak.

The same statement, Guadgong Provincial Vice-Governor Li Chunshen presented a proposal for "establishing a mechanism for leadership and police cooperation ... as well as an annual meeting of police cooperation between the top police officers of the three parties ... with the purpose of discussing, promoting and implementing the various police work in the construction of the Great Bay."

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 on 13th September 2018 and after that 4th October 2018.

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  30th September 2018.  

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



13th September 2018