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

4 July 2019


A warm welcome to the latest edition of this newsletter.

You may recall that in the last newsletter there was an article advising people on the safe use of strimmers (bush cutters) including the importance of avoiding  using metal blades, which can cause a spark and hence a fire. We also promoted this message through the Algarve Resident  and on FaceBook.

Well, just one week later there was a fire that lasted around a day in Monchique, which was initially labelled as an accident through the "malfunction" of a bush cutter. We now understand it was a metal blade that caused the ignition.

This really shows the importance of following advice when it comes to fire prevention or indeed, anything else that involves the safety of the population. Enough said!

We are now at the start of the Critical Fire Period so Safe Communities, as a qualified Volunteer Civil Protection organisation, will be stepping up advice and our information, concerning both prevention and self protection actions should a fire break out. 

On a different subject we have come across a couple of fraud cases where it is most likely that the victims email account was compromised and email intercepted by fraudsters. We have there reminded people concerning security in the use of emails.

We have also included some advice concerning the security of WordPress which many of you may be be using as a content management system (CMS) for your websites. You will see from this why 90% of successful CMS hacks are directed against WordPress. If you are using WordPress, I suggest you read this and see how many of the 13 vulnerabilities you are aware of and have taken action to prevent.

Europol's recently released Terrorism report reminds us of the importance of this subject and how it has affected the lives of people in many countries. This is an extremely well produced report and if you have time well worth a read. What it shows is Portugal at lower risk compared with neighbouring countries. Long may that continue. The main findings are in our headline news item.

We thank all our sponsors for your help in enabling us to continue to do the work that we do. Thank you: Algarve Homes, Algarve Getaways, Portugal Property and Avalon Funeral Plans for your sponsorship.

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

Europol - EU Terrorism Situation  and Trend Report 2019

"In Europe, the feeling of insecurity that terrorists try to create must be of the greatest concern to us all because it has the potential to undermine the cohesion of our societies. Increasing polarisation and the rise of extremist views is a concern for EU Member States".

This is an opening statement of Europol's Annual report which highlighted the following:

Thirteen people lost their lives as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU in 2018. All the attacks were jihadist in nature and committed by individuals acting alone, targeting civilians and symbols of authority.

In addition to the completed attacks, EU Member States reported 16 foiled jihadist terrorist plots, illustrating the effectiveness of counter-terrorism efforts. The significant number of thwarted attacks and the so-called Islamic State's continued intent to perpetrate attacks outside conflict zones indicate that the threat level across the EU remains high.

Three disrupted terrorist plots in the EU in 2018 included the attempted production and use of explosives and chemical or biological materials. There was also an increase in the use of pyrotechnic mixtures to produce explosive devices in jihadist plots.

In total, EU Member States reported 129 foiled, failed and completed terrorist attacks in 2018. The total number of attacks decreased after a sharp spike in 2017 (205), primarily because of the decrease in the reported ethno-nationalist and separatist-related incidents.

In total 1 056 individuals were arrested in the EU in 2018 on suspicion of terrorism-related offences (2017: 1 219). One fifth of them were women. The number of arrests linked to right-wing terrorism remained relatively low (44 in 2018). 


There were no arrests made in Portugal nor were there any terrorist incidents.

In the section "Right Wing extremism" it states that in Portugal, Blood and Honour, Portugal Hammer Skins and the recently emerged neo-Nazi political party Nova Ordem Social (New Social Order) are active at both national and international levels.

The Report can be downloaded here.

Secretary of State for Internal Administration and President Safe Communities Portugal sign protocol

The importance of the safety of the foreign community and overseas tourists was highlighted by the Minister for Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita, during the presentation of the "Safe Summer" program held at the Regional Tourism Algarve (RTA) Faro Headquarters on 22 nd June.

To reinforce this message, the Secretary of State for Internal Administration Isabel Oneto gave an overview of the Local Security Contracts (CLS) and highlighted the important work undertaken by Safe Communities Portugal (SCP) as part of this program. She stressed the importance of the community and the security forces working together in maintaining the Algarve as a safe destination.

A protocol was then signed by the Secretary of State and David Thomas President SCP outlining new initiatives regarding security in the Algarve which the two parties will develop over the next 12 months. 
Following on from last year, Safe Communities has proposed a number of new initiatives which were agreed by the Ministry and incorporated into the new protocol.

These will include projects such as the development of crime prevention leaflets in additional languages to reach out to tourists through tourist information centres throughout the region. This will be reinforced by videos and several displays such as those held at Mar shopping and Faro Airport earlier.

There will also be a project to encourage people to report suspicious activities and crime as well as a project involve students understanding the work of the police.

Forty four people have been indicted in the investigation into alleged fraud in the rebuilding of fire-damaged homes in Pedrógão Grande

Of the 44, 37 are homeowners. The rest are council officials, builders and the mayor of Pedrógão Grande Valdemar Alves - also is also cited for the negligent homicide of seven people who died in the fires that killed a total of 66, writes Diário de Notícias.

At issue is the alleged 'misuse' of around 500,000 euros in donations destined for the reconstruction of primary residences.

Says DN, the money "was used for the construction of non-priority homes, in other words, second homes". In the investigation the PJ detected cases in which the houses were neither inhabited and they were in ruins, prior to the fires.

According to DN, around 4.4 million euros in donations were made to the Revita Fund, into which the government also put 2.5 million euros.

Reluctant to accept the accusations, Valdemar Alves said back in September that "of course primary residences need to be rebuilt but what is also important is to rebuild everything that burned. Everyone has rights".

In a communiqué since, Alves has denounced the situation as riddled by "speculation, lies and manipulations, designed to discredit the work developed by the Revita Fund" and to spread doubts over "technical procedures" followed and the "seriousness of the declarations made by property owners".

Breaking News

Aircraft crashes during firefighting operation

On 3rd July a FireBoss amphibious aircraft of the Alfa 8 operational unit of the Special Fire Fighting Device, crashed while performing a water scooping manoeuvre at the Trizio dam in the municipality of Sertã.

The alert was given at 16:46 hrs. With the aid of a reconnaissance aircraft and a coordination helicopter, and with the assistance of the National Authority of Emergency and Civil Protection, the accident site was identified. The pilot managed to escape unharmed.

The aircraft was stationed in Proença-a-Nova, in the district of Castelo Branco, and was directed to the fight against a rural fire in the parish of Abiul, municipality of Pombal, district of Leiria.

Witnesses reported that "the plane was already in a steep fall" and "showed signs of unrest before it crashed." 

The causes of the accident will be determined by the authorities with competence in the investigation of aircraft accidents.

Top Stories

Pilot who landed plane in Praia da Caparica accused of double homicide by negligence 

Seven people have been charged in the process of emergency landing of a small plane on the beach of São João da Caparica on August 2, 2017, which resulted in the death of a 56-year-old man and a child of eight.

Carlos Conde D'Almeida, the pilot of the Cessna 152 CS-AVA, is charged with two negligent homicide crimes and one for dangerous driving on the air.

Three officials of the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) also face accusations: Luís Silva Ribeiro (president), Vítor Rosa (director of Operational Safety) and José Queiroz (head of the Personnel and Training Licensing department) are charged with a crime of air transport safety, which is aggravated by two deaths.

This accident occurred when the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing when he made an instructional flight, choosing the beach of São João da Caparica beach.   

Rural Fire awareness and enforcement actions 2019

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has revealed that there were 2650 forest fire crimes recorded since the beginning of the year up to June 23, which resulted in 37 arrests and the "identification" of 304 people.

As part of the "Safe Forest 2019" operation, which aims to alert to the importance of a set of preventive procedures to be adopted, namely on the use of fire, cleaning, removal of weeds and maintenance of fuel management areas, the GNR held, until June 23, "about six thousand actions of awareness, reaching more than 114 thousand people".

In addition to these actions, street and door-to-door initiatives are being developed, amounting this year to about 27,383 patrols, which covered more than 1.8 million kms", with the commitment of the GNR military.

To enable people to obtain advice the, GNR operates the SOS Environment and Territory Line, through the number 808 200 520, which has the cost of a local call and works every day, from 08:00 to 21:00.

Lack of operators at INEM reduce average 112 answer times in June

In June, the average number of calls made at the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM) skyrocketed. On certain days, there were periods when operators took, on average, six and eight minutes to answer the phones, when the recommended number is seven seconds. In the same month, almost ten thousand calls were lost and only half were recovered.

Internal data from INEM, obtained by the Jornel de Noticais, (JN) reveal many problems in the Urgent Patient Guidance Centers (CODU). First of all, serious shortages of human resources, with fewer pre-hospital emergency technicians (TEPHs) in service.

According to the information to which the JN had access, on June 21, Friday after the Corpo de Deus holiday, between 10.30 and 11.00, the operators took an average of six minutes to answer the calls transferred by the exchange 112. On the 24th, St. John's Day in Porto, between 10.00 am and 10.30 am, the average time was eight minutes.

In response to the JN, INEM clarified that these are "service peaks", "that represent exceptions to the punctual service which is the performance of the CODU".

However, throughout the month, there are several examples that point to many difficulties. On day 2, the three CODUs (Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon) answered a total of 3465 calls, with an average service time of 217 seconds (3.6 minutes).

Navy launches missiles for first time in 10 years  

Lisbon, Jun. 28, 2019 (Lusa) - The Portuguese Navy has launched missiles for the first time in ten years during the largest multinational exercise organised by the Navy in 2019, which ended on Friday.

About 1,700 military personnel are involved in CONTEX-PHIBEX, the largest multinational naval exercise of the last two years organised by the Portuguese Navy and that also includes the navies of Spain, France, Italy and the U.S., which began on 17 June.

The day began early, at 0600 hrs, and there was the firing of three "sea sparrow" missiles in two exercises, that were closely monitored by the Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Mendes Calado, and by the Naval Commander, Vice-Admiral Gouveia e Melo.

"The Navy has not fired 'sea sparrow' missiles for over ten years and today we fired three missiles successfully," Calado said.

"I am satisfied with what I saw in the naval force and I think the Navy will be ready for the missions that are expected to carry out in the near future."

Earlier, the "epicentre" of the action was on the frigate Corte-Real, the frigate Álvares Cabral that concentrated all the attention to the morning launch of a missile and then several shots of the 100 mm artillery piece that was targeting an old Navy ship, the Bacamarte.

According to Gouveia and Melo, the importance of the exercise "has to do with training and with the certainty of the capabilities" of the naval force because when these capacities are not used or employed, it is never known whether or not they will fail, if ever needed.

Portugal: Public money crimes must be punished properly - Audit Court

Lisbon, Jul. 1, 2019 (Lusa) - The president of Portugal's Audit Court, Vítor Caldeira, said on Monday that the law should be clear to ensure proper punishment for financial crimes in the management of public money to avoid citizens' loss of trust in institutions.

Caldeira also said that he did not understand why these situations were not properly punished, regardless of who was responsible for the management or undue use of public resources.

The Audit Court president also said that the ever faster changes in public financial management, particularly the abundance of new kinds of entities that manage public funds and for the legal architecture behind many contracts and accounting standards, meant "looking at legal systems and financial liability" was essential.

He, therefore, underscored the importance of the precise identification of financial crimes, particularly under the scope of liability for undue use of public assets.

He also said that for financial jurisdiction to be effective, there had to be a proper legal framework for the new state of public financial management.
Lisbon, Jun. 28, 2019 (Lusa) - The Portuguese Navy has launched missiles for the first time in ten years during the largest multinational exercise organised by the Navy in 2019, which ended on Friday.

Critical Fire Period

Portugal has now entered the Critical Fire Period which normally runs from 1st July to 30th September. However, it can be extended if weather conditions  require this as happened in 2017 and 2018.

During this period it is essential that everyone does their bit to avoid inadvertently causing a fire which may spread quickly particularly in windy conditions.

Regardless of the actual fire risk in your area the following applies:

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. (BBQs in private gardens permitted but with care - owner liable if use results in fire).
  • 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. (Note: this does not apply to strimmers, bush cutters and chainsaws)
  • One or two 6 kg fire extinguishers must be carried depending on whether the maximum weight is less or more than ten tonnes.
More details on rural fire prevention can be downloaded here.

Notable Arrests

Portugal: Five doctors among 11 detainees in investigation into health fraud 

Eleven people, including five doctors and one pharmacy owner, were detained on Tuesday 2nd July by the Polícia Judiciária force, as part of a major operation launched early in the morning across the country, the PJ has revealed.

In a statement, the PJ said that the operation involved searches in doctors' surgeries and health units, residences and other premises, and the fulfillment of arrest warrants related to "facts that may constitute ... the crimes of corruption, serious fraud, documents forgery and criminal association."

The suspected potential damages caused to the National Health Service (SNS), according to the PJ, is estimated at €1 million.

"At issue are several acts, consisting of the issuing of manual prescriptions, using the existing exceptions ... which allow them to be 100% subsidised by the SNS, in addition to digital revenues, of very high values and with numerous units prescribed," the PJ said.

According to the same statement, "drug prescription scenarios were created, not in line with the applicable legislation, which may imply the acceptance of advantages in forms liable to criminal responsibility, with the Portuguese state damaged, for the subsidising of medicines being wrongly-allocated."

GNR Faro - Operation Dynamo" - Clandestine Tobacco Factory Dismantled

The Tax Action Unit, through the Tax Action Detachment of Faro, on June 25, carried out a police operation in the Loulé area, which resulted in the detention of 13 individuals, including 12 men and one woman, aged between 30 and 65 years of Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Russian and Portuguese nationality, and seized tobacco sufficient for consumption of about 46 million cigarettes.

As part of an investigation that has been underway for about six months involving an investigation into an international criminal organisation engaged in fraudulent tobacco production and marketing, the Republican National Guard carried out this operation with the aim of dismantling an illegal cigarette manufacturing factory on a large scale, leading to the detention of the suspects responsible for its operation.

A total of 14 warrants were issued, including five for arrest, seven for domestic search, one for the illicit manufacture of tobacco, and one for the warehouse used to store illicit production. The following was seized:
  • About 15,600,000 cigarettes produced in the factory;
  • About 17 tons of tobacco leaf (would produce about 16,800,000 cigarettes);
  • About 14 tons of crushed tobacco (it would produce 13,750,000 cigarettes);
  • Five Machines used in the grinding of tobacco leaf, manufacture and packaging of illicitly produced tobacco;
  • Diverse raw materials used in illicit production, such as filters, glues, cigarette holders, cigarette tubes, carton paper, cellophane, tobacco paper and boxes for packaging tobacco;
  • Six light vehicles;
  • A firearm.
Read more

Seven arrested while trying to steal copper from power transformer 

The arrests were made by the GNR de Tomar on Thursday 27th June for theft of non-precious metals.

The seven suspects, aged between 20 and 40 years, were arrested in a flagstones quarry in Vale dos Ovos, Tomar municipality, whilst "dismantling an energy transformer in order to remove copper from the interior

The GNR operation resulted in the seizure of a light goods vehicle, 170 kilos of copper from the power transformer, and several tools," according to the report.

The suspects remained in detention and were present at the Judicial Court of Santarém on Friday, June 28. Three of them were sentenced to pre-trial detention whilst the remaining four are required to make weekly presentations at the police station.


This is unusual as the number of such thefts have decreased considerably over the last few years with greater control over the operation of scrap yards

Safe Communities Portugal

Crime Prevention Awareness event held at Mar Shopping

Following the success of the crime prevention awareness display at Mar Shopping in April, another event was held at the same location for Saturday 22nd June. It will run from 10.00 hrs to 20.00 hrs.

Those participating were the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) Loulé and Safe Communities Portugal, accompanied for the first time, by the military of the Gendarmerie National from France and the Arma dei Carabinieri from Italy.

The participation of these overseas organisations is part of the GNR "Safe Summer" program, which includes joint patrolling by the military of the Gendarmerie National and the Arma dei Carabinieri at selected tourist locations in the Algarve.

Although not as busy as the first event held during the Easter period, it did nevertheless provide and excellent opportunity for people to engage with the GNR and meet the overseas police representatives.

Camping and caravaning safety

Safe Communities Portugal recently attended together with other stakeholders a meeting chaired by the Agência para a Gestão Integrada de Fogos Rurais  (AGIF) in Lisbon, to review safety measures at campsites and motor caravan parks.

Our association was able to put forward a number of recommendations which will be taken into account in formulating the recommendations.

Meeting with PSP Lisbon

On 28th June Safe Communities Portugal met with Chief Superintendent Jorge Mauricio Commander of the PSP Lisbon Metropolitan District and his colleagues and the following issues were discussed:
  • Reporting of crime by tourists, who have left the country and wished to report the crime for insurance purpose.
  • Pickpocketing and initiatives being developed by the PSP to help combat this. It was noted that the figures are showing a decrease
  • Security in local lodging accommodation
  • Our protocol with the Ministry of Internal Administration
This was one of SCP's regular meetings with the PSP Lisbon which provide a very useful opportunity to discuss various safety and security matters.

Local News

Foreigners barred for entering Portugal increases 75% 

Lisbon, June 28, 2019 - Foreigners barred by the SEF at border posts, mainly at Lisbon airport, for not meeting the legal conditions to enter the country, increased by 75.4% in 2018 compared to 2017, according to a recent report.

The 2018 Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum Report (RIFA), released on the occasion of the 43rd Anniversary of the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF), showed a 75.4% increase in the number of refusals to enter Portugal to foreigners who did not meet the legal conditions for their admission to the country, amounting to 3,759.

According to the RIFA, most of the refusals to enter the country occurred at air border posts, especially the border post at Lisbon airport, with 3,606 refusals, as it is the main Portuguese destination of international air connections from third countries.

The report states that about 75% of the refusals involved citizens of Brazil (2,866), Angola (168), Paraguay (121), Guinea-Bissau (58) and Moldova (52).

Last year, SEF registered a 38.6% decrease in the number of visas granted at border posts, a reduction resulting from the Community recommendations for the restriction of visas for air borders.

The RIFA also highlights the growth trend in the number of people checked at the borders, with a total of 18,799,521 passengers checked in 2018, 4.3% more than in the previous year, which translates into a 4% and 7% increase in borders air and sea, respectively.

PSP closes shops for selling alcohol to minors

The Metropolitan Command of Lisbon closed this week several commercial establishments for selling alcohol to minors under 18, in an operation in which several young people were identified and families warned, the police said on Saturday .

Between the night of Thursday and the dawn of Friday (27 th/28 th), the Metropolitan Command of Lisbon of the PSP carried out a police operation in zones known for the excessive consumption of alcohol and narcotics, in order "detain minors that were in danger."

According to PSP, the consumption of alcohol by young people between the ages of 14 and 18 is a "problem that occurs frequently" and led to the coordinated work between the police and the Commission for the Protection of Children and Youth in East Lisbon.

Five commercial establishments were caught in the act of selling alcohol to minors and were provisionally closed as a precautionary measure, "since there was a serious danger of continuing with the illegal activity."

However, according to police, the main purpose of this action was to signal the young people and alert the parents.

"The minors have been identified and flagged, some because they are drinking alcohol, others because they were drunk," the PSP explained.

PSP also pointed out that areas with large concentrations of young people are prone to robberies. In one incident a 19-year-old boy was detained for allegedly stealing two mobile phones, with a combined value of approximately one thousand euros.

The detainee was present at the Court of the District of Lisbon, for 1st judicial interrogation.

"Portugal Connexions" - Connecting you with Portugal

Many readers may recall the excellent work undertaken by David Wright who was previously the workhorse and face of AngloInfo Algarve.

Well David has moved on and has recently founded Portugal Connexions a web based organisation that is aimed at helping people find their feet and then taking full advantage of the opportunities living here provides. In David's words: "That's why I work to provide all the practical advice you need. If more specialised services are required, I have a readily available network of trusted and reliable professionals

During a meeting I had last week with David in Lisbon he explained, "there's never been a better time to live in Portugal than right now. I've lived through various economic cycles and am enjoying seeing the remarkable and accelerated pace of change in recent years".

The services offered include: Community news; services such as health, money and driving licences, things to do; and offers plus a property section.

The websites is particularly user friendly and David who gives the "Wright" advice is keen to support non-profit organisations such as Safe Communities.

I suggest that you  visit the site. Well done David for this great initiative.


Keeping your WordPress website secure - 13 WordPress Worst Security practices

I guess there are many people in Portugal using WordPress - Content Management System (CMS) for their websites. But how secure is it? The following from a reputable source "State of Security by Tripwire, gives an alarming insight into the risk should you not take regular steps to safeguard your site.

WordPress is currently one of the fastest growing content management systems. As of this writing, WordPress is used by 34% of all websites and has a CMS market share of 60.7% Some 24,808,989 live websites that use WordPress. What's more, there are over 800 new sites built daily and more than 55,000 plugins.

In 2018 WordPress suffered 90 percent of CMS cyberattacks, (up from 83 percent in 2017) Keeping your WordPress site safe from cyber criminals requires that you avoid the systems worst security practices. When a WordPress site broadcasts worst security practices, you can rest assured - the cyber criminals will always line up to listen.

The 13 WordPress worst security practices include:

  1. Minimal or no WordPress maintenance (not updating core, plugins, and themes).
  2. Not backing up the database and files.
  3. Lack of malware checks, security scans, security plugins (or services) and security monitoring.
  4. Failure to limit login attempts.
  5. Failure to use sitewide SSL ( Secure Sockets Layer .
  6. The use of weak passwords.
  7. Using the default user admin account instead of using a custom name.

Avoid Losing money to on-line fraud

Safe Communities Portugal has recently received fraud reports from people, in one case the victim losing a large sum of money.

In these cases the emails or email account was likely hacked into.

You can reduce greatly the risk of this happening to you by:
  • Use strong passwords minimum eight digits - upper/lower case, symbols, numbers etc
  • Never use the same password for different accounts
  • Avoid sending sensitive emails or making on-line financial transactions using public WiFi
  • Never open links in, or attachments to emails, you do not recognise
  • Use good quality virus protection and update regularly

Crime Prevention

Theft from vehicles - Reducing the risk

Theft from vehicles is the largest reported crime in Portugal. In 2018 some 23,882 cases were reported up from 22,729 the previous year.

It is however one of the easiest crimes to prevent. Here are the tops tips to reduce the risk of this happening to you.
  • Lock doors and close windows when leaving your vehicle.
  • Park in your garage if you have one. 
  • Do not obstruct other vehicles when parking.
  • When leaving a parked vehicle don't leave anything on display.
  • Don't keep valuable items or documents (except those required by law) in the vehicle. Keep copies of vehicle documents separately.
  • When parked, tuck in wing mirrors and put the aerial down to discourage vandals. Use an immobiliser or steering lock to help secure older vehicles.
  • Keep your vehicle keys in a safe place.
  • Do not leave them in the ignition even for a short period e.g. at a petrol station.
  • Remember do not drink and drive. Alcohol limit is 0.5g/l and this is strictly enforced. 1.2g/l and over is a criminal offence.
Be particularly vigilant if parking your car in beach car parks or popular tourist areas.

National Spanish Police - Check for Recovered Stolen Jewellery

If you have had jewellery or other small items such as pens stolen it may be worth checking the National Spanish Police data base named the "Virtual Jewellery Exhibition". 

Images of the jewellery which have been recovered in the National Police Force operations are displayed, and there are many thousands shown. 

It is also in English.

The images are gathered into different groups in order to facilitate locating them. It includes watches, pens, lighters and a miscellaneous section.

Users can make the image larger by clicking on it. Should you recognise some jewellery, please, contact the acting Police Unit, whose data are shown under the enlarged picture.

If you have visited Spain and had an item stolen,or even if it was stolen in Portugal it could have been recovered in Spain, so it is worth a look

The Virtual Jewellery Exhibition in English can be checked with the Spanish National Police here - very simple to navigate.

Civil Protection and Public Safety

Reinforcements during the Critical Fire Period

This year, the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (plan) 2019 (DECIR) has "the largest number of operating firefighters ever", namely 11,492 operational personnel, of whom 5,729 are firefighters, supported by 2,495 vehicles, from June 1 to October (Level of Commitment IV), indicated the ministry that supervises the Internal Administration.

In addition to these available resources, the DECIR for this year was reinforced with 83 new Permanent Intervention Teams (EIP) of Fire Departments, following the work of the current Government to create 182 new EIPs, out of a total of 910 operational.

The GNR Protection and Relief Emergency Unit (LIFO), a structure that succeeded the Protection and Relief Intervention Group (GIPS), was increased with 155 new military personnel, the Ministry of internal Administration (MAI) said.

The National Operational Directive (DON), which establishes the DECIR device for this year, indicates that the means are reinforced today - July 1 - for the third time this year, with the entry into force of the so-called 'reinforced - level IV' , which ends on September 30.

The Directive indicates, for this period, the operation of 60 air assets, including an Air Force helicopter that will be activated in case of need for aerial coordination.

Health posts start functioning  at 31 Algarve beaches

A total of 31 beach health posts have started offering nursing services to bathers on the Algarve's beaches, from Vila Real de Santo António in the east to Aljezur in the west, until 15 September, it was announced on Monday 1 st July.

In a statement, the Regional Health Administration (ARS) for the Algarve said that the intention is "to ensure nursing health care for holiday makers on the site or to refer the user to a more appropriate health unit."

The project, which is a partnership between the regional authorities and the Portuguese Red Cross, makes it possible to treat less serious health situations on beaches, including sunstroke, a sudden loss of blood pressure, spider-fish bites or minor abrasions.

If needed, patients are referred by nursing professionals on duty to the appropriate health unit.

The resources allocated to beach health posts are backed up with phone contact between the nurses on duty and the Urgent Patient Orientation Centre (CODU) of Portugal's National Emergency Medical Institute (INEM), ensuring that health resources are being properly used.

Until 14 July beach health posts will be open from 10 am to 6 pm, and from 15 July until 1 September they close only at 7 pm, before returning to 6 pm closing from 2 to 15 September.

Safe Use of Garden Power Tools

The careless use of garden power tools can inadvertently cause a fire in these very dry conditions. Typically at this time of the year minimum humidity levels can be as low as 8 - 10% in some parts of the country. To avoid a fire

1. Avoid using metal blades in strimmers use only nylon cord

2. Do not refuel equipment whilst machine is hot 

3. Refuel in cooler place not on inflammable vegetation

4. Keep spare fuel container in a cool place away from vegetation

5. Ensure equipment does not become overheated

6. Avoid leaving equipment unattended whilst it is running

7. Do not smoke whilst using such equipment

Some of these are obvious but if everyone followed this would help reduce the risk of fires.

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  4th July 2019 dealing with the subject of reporting crime.

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 July 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



4th July 2019