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


As we approach the end of the year there are a number of things on my mind concerning safety and security.

Firstly we are moving from a period of hot and dry weather to damper cooler weather, and with this brings the chances of heavy rain falling on what has been very dry and hard grounds resulting from months of very hot weather. 

This increases the chances of flooding so it is important that we closely monitor weather conditions, especially the advice of the ANPC through their warnings which are issued from time to time. Because of the importance of these we have developed a number of features on our website which are outlined in this newsletter, as well as the page dedicated to these notifications. Advice and precautions to prevent flooding can be downloaded here.

Another important issue to be aware of in the lead up to Christmas, is that more than at any time of the year, cyber criminals are at work especially during the Black Friday (23rd Nov) and Cyber Monday (26th Nov) period where the level of on-line shopping is at its highest. To publicise this we have produced a feature in this week's Algarve Resident,  plus there is plenty of information on our website. Please refer to this as there are plenty of ways in which cyber criminals can ruin your Christmas.

Although not related to the festive period, or at least I hope not, is a reminder that Portugal is a high risk country as far as earthquakes are concerned. Earth tremors happen daily, but are so small we do not feel them. Because of the risk, however, the Government in the form of the ANPC has developed an annual Exercise called "A Terra Treme", and we encourage everyone to participate.

To promote it more this year to the foreign community we have produced a short 45 second video which can be downloaded and shared here. My thanks to Dina Filipe one of our board members for helping and appearing in this.  

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: Quinta Properties, Currencies Direct, Buy Portugal and Mestre Raposa 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


Change of direction in which the country faces Rural Fires. 

At the Council of Ministers, meeting held in Tapada de Mafra, the Prime Minister António Costa stated that is is intended to review the decisions concerning rural fires taken by government on 21 st October 2017, one year after its execution.

The situation was presented by the heads of the Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA)  the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF), the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) and the president of the Mission Structure for the Installation of Integrated Management System of Rural Fire, Tiago Oliveira.

The Prime Minister gave a word of recognition for the work carried out throughout this year by all those who contributed positively to the results achieved in the fight against rural fires.

The president of the Mission Structure for the Installation of Integrated Fire Management System, Tiago Oliveira, recalled that there were profound structural difficulties in the way Portugal addressed the rural fires, and in the course of 2018 there was an improvement, namely the knowledge of these fires, and, above all, a change of direction.

This new course began to take shape in a new model of fire management through the integrated management system involving all stakeholders.

The change has gone through four main areas that have involved changing attitudes and behaviours, training and qualification of the various participants, structural initiatives of prevention and combat, and increased resilience of the territory.

In 2018, the strategy focused primarily on protecting populations, reducing fire outbreaks, managing fuel in hazardous areas, strengthening and pre-positioning resources in risk areas and improving decision-making and enhancing qualifications.

This strategy involved 72 initiatives with 11 areas of government, the participation of international experts in planning processes, the drawing up of a map of priorities for intervention, and a probability map, and the launching of the Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires.

Tiago Oliveira stressed the need for the Portuguese rural landscape to be changed - which is through the reform of the forest approved by the Government - saying that processes of this nature are long and still only one year has passed.

Modern, safe and more decentralised Portugal

The main objective of the State Budget for 2019 in the area of Internal Administration is to focus on decentralisation and public investment in security and civil protection to ensure "a modern, safe and more decentralised Portugal".

The Internal Administration area on the State Budget website for 2019  highlights the "biggest increase of the decade in transfers to local authorities", with a further 6.2% (154.9 million euros) in transfers to municipalities and a further 5,2% (10.4 million euros) in transfers to the parishes.

Decentralisation is a cornerstone of the State Reform and the Financing Fund for Decentralisation, the municipal contribution of civil protection and the transfer of human and patrimonial resources "reflect the Government's commitment to the autonomy of local power".

The Program Law will continue to advance "the acquisition of personal protection equipment, vehicles, weapons, communications and infrastructures to support the operational activity of security forces and services, both in Portugal and abroad, particularly in the context of migration and management of the external borders of the European Union '

The area of Internal Administration also has the objectives of "consolidating the reform of the civil protection system", with a new organisation of the National Civil Protection Authority, capacity building of the civil protection system in the pillars of operational prevention and response, and modernisation of the electoral process. 

Operation "Star Banana" - Seizure of more than 6 tons of cocaine and detention of 16 people

The Judicial Police, through the National Unit to Combat Trafficking in Narcotics, has participated in recent days with the Spanish Civil Guard and the National Police Corps, in a large police operation during which about 6.3 tons of cocaine was seized in the region of Malaga.

The drugs were shipped from a Latin American country concealed in boxes of bananas that were transported in a container that had recently arrived at the port of Setúbal, which was duly identified by the Portuguese and Spanish authorities as destined to a company established in Spain.

Following the seizure of the drugs, a total of 16 people of various nationalities suspected of being part of a major criminal organisation dedicated to the illicit trafficking of large quantities of narcotics, were arrested. This organisation has now been disbanded,  prior to which it operated in several countries of Latin America and Europe.

This operation, which in Portugal also had the valuable collaboration of the Tax and Customs Authority, is part of the regular and systematic cooperation between the police authorities of Portugal, Spain and other European countries, aiming not only at prohibiting the trafficking of narcotic drugs into the Europe, in particular cocaine, but also to identify and dismantle criminal organisations responsible for such illicit activities.

The investigations are carried out by the Portuguese and Spanish authorities with the cooperation of other countries.

Europol Conference in Portugal on Improvised explosive devices and radiological material

CEPOL (European Police Colleges) and Europol, supported by the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) organised a conference and training session attended by 75 CBRN and/or explosives experts of the European Explosive Ordnance Disposal Network (EEODN), which took place from 16th to 19th of October 2018, at the School of the GNR, at Queluz, Portugal.

Officers from 26 EU Member States plus Norway and the United States, together with experts from specialised agencies such as the EU DG Migration and Home Affairs, the Joint Research Centre - Geel, the NATO - C-IED CoE Madrid - Spain, the NATO EOD CoE Trencin - Slovakia, INTERPOL, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Europol - CBRN & Explosives team were present.

The main purpose of the conference was to promote the debate on recent cases involving the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and radiological materials (CBRN). The 23 experts involved as trainers were able to develop the participants' knowledge, skills, techniques and tools through the analysis of the most recent incidents occurring in Europe.

This joint CEPOL - Europol event took place for the first time in Portugal, and the training programme was designed and jointly prepared by the National Republican Guard and Europol.

The participants were invited to combine all their knowledge and "hands on" capacity, challenged by the possibility of using innovative strategies and techniques for the neutralisation of the highly complex and dangerous threats.

The Conference ended on 19th October, after a debriefing on the methodologies, strategies and techniques used during the training, aiming to provide a reflection on the best practices to face this kind of threat.

Safe Communities Portugal - Projects and events

Program "Connect"  

Safe Communities has initiated a new program which aims to further connect the law enforcement agencies with the public and vice versa, in order to deal with local issues.

The idea is for the public to meet informally with the emergency services, in a relaxing environment, ask questions, make suggestions or seek advice.

The first of these will be held at the Alfeizerao Junta de Freguesia on 7th November 15.00 to 16.00 hrs, whereby people can meet the GNR, PSP and Bombeiros any time during that period.

This will be followed by a further event on Wednesday 14th November at Peniche and Wednesday 21st November at Caldas da Rainha.

This has gained great support on social media, so if it works well in this area we will see how this can be developed further.

It is being coordinated in the Caldas da Rainha by our active representative there, Colin Scarisbrick.

Safe Tourism 

In our last newsletter I mentioned the expansion of our Safe Communities website to assist tourists visiting the region. To do this we developed new pages covering: crime prevention advice in 10 languages for tourists; our Stay Safe series; water and beach safety; Emergency contacts and security in booking holiday accommodation.

We have now further expanded this through the following additional pages:

Road safety - Unfortunately occasionally tourists do become involved in road accidents often due to lack of familiarisation and experience in driving on the other side of the road! Also it is important to be compliant with the road safety laws here. We have put together a page that covers important safety issues and this will be expanded in future. View here

Camping and off road activities -  One of the very enjoyable ways of spending your time in the Algarve is exploring by motor caravan visiting some of the unspoilt areas which the reason has to offer. For those to enjoy outdoor activities there is plenty of choice from hiking to 4 x 4 off roading! This page gives some helpful advice on how to undertake these activities in safety. View Here

Tips for Travelling overseas We all look forward to our holidays, and an overseas vacation enables us to take a well-deserved break. Unfortunately however we live in an ever increasingly troubled world, so we have to take greater care in planning our time abroad. Safe Communities therefore has developed and produced the following advice to help you plan, prepare and undertake your holidays with the aim of you having a safe and trouble free time. View here

The Weather - Importance to Civil Protection 

Readers will probably be aware that much of the work of the ANPC in terms of emergency response and the command of major incidents such as rural fires and natural disasters, relies heavily on obtaining accurate weather information.

Also our daily lives are often influenced by the weather, so it is good to know from a safety point of view the various conditions which we can expect.

In liaison therefore with the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IMPA) we have put together a new page on the SCP website dedicated to their important work.

IPMA have kindly provided us with what they consider the most important features of their website which we should all view on a regular basis. To make this even easier we have provided direct links to the specific pages on their website where most of this information can be found. Simply click on the new page here where you can find the various links.

Although the IPMA is the official channel which is used by government there are many other organisations in Europe and internationally in which IPMA are either members of, or share information. Weather forecasting does not stop at national boundaries!

Through consultation with IPMA therefore we have established a new page where these other agencies can be found, outlining the work which they undertake ranging from general forecasting to the tracking of hurricanes etc. This can be downloaded here.

We will be adding further features and information in the weather section shortly.

Mediterranean Garden Fair - 27th October 2017 

We wish to thank the organisers of the Mediterranean Gardening Fair. which was held at the Museu de Sao Brás de Alportel on 27th October from 1100 to 1600 hrs. This was an excellent event with over 1200 people attending taking advantage of the fine weather. 

We would also like to thank all those of you who visited our stand and we were certainly kept busy throughout the day, dealing with enquiries ranging from civil protection to crime prevention. Thank you those who registered for our free newsletter, I hope this edition lives up to your expectations.

For the first time we had available the new Safe Village - Safe people leaflets in seven languages and I am glad to say that these proved very popular.

Loulé Civil Protection Seminar 

Safe Communities Portugal was honoured to be included as a speaker at the Civil Protection Seminar in Loulé on 25th October 2018. The seminar was held from 0900 to 1700 hrs and was attended by around 150 people.

The speakers included those from Civil Protection, IPMA, a university professor from Lisbon, a journalist from TVI, the Regiment of Military Emergencies Portuguese Army and a professor from the University of the Algarve, among others.

Safe Communities Portugal was represented by David Thomas and Dra. Ana Silva who spoke on the subject of communication, under the title "From Fire to Floods".

I thank Dra. Ana Silva in taking time off from her important veterinary work in Monchique to help in this event.

Special Features

Black Friday - Cyber Monday 

Yes, it's that time of the year again with just 45 days to go before Christmas.

For retailers this is the best time of the year, but also the most profitable time for scammers. What I am talking about is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is something we should be aware off, regardless of where we live, as the internet dose not respects national boundaries.

Although there are some fantastic bargains to be made on what is known as Black Friday (this year 23rd November) and Cyber Monday 26th November, unfortunately there are criminals who take advantage of this through various scams and on-line fraud.

UK Data shows that visits to the online retail industry during Black Friday in 2017, were up one per cent year-on-year, an increase of 2.7 million visits. In total, that's 200 million visits now. When it comes to Cyber Monday, the numbers are even more impressive. Visits increased seven per cent year-on-year, representing an extra 12 million visits, and amounting to a total of 195.7 million visits.

In Portugal on-line shopping fraud is the largest in terms of all on-line frauds and is increasing considerably.

Our Feature published in the Algarve Resident covers this in more detail. 

Read the tips here

Top stories

The Islamic Community is a partner in the fight against extremism and intolerance
The Portuguese Islamic community brings together different origins and sensibilities, which have been able to coexist peacefully over the years, in the respect enriching for their differences. Together, they are invaluable partners in this struggle that unites us all against extremism and intolerance, "said Prime Minister António Costa at the closing of the 50th anniversary of the Islamic Community of Lisbon.

The Prime Minister said that "the Islamic community is plural and in Portugal it is made up of many groups". It was created by Portuguese of Indian origin from Mozambique, integrated elements of other Portuguese-speaking countries, and welcoming people of various origins, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Morocco or Algeria. 

António Costa pointed out that "for historical and cultural reasons, there is a good relationship between the various religions in contemporary Portugal, which has been able to combine with balance and the laity of the State with a great degree of religious freedom".

António Costa affirmed that Portugal has "a culture of tolerance, consolidated with the democratic regime itself and ensuring that religious freedom is a structuring element of the rule of law, protecting all citizens, whether they practice minority or majority religions or even whether they are believers or not. " 

The Prime Minister said that "Portugal should give this example to Europe, that it does not need to close to the world, but to embrace diversity as a factor of wealth, refusing the movements that accentuate difference and exclusivism."

Portugal to receive 100 refugees in pilot project with Greece

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, said that Portugal had reached an agreement with Greece to receive 100 refugees during a pilot transfer project.

In Greece, during the official visit, the Minister reached an agreement in principle with the members of the Greek government and stated that "both countries will submit to the European Commission a draft bilateral program for the transfer of refugees from Greece to Portugal.

Eduardo Cabrita pointed out that this agreement is being considered by Portugal and Greece "as a contribution to finding permanent and stable solutions in Europe to deal with migrations and refugees at a European level".

The pilot project will start with the transfer of 100 refugees but Eduardo Cabrita added that it could be extended to around 1,000 refugees throughout 2019.

The 100 people will start by being assigned a defined legal status of Greece and then interviewed by Portuguese teams so that they can receive refugee status.
Notable Arrests

Operation Albare - Eight persons arrested - Money laundering 40 million Euros and other crimes

The Judicial Police, through the Northern Board of Directors, under an investigation by the Public Prosecutor's Office - DIAP of Vila do Conde, have carried out an operation to execute arrest warrants and search domiciliary and non-domicile premises in connection with crimes of criminal association , money laundering, qualified tax fraud and the sale, selling or concealment of counterfeit goods or articles.

In the course of about 40 searches carried out in the municipalities of Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim, Oporto, Vila Nova de Gaia and Sintra, six individuals were arrested for these crimes and two others for crimes of falsification of documents, illegal emigration and drug trafficking.

According to the investigation, developed by the Judicial Police in conjunction with the Tax Authority, the amount laundered by this criminal association, in the period between January 2016 and March 2018, was in the region of 40 million euros.

18 cars were seized, the vast majority of which were luxury vehicles: around € 350,000.00 in bank notes; computer equipment and mobile phones, a significant quantity of counterfeit goods or items without proper tax support documents in the presumed value of three million euros, dozens of internationally presumed false identification documents, passports and driving licenses, as well as a variety of accounting and tax documents.

Read more
Detention of three women suspected of international drug trafficking

Seizure of considerable amount of cocaine mixed in ground coffee.

The Judicial Police, through the National Unit to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, has identified and arrested, in the last few days, three foreign citizens suspected of drug trafficking.

The arrest of two of the suspects occurred within the framework of regular checks on movements of passengers from countries considered to be at risk in order to prevent the trafficking of narcotic drugs into Portugal and in other European countries through International Airports.

Following further investigation it was possible to identify a third suspect who was staying in a hotel in the city of Lisbon.

In the possession of the detainees was a large amount of cocaine that they had transported from a South American country to Lisbon, in their luggage. The narcotics upon reaching illicit distribution circuits would be sufficient for the composition of 60,000 individual doses.

The drugs in question, which were mixed with ground coffee, had undergone a complex chemical treatment hitherto unknown, in order to prevent its detection and identification by the police authorities, not reacting to the field tests that are normally used in the identification of this type of narcotic drugs.

The defendants, aged 20, 23 and 29, were present at the first judicial interrogation of the defendant held before the competent judicial authority, and the preventive custody measure was applied.

Local News

The Great Sausage Theft

A sausage-producing company was broken into over the weekend of 27th/28th October in the industrial area of Sousel, in Portalegre district.

According to a GNR source, about 1500 kilograms of sausages were stolen. The same source said that the assailants entered the factory after having broken a glass window, and also caused other damage in the building.

The GNR is conducting investigations to try to identify the perpetrators of the theft, which was discovered on 28 th October in the afternoon by the owner of the company.

It was reported that the value of the sausages was 34 thousand euros

Highly valued sausages!

Website to help eradicate wild camping (motor caravans)  to be unveiled

A new website that will promote the Autocaravan Support Network of the Algarve Region and seek to "eradicate the practice of wild autocaravan parking in the Algarve" will be presented on November 5, at 2:30 p.m., in a session that will take place at the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development (CCDR) of the Algarve.

The Autocaravan Support Network of the Algarve Region was created in 2015, following a protocol of collaboration signed between the CCDR, the AMAL - Intermunicipal Community of Algarve and regional entities of the tourism sector.

On this platform, Camping and Caravan Parks (PCC), Rural Camping Parks (PCR) and Service Areas for Motor homes (ASA), "duly licensed by the competent authorities", according to the CCDR, will be featured.

In all, there are about 30 sites, spread across 13 municipalities of the Algarve, where you can park motor homes.

The creation of this new website, which will be accessible soon, at www.autocaravanalgarve.com, as well as from a computer application, is part of the strategy to support motor caravanning, by providing an informative and dynamic platform for the dissemination of the existing spaces in the Algarve region under these conditions, concluded the CCDR.


It is hoped that the new site will provide information on safety conditions for these camp sites, particularly concerning the risk of rural fires, so visitors are aware of these when making bookings.
Crime Prevention

"All Saints" Operation - Road Safety

The Republican National Guard (GNR), from October 31 to November 4, when All Saints Day is celebrated, will intensify patrolling on roads with the highest flow of traffic, with the objective of supporting road users and reducing situations that constitute risk behaviours.

Throughout the period of the operation, where a high traffic intensity is foreseen, the GNR, through its deterrent presence, aims to ensure that travel is done safely, thus contributing to a reduction in road fatalities. In this sense, the GNR calls for drivers to adopt the following behaviour::

  • Comply with the traffic rules, especially with regard to overtaking manoeuvres, changing direction, reversing, crossing road junctions;
  • Correct use of seat belts and restraint systems for children;
  • Do not use mobile phones while driving;
  • To adapt the speed to the type of roads and the conditions of circulation;
  • Do not drink alcohol or use psychotropic substances before or during driving.

Water theft

As strange as it may sound with the rather heavy rain which we are encountering at present, is why anyone would wish to steal water.

However, it has been brought to our attention that water has been stolen from residences, by the thieves simply using outdoor taps normally used for garden hoses. We have heard of one case where this resulted in a cost of some 200 Euros, so the water stolen would have been considerable - possibly transferred to a water vehicle used to fill someones cisterna.

If your external tap can be seen from a roadway and especially if your driveway does not have garden gates, then it maybe worth considering using tap locks, which can be purchased here in Portugal.

I would be interested in hearing of people's experiences concerning this type of crime.

Civil Protection and Public Safety

A Terra Treme - Earthquake Risk Awareness Exercise

A reminder that A TERRA TREME , an earthquake risk awareness exercise, will take place at 11.05 hrs on 5th November 2018, throughout the country. 

This coincides with  International Tsunami Awareness Day

This is a national exercise which involves the community, for the purpose of creating awareness of the earthquake risk here in Portugal and importantly simple measures people can take, in case an earthquake strikes, which may save lives.

Several regions of Portugal are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, greater Lisbon and the Algarve, for example.

We therefore encourage everyone, and we mean everyone, to participate in some way. It only takes one minute starting on 5th November at 11.05 hrs precisely. Whether you are at school, at work or at home with your family, this is something that affects you.

To help promote this to the foreign community we have produced a short 45 second video which can be viewed here.

Please also view up to date information about the Exercise through our Facebook page.

You can register your participation on the A Terra Treme website link here.

Cybercrime and Computer Security 

Twenty one people defrauded every minute because of oversharing on social media

New research produced by Get Safe Online shows that 21 people are targeted every minute as a result of unwittingly 'oversharing' on social media.

A survey of 2,000 adults produced for Get Safe Online Week found that people are unaware of privacy risks associated with oversharing on social media platforms with over a third of the UK (39%) experiencing fraud because of it.
Worryingly, 26% of people targeted by fraud due to oversharing didn't realise they were targeted, 22% did nothing and 32% just ignored it.

The survey also highlighted that 23% of people used social media to show off about their holidays and 20% use it to let connections know about life milestones such as buying a house.
Get Safe Online's top 5 risks to be aware of

  • Different social media channels might require different levels of privacy. For example, Facebook settings should be on private as the way we use the platform is different to Twitter or Instagram where the platforms are more suitable to being open.
  • Think twice about posts and photos you're sharing. Driving licences, passports, some letters and other documents contain sensitive information that you need to prove your ID.
  • When you enter your details to a website or app, always check terms and conditions, and even then be careful what you're agreeing to others knowing about you or your account.
  • Posting and sharing photos of when you're away on holiday or business could be signalling that your home is empty. Remember that today's burglars are as social media savvy as you are.
  • Turn off location services in app settings on your and your kids' mobile devices: that's social media apps, cameras and any others that might reveal location. This isn't just about privacy, but also you and your family's personal safety.
More details at Get Safe Online

Is your email account secure?

Safe Communities is warning the public that without using a strong and separate password for your main email account, you risk giving cybercriminals a wealth of information that could be used against you.

This comes after research from UK reveals that people are storing sensitive information within their email accounts. 51% of people store e-receipts revealing purchase history, 34% store personal photos of friends, family or pets and 6% have love letters saved in their inbox.

Storing this kind of information can be like 'gold dust' to criminals, who can use it to commit cybercrime including making phishing emails more convincing by including personal information or impersonating you or friends and family.

The following tips will help make your account more secure:

  • Use a strong, separate password for your email.
  • A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use three random words. Numbers and symbols can be used to make it stronger.
  • Use words which are memorable to you, but not easy for other people to guess. Don't use words such as your child's name or favourite sports team which are easy for people to guess by looking at your social media accounts or simple substitutions like 'Pa55word!'.
  • When available you should use two-factor authentication (2FA) on your email account. It gives it extra layer of security, as it means your account can only be accessed on a device that you have already registered.
  • Don't use public Wi-Fi to transfer sensitive information such as card details.

Overseas News

241 victims of Child Abuse safeguarded thanks to Global Law enforcement efforts involving Portugal and 20 other countries

For two weeks, from 15 to 26 October 2018 at its headquarters, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre hosted the fifth Victim Identification Taskforce, whose aim is to identify victims and suspects of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 27 law enforcement experts from 21 countries and INTERPOL joined Europol staff to go through millions of images and video files to find and exploit vital clues. 

This combination of collaborative work, image and video analysis and criminal intelligence, followed by national investigations, has already led to the safeguarding of 241 victims and prosecution of 94 offenders in 28 countries.

More than 32 million (binary unique) images and video files were available in Europol's database for this operation. In preparation for this Taskforce, Europol experts triaged 351 series of related images that would be the object of analysis for the participants. One series can link from 2 to more than 5 000 images. 

At the end of this annual Taskforce, a total of 584 series have been analysed. For 91 series, likely countries of production have been determined and these countries informed, so they can start their own national investigation. All the series have been uploaded to the INTERPOL International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database.

The tireless efforts during the four previous editions have resulted in the safeguarding of 241 victims and the arrests and prosecutions of 94 offenders. This number will undoubtedly increase after this fifth edition.

Garden Equipment thieves reap what they sow: Seven arrested in France and Romania

With the support of Europol, the French National Gendarmerie and the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police have dismantled an organised crime group suspected of having committed at least 65 burglaries in several regions of France since February 2018.

Dismantling the group began on 19 June on an action day carried out in the outskirts of Paris.
Three suspects were arrested and 80 portable gardening tools were seized. During the second phase of the operation on 24 October, 60 police officers were deployed to Dolj County in southwest Romania. Another 4 suspects were arrested and 11 houses searches carried out.

This organised crime group under investigation was specialised in committing burglaries in outbuildings and gardening tool shops. Reactivity and strong exchange of information were the key success factors to overcoming the high mobility and flexibility of the criminals.

Involved from the very onset of the investigation in February 2018, Europol facilitated the exchange of information and provided analytical support before and during the action day. A mobile office was deployed on-the-spot to help with the cross checking of operational information against Europol's databases.

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 1st November 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  24th November.  

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



1st November 2018